Tyler Dorsey relishing opportunity to play with Giannis Antetokounmpo

Tyler Dorsey relishing opportunity to play with Giannis Antetokounmpo

Published August 7, 2022
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Giannis Askounis

First major international tournament coming up for Tyler Dorsey

By Achilleas Mavrodontis info@eurohoops.net

Fresh off signing a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks, Tyler Dorsey is back in Greece and set to play in the 2022 EuroBasket.

Dorsey, 26, talked to Eurohoops about joining forces with Giannis Antetokounmpo and other stars competing for Greece, proving himself to the Mavs, and more.

Tyler Dorsey on Eurohoops TV:

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“We don’t have much time but we are trying to put it together. Put our chemistry together, learn how to play with each other every day, and learn and practice. It has been great. Great atmosphere, great guys around here,” he said on adjusting in the training camp, “It feels good to be here, to have the talent we have on this team and have the opportunity to get this medal going forward into the EuroBasket.”

Back in 2015, his debut at the international level boosted Greece’s squad in the FIBA U19 World Championship. His side fell to the USA in the semifinals and settled for fourth place in the tournament held in Heraklion, Greece. As a member of the senior national team, he was capped during the 2019 and 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. But this time much more is hanging in the balance.

“We want to do that,” he replied to a question about a possible medal in EuroBasket, “Of course, that is the goal. It’s a process. We got to take it day by day. But that is the goal. We know it going forward. But there is no pressure. We love this game, we play it every day. We sacrifice a lot. It’s an honor to put these jerseys on when representing a country. We know that every game and every time we go out there, we are going to put it all out there and try to put on a show for the fans.”

Coming out of Oregon and preparing for the 2017 NBA draft, Dorsey had opened up about possibly playing alongside the Greek Freak at the Milwaukee Bucks. This resurfacing five years later links to the Greek national team.

“Just to have the opportunity to play with a great player like him and learn from him, and just play alongside him, it’s great. Just like [Kostas] Sloukas, he is a great player,” he told Eurohoops about finally getting the chance to share the court with Antetokounmpo.

“Obviously, I am on a two-way,” he added referring to the two-way contract with the Mavericks, “There is a lot of work to be done, to prove to the coaches. That is an everyday process. And showing that every day. This is a great opportunity to play alongside him [Giannis Antetokounmpo]. I am excited to get to know him. He has a wonderful story. For me, the story is amazing to where he is at today.”

EuroBasket is on top of the list. But Greece is also slated to compete in the final round of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in late August.

“We have a lot of good players and we have to build every day until then. We got some big games and some important friendly games. Obviously, we have Serbia, which is the first official one. They have a lot of talent over there. They have a very good team. So, I think that will be a very good test for us before EuroBasket,” he previewed the approaching Qualifiers contest opposite Serbia.

With strong interest from Olympiacos and Fenerbahce Beko, he opted to depart the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for a second chance in the NBA. However, slipping away from the new Fener head coach Dimitris Itoudis was not entirely the case. The Greek tactician will be guiding Dorsey in the next international fixtures.

“I got the chance to be with him for the Great Britain game,” he said referring to the recent international window and the previous World Cup Qualifiers games, “He knows my game well. I think we are building great chemistry. I know how he coached at CSKA. This is great. He is a great coach. To learn from him every day, and pick his brain, just knowledge. I try to get knowledge from everywhere and from all experiences. The opportunity to be coached by him is also great. Definitely, Fenerbahce was an option. It could have happened. But the NBA opened the door a little bit and Dallas took the opportunity to offer for me and I wasn’t going to turn that down.”

Olympiacos was home for the 2021-22 season and upped his total of games played in EuroLeague to a nice round 100.

“I loved my experience with everybody, my teammates, the coaching staff, and everybody in the organization,” he described his time with the Reds, “I loved the fans. They also showed me love, even before. I am going to love them forever. And I am going to watch all the Olympiacos games next year. I am going to be cheering for those guys. Hopefully, they can make another run like we did last year.”

“Hopefully,” he replied to a question about the door to Piraeus staying open for him, “I am not sure what the future holds next year or the following years in my career. I take it year-by-year and see what happens.”