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Scariolo: “Basketball has been generous with those who respected team values”

Spain coach Sergio Scariolo praised his players after their Eurobasket triumph: “It’s incredible that this first year of rebuilding had ended like this...”

Sergio Scariolo

Proudly wearing his Eurobasket 2022 champion commemorative shirt, Spain coach Sergio Scariolo reflected back on Sunday’s 88-76 win in the final against France, and congratulated his players for lifting the trophy.

In your wildest dreams did you expect this?

“Honestly, no. You always think you can do a good job, play good basketball, let your team show who they are and compete. There’s no doubt they did that. But we entered the tournament eighth in the power ranking and ended as champions - in a competition in which teams that had NBA stars, NBA MVP, All-Star have been left behind. It gives us enormous satisfaction considering the level of the championship. Basketball has been generous with those who have respected its team sport values. Passing the ball, respecting roles, training hard, helping each other, not having egos. It has been the triumph of basketball as a team sport and when that happens, a coach could not be happier from the point of view of the game. Then there are the emotional issues, but we have played wonderfully since the start of the tournament”.

What’s behind this Eurobasket fairy tale?

“You always have to ask yourself what you have in front of you on the day. Do it right, period. There is nothing more to it than that. Watch a video of the rival, study them well. Watch five videos of the rival, and do it properly. Train hard and do it right. It is just that. There are not many secrets. No part of the path should be underestimated. The small details lead to success. But it is true that this has been a success. People will say that we are a respectable team, where people play together and have an idea and an identity”.

How important is it for basketball that people can see that there are new players coming through?

“Well. We have done a great job for a long time. Developing players in club youth teams, of the national team. And there is enough left. We still have to finish this generational change, but if they told us that this first year ends like this, we might not have believed it”.

Is this your masterpiece?

“In terms of basketball, we have had to think about many things. I’ve been talking to Juancho about what it means going from three titles to four. And hardly anyone has noticed. I haven’t read about it, I haven’t heard about it. And it has been a change of era that has changed the tournament. We have worked well, but it is what we do - play basketball. For me, honestly, it was harder before, when you had players with much more talent, personality, used to being the stars of their teams, to whom you had to say: today you play five minutes, today you play only to defend, or to put a lock. For me that was more difficult. Here the management has been simple. Here we have been able, thanks to humility and the absolute lack of ego, we have been able to take the technical and tactical proposal to a very high level”.

You have become a legendary coach, not only with Spain, but worldwide.

“I share it with everyone. But, honestly, as I was saying the other day, it’s about finding one more place in the trophy room and start thinking about the next one”.


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