The character of Eto’o García Reneses (Madrid, 74) is ubiquitous and has a capital in Spanish and European basketball. Jumping from Cotonificio de Badalona, he led one of the best Barcelona generations, finishing his stage in 2001 after winning the Recopa, two Korac Cups, five Cups and nine championships, and was the last team to lead a team as he blew up a Pau playing Gasol and Saras Jasikivicius as well. He triumphed in two stages with Juventute, debuting with Ricky Rubio and leading the first steps for Rudi Fernandez, winning a silver medal as a coach at the Beijing Games, and making his mark in Unicaja, in Seville de Porzingis, Saturnanski and Willy. Hernángoemez, in Gran Canaria, is completing his fourth season at Alba Berlin, with whom he won the League and Cup and in which he invited the Euroleague to compete for the next two seasons.
Question. He started training at Esparreguera in 1972 while he was still playing for Barcelona. He’s about to turn 50 on the bench …
Answer. We can count on the time you want but long before that, as a student player, I was already coaching the club’s mini basketball team. I’ve been training since I was 17 or 18.
s. Don’t you like to talk about recordings a lot?
R. What is the. There are others to count. It seems to me that I have surpassed Ivkovic in the Euroleague [era el más longevo de la competición al dirigir en su último partido al Anadolu Efes con 72 años y cinco meses].
s. What about titles?
R. There is a bit of an obsession. It’s very good to win, but it’s also nice to coach a team that doesn’t have the potential to win, to have good results and see the players improve. This lures me more than winning. If you also win, the better of course.
s. Could this be confused with a lack of ambition to not win the Euroleague?
R. At that time [en el Barça, 1985-2001] It was fashionable to say what you did not do. People can do the summaries they want, but you win the Korac Cup, Recopa and a lot of Leagues when they only won twice in 34 years. But this does not matter. What matters is that we did not win the Euroleague title. Well that’s right, we didn’t win the Euroleague.
s. They played six finals, four and three finals. Didn’t it leave you with a bitter taste without you winning it?
R. No. What satisfies me most is that, depending on the equipment we have, she was able to get the most out of it.
s. Did they get it?
R. I think so. And not just maximum performance but more things. You can accept the criticisms I wrote about my early years in Barcelona. We go from the third to the second, from the second to the first, the first and the first. There has been constant criticism as to why he made so many changes. So for 10 years. Now who’s not making changes? I understand the criticism because there was no culture about how the game evolved and we expected that a bit.
s. What took you to Germany when you were 70 years old?
R. A group enterprise that wants to grow, with young people who want to integrate. We are not able to maintain it because the budget is not high enough. We have lost Grigonis [Zalgiris], Gyrate inflammation [Baskonia] And Hermanson [Valencia]. The budget must grow so that it does not take away the quality jumpers. And the affection also decided me that now it is easier for them to host me. Before it was easier to criticize and now, after all of my history, I would say there is an excess of respect. Pretty much anything you do is fine.
s. What can you learn from German basketball?
R. The league is getting better and better. Regardless of the epidemic, all the wings are full, although some can seat 5,000. All matches are broadcast on television. What we can learn is education in the fields. It is extremely rare, and practically impossible, for fans to scold or insult. And it is impossible that they would not be happy with their team unless they did not fight. His mathematical education is exceptional.
s. Pau Gasol has just returned to Barcelona. When you left, you had the feeling that you weren’t too confident that you would succeed in the NBA …
R. Let’s see, “Aíto did not trust Pau” means that when Pau was physically weak, he led the counterattack, and that he defended Tris And in his final year he played four People were saying nonsense like Ronnie Seikaly [jugador libanés que había triunfado en la NBA y fichó el Barça] It would have been good, Bao wasn’t playing. We were already playing Cod and in London [en partido de la Copa de Europa] Seikaly didn’t play because Bao went out to play there. Seikaly left. But whether or not he left, Bao was there. Another thing is that I thought it wasn’t the best time to go to the NBA. He had the luck or the right to go to a team like Memphis where he could continue to develop thanks to his wits not only on the field but also personally, because he was not in the USA and started playing as if he had been there all his life. It adapted and evolved. This has just been proven in the Lakers. People can say whatever they want, but the real story is that. For me, otherwise, what Ginobili would have done better, a player who won in Argentina, won the League and the Euroleague in Italy, won the tournament, and then went to one of the best teams in the NBA. This is perfect for me. Because now, unfortunately, some guys head to the NBA to soak up the bench and move around in the towel.
s. How about Saras Jacekificios as coach?
R. His style really looked good to me in Zalgiris. Maybe it was the team that fought the most in the Euroleague.
s. The higher the level of the team, the more difficult it is to convince the stars?
R. It was said that Eto’o did not like stars and every year the best player in the league was a player from Barcelona. Some star names aren’t real stars. For example, Mirotic when he was in Madrid defended half of what he is now defending. what happens? It was a star project. Now it is better in everything. this is the question.
s. Is there a change in the Madrid and Barcelona session?
R. It seems to me that this is very good for your entertainment. Because of course, Campazzo is now not in Madrid and has injuries. But it can be completely reborn. The change really happened when, in conjunction with my entry into Barcelona, Real Madrid won 30 leagues, Barcelona one or two and suddenly Barcelona won nine or ten.
s. Her future?
R. I don’t want to think about that. He did it when he was 30 years old. I have a hold until this session. As the Atletico Madrid coach says, match after match.
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