Adrian Wojnarowski, an NBA insider, tweeted: “One of Europe’s most decorated coaches, Turkey’s Ergin Ataman, is surfacing as a possibility for assistant coaching roles in the NBA, according to ESPN sources. Ataman, the head coach of the Turkish national team, has won consecutive EuroLeague titles with Anadolu Efes.
Those familiar with the coach whose words typically generate headlines will not be surprised. Ataman has designed a system for Efes that provides his players a great deal of freedom, particularly the guard pair of Vasilije Micic and former NBA star Shane Larkin.
After two seasons of unmatched success in the history of Turkish basketball, it seemed inevitable that Ataman would garner attention in the NBA. It remains to be seen if he desires to follow in the footsteps of legendary Italian coaches Ettore Messina and Sergio Scariolo and continue his career in the NBA as an assistant. Ataman, who is 56 years old, has won almost everything in Europe, including the FIBA Saporta Cup, the FIBA EuroChallenge, the EuroCup, and five Turkish league championships.