Nobody said a bad word about Dennis Schröder during the inspiring basketball days in Cologne and Berlin.
National coach Gordon Herbert called Schröder's appointment as captain before the European Championship "one of the simplest decisions" he ever had to make. For Maodo Lo, basketball Germany is "lucky to have a Dennis Schröder". And youngster Justus Hollatz called the veteran with great NBA experience "super good as a leader" and "a great person".
Schröder blossoms - and struggles with his litter
Before the European Championship round of 16 on Saturday (6 p.m. / Magentasport) in Berlin against outsiders Montenegro, Schröder has become head of the national team - on and off the pitch. The 28-year-old playmaker has really blossomed in recent weeks with the role of captain taken over by the veteran Robin Benzing. As a point guard, Schröder bears the main responsibility, he fully accepts this role. He evaluates his own performance critically, after difficult situations there is no more hiding.
The best example was the preliminary round defeat in Cologne against Slovenia with NBA star Luka Doncic. Schröder flew off the floor prematurely after a technical and an unsportsmanlike foul. But instead of disappearing into the dressing room without a word, Schröder was called to the press conference to explain his point of view. "We also needed a defeat sometimes," said Schröder, who always praised his colleagues during the EM days in Cologne and questioned the shot rate and shot selection in particular.
A kind of application tour is currently underway for Schröder in order to be able to play in the best basketball league in the world again after the European Championships in October. In the NBA, he most recently played for the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets, but his contract has expired. Now it is likely to result in a job on lower financial terms. Most recently, Schröder's ex-club Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki's heart club, were traded as interested parties.
Schröder does not want to comment on the search for a club, which is unusual for the late point in time. "My advisor is already doing his job, he's on the phone with all the teams. I'll let him do his job and I'll do mine here," said Schröder immediately before the start. Since then, the native of Braunschweig, who sees his long-term future after his career in Germany, has drawn attention to himself in sport.
Schröder has long been controversial in Germany
Schröder has an average of around 18 points and seven assists and was one of the most conspicuous players in the preliminary round of the European Championship. "He's one of the best point guards in the world. He leads us and leads us to victories. I enjoy playing with him," said Lo about Schröder, who after the preliminary round at the home European Championship in 2015 and the preliminary round -Debacle at the 2019 World Cup in China still had to be used as a scapegoat. With his sometimes unusual appearance, he was not without controversy.
It looks different this time after four wins in Cologne. The euphoric audience in the Lanxess Arena also celebrated the leader boisterously and loudly. In the last group game, Schröder was rested by head coach Herbert in order not to risk anything in preparation after the ankle injury. Against Montenegro on Saturday he should use his speed and explosiveness to tear gaps in the opposing defense and lead the German team to the quarter-finals.
With a view to this European Championship, it is astonishing that Schröder has not yet found an employer in the NBA, but his game has had obvious weaknesses for years. The 28-year-old throws too many three-pointers at bad odds and often loses possession. Both were also evident in Cologne, although there has been an improvement since the mixed start against France. Within the team, Schröder shows completely different qualities. "He also makes a joke that I'm loosening up. He has a good sensitivity there," said Hollatz.