Laprovittola: "I feel that arriving at Barça is a step forward"

Barça is Nicolás Laprovittola’s tenth professional team (Argentina, 1990) in a career that has taken him to South America, Europe and the NBA. There are already many clubs and seasons behind him, but the base has the illusion intact to continue at the highest level. Hand in hand with Jasikevicius, he hopes to help Barça continue to be successful.

How have your first weeks in Barcelona been?

After a busy summer with the Olympics and many trips, arriving at Barça was what I wanted. I am very happy to be here, to compete in a team that aspires to everything, that wants to be champion of everything. You have to start building. These first weeks were to start adjusting to the team, meeting people, staff, the physios and my companions. Start connecting with all of them.

How about at the Games?

The experience of some Games is always brutal, it is something that marks you as a player. Sportingly, we did not do well, we did not play well at all, we are all self-critical with our performance. But we must learn from it, we have missed an opportunity and an important tournament. It was like that and we all wanted to change the way we play in Tokyo. It’s a matter of staying committed, wanting to play together. I have no doubts about that, we carry it inside.

After the first preseason games, how do you see the team?

We are starting and we have to build, but the important players are staying, there is a base. It is also the second year of Saras, so it is very important that we continue with that idea. The four reinforcements have to join the machine, we have to help the whole team keep rolling. It is a very long season, a path that will have difficulties but we aspire to everything and we want to win everything.

Last year, only the Euroleague was missing …

And it was only one game that separated them from the title. The mentality is that, the head is on the Euroleague. Obviously you have to win everything, Super Cup, Cup and League, but without a doubt that the thorn is the Euroleague.

With Real Madrid as a great rival …

Without a doubt, they have also been reinforced in a very good way. They are a team that has the same goals as us. We will meet many times during the year. They are fun games to watch, which are very much enjoyed.

How was your departure from Real Madrid?

When the opportunity to come to Barça arose I did not hesitate at any time. It felt like it was the place where I wanted to be. I wanted to continue at the highest level in a team that fights for everything and also in Barcelona. For me and my family it is a city in which we are very comfortable. There is not much more history.

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Nobody from Madrid tried to dissuade you from coming to Barça?

No, nobody. And if someone had wanted to convince me, I would not have succeeded. It was already known that it was going to come out. It didn’t surprise me at all.

Is arriving at Barça taking a step forward in your career?

I think so. The idea was to continue growing, to continue being at this level, in teams that fight for everything. I feel that it is a step and that I still have things to do. I want to be at this level for many years.

Is it the best squad you’ve ever been on?

I don’t know, I played in many places. There is a lot of versatility, a lot of options … It is one of the most talented squads I have come across. I hope I can enjoy that a lot throughout the year. That we win a lot of games and have a good time.

What role do you hope to have on the team?

It is not what I expect, but the role that Saras See what I can give to the team. He has known me for several years. We have been fighting since I arrived in Lithuania. I have no doubt that you will know how to use me. I have to know how to understand myself with him, as with Calathes and Jokubaitis. The base position is very important in this team and you have to make the rest of the team feel comfortable, play well and have dynamics. I am prepared for what I touch.

The competition will be very high.

Nick (Calathes) is the one who controls the rhythm of the team, the one who made Barça play very well all last year. I come to help, to join their game, I have different characteristics and that can be complementary. Like Rokas (Jokubaitis) with the two of us. Beyond the competition, which will undoubtedly be and will be healthy, we are all on the same side. Ideally, we would complement the three of us and have a very solid base position.

Can you play together?

It can also be an option. The team is very versatile, it will have many variants. He can play with an open four, with two fours, with two bases, with tall players… I think that makes the squad even more complete, that we are more dangerous. It depends on the rivals, on the moments of the year and each one will have their moment. We will have to be prepared to enter and contribute.

Are you worried about Jasikevicius’ defensive demand?

At this level you cannot give anything away. And beyond the requirement that Saras set the level, it is imposed on you by the rival. You have to be physically well to hold out against any opponent. He is going to demand of me the same as any other. If I’m on this team it’s because I can do it.

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