DAZN, the leading global sports streaming platform, offers all basketball fans a new installment of The DAZN Boxwhich on this occasion features Edy Tavares, a Real Madrid player. Although he is currently one of the most dominant centers in Europe, his beginnings were not easy at all, as he tells Piti Hurtado: “The boy from Germany who gave me the opportunity brought me nail cholas (flip flops) and they didn’t fit me, half my foot was out. But the only chance he had to play there was putting them. And then I put on some soccer socks that didn’t fit me, because there were some stockings, and when I went up the whole sock, the socks were like they wouldn’t let go down and we had to cut to make everything go up”.
His great opportunity came when representatives of Gran Canaria came to see him in Cape Verde, his native country: “I spent a week with them in Cape Verde. Alejo (Melero), who works in Gran Canaria, had a brother there. They decided to go to Cape Verde, which just at that time had already spoken with them, and they said ‘let’s go on vacation and see this boy’. And that’s where it started, I went to Las Palmas for 3 months, and then forever”.
After standing out in the Canarian team, the NBA knocked on his door, although his time in the North American League was not entirely successful. Until Tavares crossed paths with Real Madrid: “When they knew they were going to cut my contract in Cleveland, there were many clubs in Europe that wanted me to come, but I wasn’t thinking of coming. And then, when Real Madrid appeared, I had to think about it, because before going to the NBA, I was waiting if Madrid would make me an offer to spend another year in Europe. and then go there (NBA). Later, when that opportunity arose, it was amazing. The decision was well taken, I am very happy here and I hope to be a long time”.
His debut campaign at the white club could not have been better, since the white team won the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, something that Tavares remembers with great emotion in The DAZN Box: “I didn’t expect that I was going to get this cup the first year because it has always happened to me that I get things in the third or fourth, I wasn’t going to think that I could get this cup in the first. For me, winning the Euroleague was the best sporting moment of my life.because I remember screaming until I had no more voice to scream.
The figure of LeBron James
His time in the NBA allowed him to meet one of the best players in history, LeBron James, with whom he coincided in the ranks of the Cleveland Cavaliers: “What impressed me the most was LeBron James, the way he works. He has won it all, but he is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. Besides, He is very close, he is a very charismatic and very funny guy. Pbut when the ball is thrown in the air, it’s a different kind of person. It was incredible to see him up close and see how a person who practically has everything, continues to work as if he had nothing”.
love for his country
Tavares is currently installed in the elite of European basketball, but he does not hesitate to wear the jersey of his national team when he is called up to play: “When I was in the NBA, I always thought that I had to stay every summer in order to progress. I wanted to show that I wanted to play, that I wanted to improve and that I wanted to do things well. For this reason, I rejected the selection for many years. I had the opportunity to go last year and it was amazing. We went very far, we went as far as the quarter-finals and we had a chance to go further, but we couldn’t. But just going there, wearing this shirt and seeing that the whole country is behind us and supporting us, it was gratifying. With my country I don’t joke, I love my country. I don’t know how to explain the love I have for my country. Going there (Afrobasket) and defending my country was incredible”.
In relation to his country, the project to help the little ones to develop through sport is one of his priorities: “It’s like a club or a school that I created there, in Cape Verde, and that my uncle and some guys from there are running.. I want the children to want to demonstrate or have a future. Not only that they play basketball, but with sports, they can be competitive with other things, such as studies or even work. That is what we want to convey to them with sport and with the school that we have there”.
His son, his greatest passion
Off the pitch, Tavares reveals his great passion, his son: “My son is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Because every day that passes, I enjoy it more. She never expected that she would have such a different feeling about something so small. I thank my wife for giving me that gift, it is unrepeatable. So, for me, it is something that cannot be explained. I just try to enjoy every day, I try to get home as soon as possible to be with him. We travel so much that every time I come here I feel like a different child. So, it is something incredible and that I enjoy every day”.