At Disneyland Paris
The reward for long-term work : “It's very difficult to put into words what I feel. There is so much behind this title ... First there is this group and the players who compose it. Very humanly guys. With guys like that, we can move on. It really is their reward. Then, of course, there are their qualities of basketball, individual, listening, how to adhere to what we offer with my staff. We didn't know if we were going to win a title. But now that he's here, it's just fabulous. The players deserve it. We have shown that when you have a soul, an offensive, defensive collective, a lot of ability to work and invest, you can achieve this kind of result. It is the fruit of work over several seasons. We know that titles are so hard to take ... Especially now, with the hegemony of Monaco and ASVEL. Doing it by defeating them is just amazing and well deserved. ”
His (long) relationship with Axel Julien : “I am so proud of him. When I stopped my career in 2011, he started his career with the pros at Hyères-Toulon. In Dijon, he crossed the stages one after the other, season after season. Until now being the number 1 leader of the France team during the international windows. It's magic. He became the best French leader in the championship. It is thanks to its qualities. I helped him, accompanied him, guided him. Axel and I go beyond basketball. ”
"David Holston? It's like good Burgundy wine, it gets better year after year ”
David Holston : “I cried with him at the end. He's been with us for five years, and he's not the same player today. We have always been there for each other. When I put it back 7 minutes from the end, the open shots were missing. I said to him: "It's your time, it's yours". He put two or three big shots and it's fabulous that the story ends like this. It's like good Burgundy wine, it gets better year after year (smile). He always had his individual qualities. I think it's mostly mentally that he has evolved. By my side, he became much stronger. He's someone who, like me, hates losing. He has a strong character. But he is not a vocal leader, he keeps everything to himself. So he needs a lot of confidence around him. He wants to do so well for the team that sometimes he loses his means when he can't do the right thing. This is where he progressed. Tonight is the proof: two or three years ago, he would never have continued to shoot, he would have died. There he proved that he is a great man. ”
An “orgasmic” joy: “Have you already experienced such strong moments? Yes, when we went up with the HTV in 2001, after match 5 at Roanne. A final of accession. I felt the same when I was a player. It's the second time. As you say, it's orgasmic, inexplicable. When we take the offensive rebound, with two throws and 6 points ahead, we know it's won. We are going to another world. That's why we do this job. We know it can never happen. But when it happens, we take advantage of it. ”
Praise for the Dijon game : “Of course, it's rewarding. It is that there is work behind. But in the first place, it is the players who make the efforts, adhere, believe in what we offer. We can propose a project, if the players do not believe in it, are not invested at 200%, it is fine to get excited on the bench, it does not work. It's really a connection that has to be created. Sometimes, I can seem a little harsh with my players, but I promise you that if I am, it is that they really know what is behind. With each of them, I have a real relationship of respect. Without loving them, I have had a lot of affection for each of my players since I started coaching. I think they give it back to me, otherwise they wouldn't do it on the ground. ”
The end of the match and any doubts : “In these moments, no time to be afraid. We must act very quickly. This is coaching. But it's even more beautiful to have had to play almost without Richard Solomon (faults, note) while he remained on two exceptional matches. It proves all the values of the team. ”
"What could be more beautiful than leaving with a title for your 140th birthday?"
A title that counts double : “This is my first title as a coach. I therefore fully enjoy. There are so many coaches who work but never win a title ... It's so hard ... I get the most out of it. But that values the players, the staff, and the club too, the administrative staff, the investment of the president. And more generally, the whole city of Dijon. The JDA is a historic club which celebrates its 140th anniversary this year. What could be more beautiful than leaving with a title for your 140th birthday? ”
The future and more and more courted players : "We are not there yet, there are still several months of competition, objectives to be reached with the Champions League, the championship and the Coupe de France, this is not no time to talk about it. Let's take the matches one after the other, as we have always done. Let's keep this state of mind. After, of course, it will be complicated to do it because the players will start to be more and more in demand. But we have to keep that, keep our feet on the ground, not take us for what we are not, and remember that if we have this title, it is thanks to our work. ”
Words gathered at a press conference .
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