Dominique Johnson

Can Ahmet Caki´s New Enthusiasm Garner Continued Success For Alba Berlin?

For four years for some Alba Berlin fans, there was enough entertainment in the Mercedes Benz arena even during down times during a game when the 8 time champion was in a slump just watching head coach Sasa Obradovic doing his special work out on the sidelines with his hand and body gestures. The three time European champion with Yugoslavia had his own eccentric coaching style and his style definitely got on the nerves of many and didn´t always have an advantageous effect on his players, but in the end when all was said and done, the soft spoken Korac Cup winner of 1995 with Alba Berlin did good deeds in Berlin winning three cups, a Super cup and reached the final in 2014. The Alba Berlin season more or less ended after the 2016 cup win in Munich as the club had reached their peak for the season and after that played uninspired basketball and were swept by the Fraport Skyliners and it was no secret that the days of Obradovic were numbered. Obradovic had to go and his torch was passed on to Turk Ahmet Caki. For many not the big name coach that was expected to come in, but a guy that CEO Marco Baldi had in his notes since 2009. Caki eats, sleeps and breathes basketball since he was 18 and now 23 years later, he can look back at a growing basketball resume that was started in Turkey and now takes him to his first stop outside his home country. He got his first experience with Darussafaka Istanbul as a head coach in 2004 and then coached Erdemirspor Belediyesi and Tofas Bursa. He got his big break midway through the 2014-2015 season as Euroleague club Anadolu Efes Istanbul signed him as an assistant under legendary coach Dusan Ivkovic. As an assistant he won 2 cups and was promoted in April 2016 to head coach as Ivkovic was dismissed and led the team to the Turkish final. As a coach he is the total opposite of Obradovic as he tries to inspire his players instead of  intimidating them and giving them restless nights not knowing if a missed screen or switch will cost them minutes like an Obradovic did. Caki is more calm than Obradovic, but knows when to step it up in the motivation department. He is a guy that can develop players and has inherited a team that doesn´t have the standard type Euroleague players so from his perspective something to look forward to being able to develop talented guys further. Where Obradovic had his focus on the defense, Caki wants to find a healthy balance on offense and defense. It will be another interesting season for Alba Berlin as a new era begins as there will be no more hectic movements on the sidelines from a bald man but is somehow in his own way transporting his desires to his players, but more zeal being transported from a Turk who wants to establish himself with one of Europe´s most historic organizations.

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