At the Festival applause to two basketball players who have written glorious pages for Argentina and Croatia. Between anecdotal memories and parallel lives
Dino Radja and Luis Scola, the heroes of the three worlds. “I started 2 weeks ago – says Scola -. It’s strange for me not to play anymore after 26 years, but I really like this new job in Varese. Because basketball is my life. The Olympics? We didn’t play well,” we wouldn’t have deserved a medal. But the last match was exciting for me. ” With opponents and all those who were at the Saitama Arena all standing to applaud the Argentine champion in the last game.
The ball passes to Radja. “The medal with Croatia (silver in Barcelona 1992, ed) was a moment of war, it was not just a basketball game, but we also went on the pitch to be recognized as a new reality as a country”. That final against the “true and only dream team in basketball history. We played against the legends. But there for the first time we played against them and we could face them. Really understand how far we were”. The mind goes to another Olympic final that of Athens 2004: Italy-Argentina. “I felt very tired before that match, I said I can’t get so tired in the most important match, then I did two things well. The team found confidence and we went to win gold, against Italy.”
Radja again: “For me Italy was very important. I arrived in Italy, in Rome, I was a 23-year-old child. It took me a lot to grow as a man. For the money, the matches, the fact of being a foreigner , few training sessions. And that experience was fundamental to do well in the NBA. ” Luis Scola also tells of the encounter with Italy, called to Milan by Ettore Messina. “And that call changed my life a little, because then I stayed, also because of the pandemic, the call from Varese … And who knows how many more years”.
The strongest player of my generation? Radja is in trouble. “It is difficult to choose between Drazen Petrovic and Toni Kukoc, perhaps he was a more complete player”. The question puts Luis Scola in less difficulty: “Easier for me, Manu Ginobili. The toughest opponent? Maybe Paul Gasol.”
October 10 – 00:37
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED