– What does the figure of Eduardo Portela mean for Spanish basketball?
– I have never coincided with Eduardo as an executive. Yes, he has been my president when I have played in ACB. I have always had a very close relationship with him. And in recent years, despite the fact that he no longer holds an executive position, he does hold the position of Honorary President of the ACB, but we have talked a lot. We have met many times we called each other. I also have a great relationship with a great myth of Spanish basketball such as his wife, María Planas. People who have been around for so long, who have been through so many things, intelligent people like Eduardo, are always listened to more.
– Another success for Sergio Scariolo with the achievement of the Eurocup.
– I sent him a message last night because it was their day to celebrate. It’s just that it’s very good. Apart from the fact that the club is resurfacing from what it was in a big way, with an important economic investment by the property. But then you have to train it. And when you don’t have a team with so much talent, it’s because you don’t have it, but when you do have it, you have to know how to manage it internally. And Sergio is a teacher for that. I am very happy for the club, because it is a club that I have always admired, and of course for our national coach.
– Next year he will participate in the Euroleague. Will it be an impediment for him to continue being a selector by matching him with the Windows?
– No. Sergio has always been clear, being in the NBA was also clear, that he has a contract with the national team. And more than a contract he has a commitment. When he began negotiations with Virtus they were informed of all the details and we are very calm.
– For the next Window, do you have NBA or Euroleague players who usually can’t go?
– The figure of the sports management, with José Ignacio Hernández, and the incorporation of Carlos Jiménez have gained a very important plus, which we already had but which we have increased. In this change or generational change, in which many were and some are now incorporated, as usual, it does not usually have to take away our pride in the commitment that everyone has. From Usman, that the first thing he says when he returns to Spain is that his only goal now, apart from the NBA obviously, is to be with the National Team. In Windows, in the European, in whatever the selector wants. The most veterans the same. We regularly talk to all of them. And what I always say but it’s true, and the first one who said it I think was Pau. Then the physical circumstances condition, but the mental and heart disposition to be there is always maximum.
– Is it going to be time to think about something for the base position?
– Here we are always thinking, we always have to think about it. The good thing we have, I say it from the heart and I like to say it in this act to a former president of the ACB, is that the Spanish clubs work very well. When it seems that one generation passes, another arrives, when it seems that there are physical problems in a position, someone always comes out. We have a coach who has a capacity for inventiveness almost bordering on art and essay, many times ten. So spinning around, but don’t worry.
– How is it for the president of the FEB to have a team winning the Champions League, your coach winning the Eurocup and two other teams in the Final Four of the Euroleague?
– I put out a lot of chest for myself, for the Federation team, for the Spanish clubs and it is another reason for pride. And it endorses our speech, which can sometimes sound too presumptuous, but it is reality. Spanish basketball is of the highest level in the world. We talk about our second teams in the world only behind the United States, in men’s and women’s. We are talking about two clubs in the Final Four, the Eurocup champion coach, two Champions League finalists. We are talking about a Burgos that this year has a worse time but is a finalist in the Intercontinental. We are talking about coaches all over the world, about referees in the best international competitions. A good friend such as the President of the COE tells me that in terms of the investment/population ratio, Spanish basketball is the best in the world. I like to believe it and I believe it.
– How do you see the Final Four?
– I see it very equal. I see an exciting semifinal between two Spanish teams. The pity is that one is going to miss the final, the good thing is that we guarantee that one will be there. This year the calendar is not that it is overloaded, it is that it has been crazy. Madrid has gone through a brutal time of play, then it had a pothole, now it’s better. It greatly influences how the day before the first game arrives.