In his three-year run at Stanford, Josh Childress never made it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In his four years in the NBA, he played in just one playoff series. So we’re guessing Chill wasn’t quite prepared for the kind of postseason intensity he’s seeing in his first year in the Euroleague.
In the opening game of the best-of-five Greek League finals yesterday, Childress’ Olympiakos team lost to their rivals, Panathinaikos. But not before things got kind of crazy. From USA Today:
The match was interrupted for nearly 20 minutes with 1:25 left and Panathinaikos leading 60-58.
Olympiakos fans threw a flare, plastic bottles and other projectiles at Panathinaikos’ bench during a timeout, sending the players scampering for safety. A timekeeper was slightly injured and part of the bench and the surrounding floor had severe burn marks.
Enraged fans were trying to storm the floor and would not listen to the pleas of Olympiakos players for calm. Riot police moved in to contain the supporters. Some 200 hardcore fans also clashed with police after the game and even tried to storm the teams’ locker rooms and the press room where the two coaches were giving interviews.
Fan violence is not uncommon at Greek matches, and the league banned visiting fans from the playoffs and most regular season matches.
Funny how this has barely been a story in the American sports media, yet if it happened in an NBA game, it would spark CourtTV “Live at Michael Jackson‘s Trial”-type around-the-clock coverage.
But part of the fallout may be that Childress, who scored a team-high 23 points in the loss, is back playing in the NBA sooner than expected.
“The violence we saw today, will make me think real hard over my future in Europe,” he was quoted by the Associated Press. “This did not help the team at all … the moment you play and you have found a rhythm, you can’t stop because (of the violence) in the stands.”