Basketball: Olympics at the end: Gold coach Herbert leaves the DBB

Olympics at the end: Gold coach Herbert leaves the DBB

Dennis Schröder (l) and national basketball coach Gordon Herbert with the World Cup trophy. photo

© Boris Roessler/dpa

Germany’s basketball world champions lose their title coach. National coach Herbert is leaving earlier than agreed – perhaps to the Bundesliga. The Olympics in Paris will now be the final showdown.

Germany’s basketball players lose their world champion coach. One year after the historic gold triumph, the national coach Gordon Herbert unexpectedly announced his withdrawal from the Olympics in Paris and left the selection earlier than planned. The German Basketball Association (DBB) announced this and asserted that it had “great understanding” for Herbert’s desire to separate.

The contract with the Canadian, which actually runs until the European Championships in 2025, will be terminated early on August 31, 2024. The summer games with showdowns against the crème de la crème of the basketball world around NBA world stars à la LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic now mark the end of Herbert’s short – but incredibly successful – era. On Tuesday evening, the 65-year-old informed his players of the decision, as reported by the “Bild” newspaper, which first reported Herbert’s departure.

The decision was “very sad,” said Captain Dennis Schröder to the “Braunschweiger Zeitung”. “I haven’t spoken to the team yet, but I think every single one will be grieving,” the NBA star added.

The DBB wrote in its message about a “friendly conversation” between the national coach and the association’s leadership. “We fully understand that Gordie wants to devote himself to another task after the Olympic Games and we are not putting any obstacles in his way,” said President Ingo Weiss.

“Travel was the ultimate life moment”

He added: “Anyone who knows Gordie knows that he will throw himself into preparing for the Olympic Games with full commitment and passion. It would be great if our time together could end with another exclamation mark.” The German basket hunters around Schröder and the NBA aces Franz and Moritz Wagner also want to fight for medals at the Summer Games.

The preliminary round will include hosts France – later there will be duels with gold favorites like the USA or Serbia. The Americans want revenge for their semi-final exit against Germany at the 2023 World Cup and have nominated some of the best players of this millennium. “It is a great spectacle for basketball in the world that the USA is bringing these players with them,” Herbert said recently.

He took over the national team in the summer of 2021. European Championship bronze a year later at the home tournament in Cologne and Berlin and, as a brilliant highlight, the first World Cup title in the association’s history in 2023 in the Philippines followed. The only thing missing from the three-year plan he announced is the Olympics in France. “He changed our mindset towards a winning mentality, which I had tried to do for years, and our distribution of roles,” praised Captain Schröder.

Herbert described the time as “an incredible experience and an honor.” He thanked the DBB and especially the “incredible group of players” who represented Germany worthy. “The trip was the ultimate life moment for me.” The association now has to look for a successor – a year earlier than expected – who will keep German basketball at Herbert’s level if possible.

From Paris to Rostock?

And what will the praised national coach do in the future? After the gold coup in Manila, interested parties were already lining up, but they couldn’t get rid of the former Bundesliga coach. Among other things, the French Euroleague club Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne suggested a dual solution as a club and German national coach, but the DBB did not fulfill the national coach’s wish. According to a report, the Japanese association also wanted to sign Herbert on a long-term basis, and a commitment as an assistant coach in the NBA was also said to have been an issue.

According to information from “Bild”, the Rostock Seawolves are currently recruiting Herbert in the Bundesliga. The basketball players from the Baltic Sea had just avoided relegation in the season finale, but still parted ways with their previous coach Christian Held. A commitment from Germany’s gold coach Herbert would be a coup for the Hanseatic League.

Seawolves sports director Jens Hakanowitz said of the speculation that Herbert would receive a significantly larger salary in Rostock than at the DBB: “Such salaries are not possible in Rostock and in principle we are not currently commenting on the status of our coaching commitment at the moment.”


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