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Panathinaikos legend Mike Batiste visits The Crossover 
Part II

Listen in to the second hour of Joe Arlauckas's chat with the three-time EuroLeague champ, presented by 7DAYS
Mike Batiste was at the heart of the Panathinaikos Athens dynasty that won three EuroLeague crowns in five years between 2007 and 2011. As one of only three players on all three of those championship teams, Batiste represented all the things that made the Greens such a special team. He played with levels of confidence, ferociousness and selflessness that were worthy of the bevy of titles he would conquer. These were all traits that The Crossover host Joe Arlauckas related to in a conversation that grew so interesting that it has been split into two episodes. Here is the second hour of their two-plus-hour chat brought to all fans by 7DAYS.

Batiste's second title required a lot of blood, sweat and tears. The team missed the 2008 playoffs and, despite Nikola Pekovic arriving to play alongside him the next season, things were not going as smoothly as hoped.


"I would say through two-three months of that 08-09 season, it was a lot of up-and-down kind of moments where you see the talent of how good we could play and then another game you're like, man what team is this?" Batiste said.

The way that the team bounced back was typical of the attitude that Batiste employed throughout his stellar career and one that he preaches today to his players as an assistant coach with Orlando in the NBA.


"We just didn't know, like, where was the right direction to turn this around. Nobody knew the answer. So the only thing we could do best was get back in the gym and work. If you need answers, get to work. This is what I tell my guys now. If you have a question about the game, get to work," he said. "The work is everything for every player."

Although Batiste's c.v. is decorated with his three EuroLeague championships, nothing ever came easy. The first two championship games could have gone either way and that made Batiste appreciate even more how important every play is to winning it all in the end.


"My first two European titles come by 2 points. That's one possession, you know what I mean? If you really put that in perspective, that is a do-or-die kind of game. When you are playing in those types of games like that, everything is accounted for. You see a loose ball on the ground? You've gotta go get it. If there's a 50/50 ball, you've gotta have it. Those guards, they've gotta come back and get those traffic rebounds. Those little things. The way you set the screens to get guys open. All those little things matter just to win by 2 points. And it takes that much to win."

Batiste spoke about many other topics, including his close relationship with former roommate Vassilis Spanoulis and what is what like when he left for rival Olympiacos. Arlauckas also brought up the possibility of a Panathinaikos reunion, this time with Batiste as head coach, which the big man did not shoot down.


"I have a real deep love for Greece and not just Panathinaikos. I have a deep love for the people of Greece," Batiste said. "Every step I took I felt like I was walking on a cloud. For real. I felt like I was the closest thing to heaven. It couldn't get better than this."

With a one-hour format of exclusive one-on-one interviews, The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas goes well beyond the playing court with each podcast to delve into the life experiences that have made his guests protagonists and legends of the EuroLeague. This season, he is also reviewing the EuroLeague's modern history in its 20th season of this century by talking to the legends who have made the competition more popular than ever.

The Crossover debuted last season with such current stars as Vassilis Spanoulis and Kyle Hines, coaching greats like Pablo Laso and Zeljko Obradovic, and legends like Nikola Vujcic and Robertas Javtokas, among others. Recent guests include Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius of Zalgiris Kaunas, Coach Xavi Pascual of Zenit St Petersburg and Tyrese Rice of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens.

The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas is available on iTunesAudioboomSpotifyDeezerRadioPublicGoogle PodcastsTuneIniVooxCastBox and other platforms.


Euroleague Basketball (EB) is a global leader in the sports and entertainment business, devoted to running the top European competitions of professional basketball clubs under a unique and innovative organizational model. Owned and administered by some of the most successful and historic clubs in the world, EB manages and organizes the continent’s two premier men’s basketball competitions, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup, as well as the sport’s premier under-18 showcase, the EB Adidas Next Generation Tournament.


The EB competitions bring the elite of European basketball to all five continents and to the entire sports community through the OTT platform EuroLeague TV. EB also organizes a series of community and educational programs. Its ground-breaking corporate social responsibility program One Team features all EB clubs that have already made a difference in the lives of over 19,000 participants. Its Sports Business MBA trains future professionals in sports management.

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