Facundo Campazzo: “To be an NBA player, I need my best version” | Interview with the leader of the Argentinian basketball team

Facundo Campazzo is authentic. As demanding as it is realistic. For this reason, while he spends his days in Córdoba, sharing training and a social life with his family and friends, he is not at the extreme when he has to analyze his second season in the NBA in conversation. with page 12. He criticizes himself and avoids apologizing for a second part that found him without the expected level or with the minutes he intended. But, at the same time, while he escapes victimization, he understands the decisions of the Nuggets coach and assures that all has not been black in recent months. “Maybe from the outside it can be seen as a not so good season, as a difficult situation, but I lived it naturally.. Wanting to play, trying to be part of everyday life, part of the team rotation, because that’s what every player wants, but without seeing everything bad or being sad. I tried to focus on what was within my reach: being physically fit, trained, confident and prepared in case I had to play again. So everything was more bearable,” was his first response.

-The NBA is hard, even cruel, not playing is courageous, a thousand things must go through your mind. How did it go for you internally? Did you hesitate at any time?

-In a long season, there are ups and downs, but in difficult times, I tried to find a way around it, trying to carry on, trying my best in case the opportunity arises would present. But it wasn’t that I was sad or angry. I wanted to play and when we lost I was frustrated that I couldn’t help and when we won I wanted to be a part of it. But it’s not that it was difficult either because the environment influences and within the team, even with the coach, who always spoke to me and told me to be ready, I had a good time.

Campazzo had good and bad times in his second season. (AFP)

-You understood not to play, the “there is no place for you, there are others better”? Or internally you said “in this team I should play”

– Of course, I put myself in the trainer’s shoes. And if it had been him, he would also have looked for variants so that the second unit would be more offensive and more fluid. He had to look for options and the one he found worked for him, the team was more dynamic and didn’t have as many ups and downs. And he started winning. And the team is always on top of everything and I had to adapt to this situation. I never took it personally, that would have been a sin on my part.

-Have you done a self-criticism of your season?

-Sure. The first thing I did was self-criticism. I had opportunities, sometimes I took advantage of them, especially in the first part of the season, when I was able to provide solutions and help the team, and then I didn’t… That’s when I put myself in the coach’s shoes and understood him perfectly. . If the alternative he found worked for him, why would I deserve to play more than the others? Also, when I took that step towards the NBA, it was clear to me that this could happen, that my role was not going to be great. In fact, if the team hadn’t had so many injuries, they probably wouldn’t have played so much in the first season. It was a surprise. Well, now I have this. For better or for worse, the NBA is like that and you have to adapt.


– Where did your self-criticism go?

-In my career, I always had to have the ball in hand, make decisions and make mistakes. My challenge in the NBA was to be able to do it without the ball, to make fewer mistakes, to be more efficient. Sometimes I could and sometimes I couldn’t. In the NBA the difficulty increases, it’s not easy to do well all the time.

-You have generally been very pampered by people and fans. How did you take the criticism? Especially the most lapidary ones that you can’t play in the NBA or some who nicknamed you Rotundo Fracazzo.

-There have always been criticisms, but I try to read little, close myself in my circle, with my family and my friends, and spend my energy on what I know how to do: train and improve myself , be part of the team and fight for a place . I believe that both good and bad reviews, when excessive, are bad for the athletes who consume them. I am on the networks and I have seen them, but I work so that they do not influence me or penetrate me to some extent. You have to live with that, knowing that they cannot be changed and that in many cases they come from anonymous people who do it without their real name, behind a hiding place, to annoy.


-On July 1, the opening date of free agency, if a team comes to get you, what does it have to say to convince or seduce you? What role would you accept to go in a certain team?

-It’s difficult for a team to come and tell me in detail what it can bring me, because the NBA season is very changing, very day-to-day. I don’t know what they can tell me, I’m clearer on what a team won’t come and tell me… They won’t come and tell me that they want me to start or to be second. most bench makers, that this second unit is going to be based on me… I don’t expect anything like that. I think wherever I go I will continue to have to earn a place throughout the season. That’s what I hope. I don’t have the attitude to ask for minutes or a role, saying that I don’t accept “less than that”, for example. I will have to win everything. But I don’t mind. That’s why I’m going to keep trying.

-It’s clear that you want to continue in the NBA, that’s your goal. But do you have the feeling of being an NBA player, of belonging to this elite?

-I think being an NBA player or not will depend on building my best version and whether it’s worth a try. I feel like in those two seasons, there were times that I helped, that I was, even being a playoff starter, and other times that I didn’t. didn’t do. I stay with the first feeling and let myself be carried away by it to keep trying to be there.

-What do you need to improve to win this place? What have you been working on these weeks with Mariano Sánchez -DT individual development- and Dave Love -American coach, shooting specialist-?

-I was working on the offensive part, trying things that I couldn’t work on during the season. With Dave Love, it was the details to make every shooting practice good. Looking to add time, hours, be consistent in this to keep improving the launch. With Mariano, the same, trying to touch things that I don’t train, adding tools, to solve different game and attack situations more naturally. Also all this helps me to stay in shape. I’ve never had such a long vacation and I want to be the best I can be.

-The national team arrives from the end of June, with the windows, then the Americaup. Does it give you the illusion of playing again and, by the way, of being the Facu of 2019 again? Maybe it can be used for that too.

-I’m not going to go to the national team to look for something individual, to look for minutes, to be the one before or to add confidence. I don’t expect that from the national team. I intend that at this point we are all available to play and win the games. With that mentality, I go, with no personal issues in between. If I want to gain confidence, this would not be the right path. At this moment, without Luis (Scola) or Sergio (Hernández), we need everyone’s commitment to continue implementing what we have been working on, in search of an identity. It motivates me to go there, also being with teammates and a new coach. We want to keep building. And, in addition, thinking of Tokyo, where we did not play as we hoped, rediscovering what was ours.

-Finally, I’m asking you about Luka Doncic, your former partner at Real who no longer dominates the regular phase but also the playoffs and even in Game 7. do the same??

-Nobody has a crystal ball, to know what he could do, because it’s very difficult, but at 15, 16 or 17 years old, we saw him as someone very special… Because to do what he did at a club like this, in Europe, a player normally takes years and he did it when he was very young. At 15 we already saw confidence, relaxation, unconsciousness. It’s clear that he had an incredible talent, we saw it, we noticed that he was someone super special, especially when he became the owner of the Madrid team. We noticed that his ceiling was very high but now I see it and I think that he has not yet reached his ceiling, that he can go further, because to what he is we must add that he is a team player, that he does his teammates better, that he wants to win titles and that he will do whatever it takes to achieve that. Today we see him managing all situations and it had a bit to do with the role models he had at Real, like Felipe Reyes, Sergio Llull, Rudy Fernández or Chapu (Nocioni) himself. We were all marked.


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