BILBAO (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Ancient Greece gave the world great philosophers, so it’s not surprising that Fotis Katsikaris sounds like one himself when he talks about basketball.
Having coached at a high level in Europe for the past decade, the Greek is older and wiser than when he first took the helm of AEK Athens in the 2003-04 campaign.
While he spends his days teaching players, though, Katsikaris admits he is also a learner.
When asked if he’d changed much as a coach since his first big foreign adventure to Russia to coach Dynamo St Petersburg several years ago, he gives a response that even Plato would admire.
"Basketball is like a book without a last page," Katsikaris answered to FIBA.com.
"You learn every day. So yes, I have changed."
Looking at the career trajectory of Katsikaris is proof that his ability to change, and adapt, has been good for him.
Since coaching AEK and Dynamo, Katsikaris has led Valencia (2006-09), Aris (part of 2009-10) and Bilbao (2009-10 to now).
In the 2010-11 season, Katsikaris steered Bilbao into the ACB (Liga Endesa) Finals to claim a spot in the Euroleague.
Against all expectations, Bilbao advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the 2011-12 Euroleague before falling to an Andrei Kirilenko-led CSKA Moscow.
Bilbao were such great fighters against CSKA that when Russia began looking for a replacement for David Blatt as national team coach in late 2012, Katsikaris was a candidate.
"I think it was a big plus for me that my team went so far in the Euroleague against CSKA because it was a war, that series," Katsikaris said.
"Also, I had the experience in Russian basketball (at Dynamo).
"It was still a big surprise when they called me, but I like them. It's a very athletic team and I think they match up perfectly with my philosophy."
The outsider might think a big factor for Katsikaris in leading Russia was the money.
Why else would one give up a lot of his summer to coach a national team?
"No," he said. "I want to challenge myself.
"I'm absolutely in the best league (Liga Endesa) in Europe, and I'm very proud of it. It's been very competitive, the teams that I have worked with Valencia, with Bilbao now, not the top teams in Spain, but we're always there to compete and I really like this challenge.
"Now at this moment, I had this opportunity (to coach Russia).
"I'm young (45), I am very hungry for basketball.
"I have time to rest in the summer.
"I see it as a huge challenge for me, (there is) great potential for a national team like Russia."
One advantage coaches have in club basketball is time.
A team may not start as well as the fans or front-office staff would like, but seasons are long.
Katsikaris believes his teams get better as the campaigns wear on.
With Russia, though, Katsikaris will have to hit the ground running.
There will be just several weeks before they have to hit the floor at the EuroBasket.
"It's going to be difficult," Katsikaris said.
"I'll prepare with my staff what we have to do, how we have to manage the pre-season. Every day will be important because as you said, it's completely different to be with one team that you know for nine months, knowing all the habits of the players.
"We will immediately have to show to the players the philosophy.
"They'll have to understand that last year, they were in one system with David. We'll try to make it easy for them, easy information.
"I'm optimistic that we'll do a great job."
Blatt had Kirilenko in his squad the last two years when Russia won bronze at EuroBasket 2011 and the London Games. If Kirilenko does play at the EuroBasket in Slovenia, Russia will be serious medal contenders.
Will Russia make it to the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain?
"I hope so," Katsikaris said.
"This is our goal. Right now, the federation is very ambitious and Russian basketball is making a big step forward with the national team in the last tournaments.
"It's too early to know what will happen with Andrei and Viktor (Khryapa).
"But if we have the full team, we'll have the potential to have a team to make it to Spain.
"I'll speak to them. Right now, all of us are in the middle of the season, a lot of travelling, a lot of games. I don't want to disturb the players but I have to find the moment to speak to each of them, to explain in a few and simple words what to expect."