On the way to EM bronze: How Dennis Schröder exorcised the German mentality from his team
The most important
- The German basketball players were able to crown their strong EM run with the bronze.
- The team was led by new captain Dennis Schröder, who has developed into a leader and team player.
- Moritz Wagner reports how Schröder prepared his teammates for the tournament.
Germany’s basketball fairy tale ends with a happy ending in front of a home crowd. The German team, which hardly anyone had expected before the tournament, rewarded itself with a bronze medal for a strong tournament.
A year ago, Magic Johnson denied EM star Schröder’s suitability for the Lakers
The German team was led by the new captain Dennis Schröder. Dennis Schröder, who played at the European Championships without an NBA contract and who denied any mentality to Lakers legend Magic Johnson a year ago.
“I don’t think he’s a Laker. (…) I don’t think he has the winning mentality and attitude that we need.” Dennis Schröder, who in Germany had already been labeled a detached loner and had little success in national dress.
Almost a year later, Schröder became a Laker again thanks to his strong performances and, as captain, led the German team to their first medal in 17 years. In the game for third place against Poland, he was once again Germany’s best scorer with 26 points.
Schröder exorcised the “German” mentality from his teammates before the European Championship
Moritz Wagner, who had to cancel the European Championship due to an ankle injury, but accompanied the team in the preparation and the preliminary round, reports in the podcast “Got Nexxt” that Schröder implanted an “un-German” mentality in the German team.
According to Wagner, in Germany there is always the motto, “The main thing is not too much [zu] expect”. Schröder drove his team out of this way of thinking. “We come here and play to win,” said the brother of shooting star Franz Wagner, describing the new mentality. “That’s how we train, that’s how we play.”
Schröder wrote him a message in February about how much he was looking forward to the European Championships, Wagner said. He perceived Schröder as the “Go-To-Guy” of the German team, as an “emotional leader who shoulders a lot of responsibility and wants to.”
The key German player sees a strength in his mentality. “I can’t lose. It’s gotten better over the years, but before, no matter what we played, basketball, table tennis, cards – I always had to win. Always,” said Schröder recently in “Sports Illustrated”.
Self-confident Schröder carries everyone along: “I stand by the fact that I’ve achieved something”
In addition to this unconditional will to win, Schröder also went ahead with the necessary self-confidence at the home European Championship. “In Germany, many don’t know me or the American mentality. People look at me on Instagram and ask themselves: ‘What is he posting?’, but at the same time you are celebrated for exactly that in the USA,” said Schröder. “Of course I’m confident. I stand by the fact that I’ve done something and achieved something. I don’t know if that has anything to do with arrogance.”
The “un-German” attitude was repeatedly visible on the field. Schröder also took risky actions and built in a few tricks when his teammates were a bit tense. While this style of play has earned him the reputation of being a loner in recent years, Schröder now carried his team away with his actions and played the right pass at the right moment.
As a result, he has become more of a leader, more of someone “who also plays with the others and tries to shine less himself,” praised record national player Patrick Femerling on RTL.
New team player Schröder wants to play for Germany “until I can’t walk anymore”
Immediately after winning the medal, Schröder showed his true greatness. After defeating Poland, the German captain finally shed his ego image by highlighting former DBB captain Robin Benzing, who had been singled out by coach Gordon Herbert just before the tournament, at the moment of triumph. “Actually, he should get this medal. I’ll probably give him mine,” Schröder promised in an interview with RTL.
Both Schröder and basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki now have confidence in this German team for a successful future. “The top performers are all young. There’s a lot in there. Some weren’t there due to injuries. Basketball Germany could be in for rosy times,” Nowitzki analyzed at MagentaSport.
“We made German basketball sexy again. The trend is going in the right direction,” stated Schröder. The 29-year-old wants to continue on this path. “I’ll stay here until I can’t walk anymore,” said the German leader after beating Poland.
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