Bahrami chalks up first Iran loss as birth pains under new coach
CHANGSHA CITY, China – Birth pains.
Mainly, that is what Iran superstar swingman Samad Nikka Bahrami thinks is the main reason why the Iranians took a first loss in the Fiba Asia Championship against the Philippines on Monday, something which the whole team has to adjust to under new coach Dirk Bauermann.
“As you see, the coach is really different,” Bahrami, arguably the finest swingman in the continent, told the Inquirer after an 87-73 loss to the Filipinos, referring obviously to Bauermann’s style in calling the shots.
Bauermann, the former German national coach who took over from Veselin Matic less than a year ago, is dividing the playing time as much as possible in a ploy that could make his stars fresh for the knockout stages set to start on Thursday.
“Everyone is playing,” Bahrami, who led the Iranians with 21 points, said. “The average of the (star) player is 20-23 minutes. It’s not bad, it’s good. But we all need to adjust.”
Bahrami also disagreed with one Chinese reporter who asked if it was true that there was a rift in their local cage association, which led to the dismissal of Matic in favor of Bauermann.
“That’s not true,” he said.