From a hopeful summer to a harsh winter. Armani Milan has gone from being one of the main candidates to win the Euroleague to staying, except for a miracle, out of the quarterfinals in just four months. In that span, the Italian team has only won six of the 20 games played with a worrying balance in the Mediolanum Forum of 2-8 that places him in the last position of the maximum continental competition tied with Alba Berlin, five victories from the Top-8 and seven from the lead.
The drama does not end there. The Italians have lost five games by 16 or more points and have now accumulated four consecutive defeats: they have not yet won in this 2023. In November, they did not carry out any of their five meetings either and They linked a ten-game losing streak between October 20 and December 13.
An unimaginable scenario by budget, 30 million (only below Madrid and Barça) and by the quantity (8) and the quality of its summer reinforcements: Billy Baron, Brandon Davies, Naz Mitrou-Long, Stefano Tonut, Kevin Pangos, DeShaun Thomas, Johannes Voigtmann, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The arrival of Kemba Walker was even confirmed, although finally everything collapsed like a house of cards. A squad that is the envy of half of Europe.
But that he has not given the expected performance (the injuries to Pangos and Shields did not help either) and that has led Ettore Messina to throw in the towel in the Euroleague: “We’re done. Now it is very difficult to try to change this situation, we must be honest and admit it”, he acknowledged after the tough defeat against Asvel Villeurbanne (73-79) on January 20. A few words that put a bracket on a project that the Italian coach has led since 2019 and that seemed to settle among the elite with the qualification for the Final Four in 2021, 29 years after the last one in Istanbul in 1992.
It still does not seem to be the time for one of the Italian giants who, since that final phase in Turkey, went into a tailspin: to accumulate 24 league championships in the previous 57 years to only 5 in the subsequent 31; from 7 titles in the Old Continent to only one. Messina and Giorgio Armani have work to do.