Flare guns and heated-up coins — the craziness of European fans
"You’re like, what the hell is that?!"

Flare guns and heated-up coins — the craziness of European fans

Just how crazy are European fans? Alex Acker – former NBA and Euroleague player – experienced it firsthand and shared his impressions during our most recent episode of 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network, describing the feeling of playing in front of Olympiacos’ fans in Greece.

These guys are diehard fans. I’ve never seen fans that did not sit down, not once during the whole game. They were up cheering during time-outs during half-time, they had songs non-stop, all you saw was just red like everywhere. Let alone the flare guns going over your head while you’re playing, dribbling the ball up. You’re like, what the hell is that?!

Alex Acker, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network

It took Alex some time to adjust to playing in such an atmosphere. Most Americans who decide to pursue a pro career playing in Europe go through the same thing. But Acker ended up loving it. Especially playing in hostile environments on the road — that’s what Alex fed off.

A league like the NBA where it’s like, you know, they clap when you do something awesome, but to literally get heckled — I really loved that. And the most important thing I loved is playing as an underdog in other arenas when they’re cheering against you; that sh*t gave me chills.

Alex Acker, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network

A 38-year-old Acker had an incredible career, playing in countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, Poland, France, and Turkey. But as far as which club he played for had the craziest fans, there’s no doubt in Alex’s mind — it’s the team he first joined after his one-year run with the Pistons.

Our fans were awesome, Olympiacos fans are #1.

Alex Acker, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network

If you think NBA arenas feel empty without fans, I can’t imagine what’s it like for the Olympiacos players to play without thousands of people in red cheering all the time, lighting up flares, and throwing heated up coins at the opposing players. Let’s hope things go back to “normal” soon.