Credit: Virtus Bologna
Credit Virtus Bologna

Sergio Scariolo was interviewed by Marca and discussed his new challenge of coaching Virtus Segafredo Bologna, the departure of long-time Spanish National Team leaders, and the trades revolving around Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez.

The Italian basketball specialist talked about accepting the challenge of trying to help Virtus return to the European basketball elite.

"There are not many clubs in Europe that have the potential and the desire to improve, and Virtus is one of those teams. They wanted me to lead this stage of their growth, and it is a challenge and a responsibility, but it is beautiful. Bologna is a city that lives for basketball and wants to grow internationally."

Scariolo then talked about Spain and the differences between coaching their NT and a commercial club, like Virtus.

Credit FIBA

"There are differences between coaching a club and a National Team. With the NT, you are constantly in the playoffs, and with a club, you have a little more time to create the foundations of your game system, but there are also fewer players to choose from."

The long-time Spanish NT coach also discussed the major changes the team is undergoing: "A very interesting and difficult stage of generational change is coming. But on the other hand, it is great for younger players who have the opportunity to vindicate themselves and take a first step towards making the NT."

Coach Scariolo touched on the retirement of the Gasol brothers and Sergio Rodriguez, who announced that they would not wear the Spanish colors at the international stage again.

Credit AP – Scanpix

"They will be missed, especially on a human level. I have learned a lot from them in many ways. And secondly on the court, because they were very high-level players. There are no similar people in those roles of Pau, Marc, or El Chacho.

Some players aspire to gain a foothold but with other qualities. They can take us back to the medals or help us grow gradually. How long will it take? It will depend on many factors, especially on the young players and their ability to take a step forward."

Lastly, the coach discussed the recent team changes Ricky Rubio, and Juancho Hernangomez had to go through in the NBA.

Credit Chine Nouvelle/SIPA

"In the case of Ricky, he has a lot of pride, commitment, and desire to do well with the NT. He is the centerpiece of our system, which he deserves both as a person and as a player. The NBA is a different world with different parameters. I don't want to say it's better or worse, but the NBA has not fully understood Ricky's great quality and great ability. Hopefully, Cleveland will, but it's not up to us."

"As for Juancho, it is a great opportunity for him because, at the moment, there is room in the rotation for a player like him. I think he is a good fit alongside Tatum and Brown. I sincerely believe that it is the opportunity for Juancho to make a big jump and become a permanent rotation player on a high-level team."

Credit Imago – Scanpix

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