It’s been a long time since German basketball has heard from Dirk Bauermann. There was a brief comment from him about the opening with the German Basketball Federation when Svetislav Pesic was named head coach of Bayern Munich. But Bauermann has remained silent about his firing from Munich six days before the beginning of the season. The guys at basketball-stream.de caught up with Bauermann at the recent Brose Baskets Bamberg vs TBB Trier game in Bamberg.
Here a transcript of some of the highlights of the interview so that non-German speaking basketball fans can hear from Bauermann – good job with the interview!
About TBB Trier’s season thus far:
“For me, what this young team has done in the first third of the season under Henrik Rödl, they are the biggest surprise of the league thus far. I think it’s sensational what the team has done.
About the three-year extension with Rödl and the club’s consequent concept of relying on young German players
“Exactly, very consequent. And a path that is correct because he’s relying on young German players. One of them was Maik Zirbes, who grew up in the Trier system and really developed well under Henrik. This quality is important when you develop step by step, and it always begins with the coach. And you have to congratulate Trier for binding long term this excellent coach, who is one of the top three coaches in Germany.”
How he using the time after Bayern Munich?
“The involuntary time-out? I am using it by watching a lot of games and players. I was in the United States for two weeks with the Chicago Bulls. That was of course very interesting. I’m trying to recharge the battery a little bit, and I’m doing that. And I’m trying to enjoy this time as much as I can. It’s not always the case, but as much as I can. But I have a lot of fun watching young players here like Maik Zirbes and Basti Doreth, who played with Bayern last year, or Mathis Mönninghof. It’s fun and it does me good.”
How he would you judge the current situation at Bayern Munich?
“Not at all. I think it’s better to leave certain things without a comment. They are stabilizing themselves at the moment. That is good for basketball at FC Bayern and Munich. It remains a very, very important project for German basketball. So it’s good that they have found some stability. I think it’s better to keep quiet on everything else.”
About people saying his system is antiquated and how he is developing as a coach.
“Criticism is always good and important. But this description antiquated is not correct. I would say 80 percent of the top teams in Europe work similar to how I do. So I think this accusation is unfounded. But it doesn’t matter. I’m using the time of course also to get some new insight and look at new things. But I think it’s important for coaches to stand for something. And I stand for a physical and aggressive defense. And also that my team plays with an element of discipline and tactical and strategic intelligence. They move the ball well. The fact that it’s not the most entertaining and up and down as some fans make like is part of it. But it will certainly not change in the next 10 or 15 years.”
What about a return to coaching, is there a time plan?
“I am still young. I am only 55. Being a coach is always a goal. And it will stay that way. But I am in a comfortable situation with a contract until June 2014 that I can look at things calmly and analyze precisely what is the best step for me as a coach. Once again, I am very cautious and am giving myself time to find what is right for me and is fun for me and has potential. So there is no hurry at the moment.”
His thoughts about the German federation naming Frank Menz as new national team coach
“I think Frank is an excellent coach. I think the decision is consequent. They had been looking for some time for a coach with a concept that he developed and that is the case and I think it’s an excellent choice. I am very happy for Frank and the federation.”
About the developments in German basketball for a 6+6 rule regarding Germans
“I fought very intensively for that successfully with some others. In the end, those in charge with the league showed a lot of courage and made the correct decision. I think we have a strong league from 1 to 18 – one of the five strongest in Europe – and that despite the many young Germans playing in the league. It was exactly the right step for German basketball – also important for the attractiveness of the league. It was also important for the system in general because only young players who know they can earn some money in basketball will invest the work in practice to eventually reach his potential. So I am very happy with the development of the situation as it has gone over the past three years.”
Can Trier make the playoffs and is Bamberg the title favorite?
“If Trier can maintain the high level they have played at then it would be sensational if they make the playoffs – and also not unrealistic if they do that. Regarding the title, I think Berlin and Bamberg have an enormous extra burden with 14 more games in the Euroleague. We have to wait and see how they deal with that and if they stay healthy and how much energy they have in the end. Munich have a very strong team personnel-wise if they can find their way. Then they will also play an important role. You cannot underestimate Oldenburg or Ulm and possibly Artland. Those are six teams who will decide among themselves. This tension is good for the league. And we can really look forward to the playoffs.”
Here the full interview: