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Sergio Scariolo to "Israel Hayom": "Lorenzo Braun is the best thing that Maccabi Tel Aviv could ask for" | Israel today


After leading the Spanish national team to a sensational EuroBasket victory, the one known as "the best national team coach in the world" tells Avi Segal about the secret of success: "You can't measure connection and chemistry" • Remains humble: "I don't think I'm better than everyone" • Compliments Lorenzo Brown: "It The best thing that Maccabi Tel Aviv could ask for" • And also gives great credit to an Israeli coach • A special interview with the European champion

What Sergio Scariolo is doing in the Spanish national team should already be described in historical terms.

The big winner of the last Eurobasket, took the title of the European Championship 4 times, and won the World Championship once with the team.

All this in the decade in which he coached Spain for two terms, in the 3 years he was not there, there was silence in Spain.

And it's not just the national team, Scariolo has had two doubles as a coach in recent years.

In the summer of 2019, he won the NBA Championship with Toronto (as an assistant coach) and the World Championship with Spain.

And in the last months he won the Eurocup and a ticket to the Euroleague with Virtus Bologna, and of course the European Championship with the team.

ran out of words

ICONIC. #EuroBasket x #BringTheNoise

— #EuroBasket 2022 (@EuroBasket) September 18, 2022

In a special interview with Israel today, he explains who was called "the best national team coach in the world" (some say in history), the secret of success. How Spain surprised everyone, and of course talks about Lorenzo Brown, who played in the national team, and the new player of Maccabi Tel Aviv.

In one of his past interviews, after one of the wins with Spain, the coach told me: "I'm just the conductor of the orchestra."

The Italian coach explained that he was only managing his group of superstars.

In the last championship it was different, so it is first of all registered in his name.

Spain arrived with a lackluster squad.

Almost all the players of the golden generation had already retired, and the list of injured and missing was long.

The estimates were accordingly.

Nobody expected Spain to get on the podium, and certainly not to win the title.

The coach calls the win his "most special achievement in the team", but is surprising and says that this time in some ways it was easier, because the expectations were relatively low, and because the amount of ego in his young squad was much less than before. 

It was easier in some ways, photo: Reuters

"When you mess with the ego, you move away from the heart" "

Every championship has its challenges and difficulties.

When you have superstars in the team, you have to get them used to being the ones whose place will be less central, and there will be those who will play less," Scariolo explains. "The team this time was very modest, full of motivation.

A largely unknown group, for a large part of which this was their first EuroBasket, so the expectations from us were not great either.

Before the championship, we were ranked 8 in the strength index, when making assessments before taking the amount of talent that each team has, because it is impossible to measure connection and chemistry.

There is no doubt that we pushed ourselves far beyond the level of talent we had, basketball is a team game, this victory is a team victory."

Scariolo mentions that this is not the first time that his team was not counted.

"Before the World Championship (2019) we were ranked fifth and won the title, according to the equation of the preliminary estimates compared to the results that were really there - the last championship is the biggest."

Scariolo after winning the Mundobasket.

Even then they didn't give Spain a chance, photo: FIBA

The fact that you are crowned the best national team coach in the world is a compliment or do you say: No, I am a good coach in every frame?

"I believe in good coaches and it doesn't matter where they make the achievements. Whether you're a good coach or not, you can't divide it into categories. I think, for example, that reaching the Final Four of the Euroleague with a team like Malaga was an achievement of this magnitude. Winning the NBA championship As the senior assistant coach in Toronto is a great achievement, and winning with Virtus last season in the Eurocup was a huge achievement in light of the strength of the factory."

He also acts modestly: "I don't think I'm better than everyone. When you mess with the ego you distance yourself from the heart. Who can really measure that? When you coach there are many things that the audience and the media cannot see, so how can they determine that someone is the best Sometimes you do everything the best but the results are bad, so who can really appreciate your work. Everyone makes mistakes, the question is who knows how to fix them."


Does not define itself as the best, photo: EPA

Before the Eurobasket there were rumors that this was your last tournament.

"I have a contract until 2024, when the Olympic Games will be held, and I usually honor agreements. Beyond that, I feel that I have not finished the job. My goal is to complete the process of the exchange of generations in the national team."

Did you think Lorenzo Brown would contribute like that?

"I knew who he was, I was sure of him, but what he did was far beyond what was expected."

So Maccabi Tel Aviv made a good deal.

"Lorenzo is the best thing Maccabi could ask for.

This is a transfer of the highest order.

This is the top."

Tell us how Lorenzo got to the Spain team?

"His agent called the heads of the association and told about his interest in playing for the team. They called me and asked about him, I know him because I coached him in Toronto and I knew he was a good player, but an even better person. Beyond that, if a player is willing to give up his American citizenship to get Spanish citizenship That means a lot. I knew he would fit in professionally and socially, he is positive in everything.

The coach continues, "He is a fourth quarter player, until then he manages the game and makes sure that everyone gets involved. In the decisive minutes, he will take over the game as we saw in the championship."

Brown and Scariolo.

"Maccabi won big", photo: EPA

The face of the Euroleague with Virtus Bologna The

return of Virtus Bologna to the Euroleague will create a conflict between its two roles.

November 11th will be a fascinating day in Italian and European basketball, on that day the Italian derby in the Euroleague between Virtus and Milan will be played, as well as the match between the Spanish and Italian national teams in the MundoBasket qualifiers.

Scariolo clarifies: "The team is promoted and it is also anchored in the contract with Virtus, this is one of the conditions I set in order to sign there. However, I believe that the solution to the clash of dates will be found if there is good will. I also hope that FIBA ​​and the Euroleague will sit together and finally solve this issue." .

You are returning next season to the Euroleague after 7 years.

Virtus which was a par group returns to the front of the stage.

"This is an opportunity to come back and prove it. The club is making a big comeback and that was the challenge why I agreed to leave Toronto. In the coming season, I estimate that we are the team in the middle of the table that will fight for the playoffs with 8-10 other teams. The Euroleague is going to be very strong next season."


Returning to the Euroleague after years, photo: AFP

What is your dream?

"Be happy, learn, develop and feel better every day. It's not all about medals and championships. It will make you happy and confident in what you do, but it's definitely not everything."

I saw that they compared Leicester's championship win in England in interviews.

Give me a comparison in the field of basketball?

"Slovenia's first EuroBasket win in last year's championship, and Russia's win in 2007 when they beat home Spain in the final. David Blatt did a great job then."

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-09-27

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