Scariolo: "Ibaka has been a big surprise: it's more mature"

The coach, assistant to Nick Nurse at the Raptors, spoke with Ace, Giants and Solobasket the day before the second game of the final against the Warriors.


Did you imagine last summer, when you accepted the offer of the Raptors, to be here and now competing for everything?

I can not say so clear. Obviously one comes with hope and with enthusiasm and of course, when you start and you see that your team is good and does it well ... then you start to set higher goals. It is one thing to think and another to dream. For us, it would have been a great regular season reaching the conference final. At that point we would have been satisfied. To reach the series against Milwaukee without favoritism, without court advantage, that was the goal achieved. Playing as we did, after a bad start, was very good. And this, now, is a wonder. We try to isolate ourselves from what surrounds us, from the city and the environment and we focus on the task we have on the court, which is what matters.

At the beginning of the year there were many new and inexperienced faces in the Raptors, both in the technical equipment as in the locker room. And then Kawhi arrives, how do you face that scenario in the Raptors?

With Kawhi we started working almost from the beginning. It has been an apprenticeship on the fly. After a year of inactivity we did not know what Kawhi we were going to find and we had to spin very fine in the management of the loads, either at the technical level and at the level of matches. It was a very difficult job when it came to making the team get used to Kawhi, he and his teammates and the team arrived in good condition at the end of the season. We are happy with how everything went and very happy about how we have been training the technical staff. Nick is a coach who delegates a lot of responsibility, especially to the front row assistants. I am very comfortable and personally I am very happy and wanting to keep doing things and, winning, why not.

How do you think the arrival of Marc Gasol has influenced the squad in the middle of the season?

Muchísimo, no doubt . Far beyond numbers and what the public can think. It has been to put within the team a player with mentality and winning experience. Someone who knows how to behave within the team and who puts the result before personal statistics. Secondly, we have defensively won a player with physical ability and presence, but also very good tactically. And third, because in attack we have a relief valve to support the ball and from which to generate the game, especially when the opponent's defense fits a lot on Kawhi. Marc is a player who creates many spaces, attracting his defense, whoever he is. It has been a brutal growth.

A you, in February, you ask before the transfer is made official what he thought of the transfer of Marc? Masai Ujiri or someone from the executive spoke with you before it became official?

Y much earlier, during. With Marc. Obviously, all resources must be made available. In the NBA it is clear that everything has to serve and contribute and add. That was a moment in which I obviously had to leave out the emotional aspect, the affection or the pleasure of being able to have him here with more continuity, because that was not the point of the question, the question was whether he believed that in the hypotheses of transfers could be useful in the team. I believed it, but the final decision was Masai, Bobby and Nick Nurse. You get to a point where what you tell them are the pros and cons and whether you would do it or not, as in any kind of decision as assistant coach. You give the options, but then the final decision is from another person, and I think they have been successful.

Marc has explained that having Serge in the locker room has helped him a lot, to acclimatize, and for the language. Among them they speak Castilian. How do you see Serge in that aspect to team up?

Serge has been a very pleasant surprise this year, because I have found him matured, I have found him more and more carefree of his performance and more concerned to help the team win, including vocally present and with points of leadership that knew him less. I had not trained him for six years, obviously talking to him, but not dealing directly with him. I've seen him quite mature, the change of role has come very well. He has had the best season of his career, and it has to do with his growth, the work he did in the summer with Hugo López, his persistence and ability to take hours ... and play in a role where he is more comfortable and has more players able to attract pressure on themselves. Serge has been able to focus on other facets and has been very important in many games.

Between what he says about Ibaka and that Pau is sure low, can the way of raising the list for the World Cup change anything?

No realmenand. You have to analyze things with different eyes and with the selector cap. Think about what the team needs most from the technical point of view and what each one can offer. Until the players do not stop competing you can not know what is going to happen. You can make hypotheses, in fact there are different scenarios. But you can only make decisions when all players are healthy, have finished the season and have confirmed their availability. It is also a decision of the Federation. You have to take into account the players who can enter and leave depending on others and think that the National Team does not end in 2019.

Ha trained in many places. An environment like the one that is lived in Toronto, had you ever seen it?

In such a big city and being so deep in our caves, you live it more because of the images they send you. When we won to Milwaukee I experienced it more like a semifinal, but here it was like a final. For the celebration on the court, then on the streets ... The next day I did have to go buy some things and I realized that everyone was wearing our shirts. We live it relatively because otherwise we would go crazy, but we do perceive it. And in the pavilion there is a tremendous atmosphere. The other day was the first time they played the two hymns and it was exciting to see how 20,000 people sang it. Something that in Spain unfortunately can not happen. And I am so sorry for my players ...

How has it been to reconcile your position in Toronto with the FIBA Windows?

Las Ventanas have been the least of it, it has been traveling. The important thing is the day to day. Now I stop talking to you and I call Javi Zamora to tell me about the U-18. I talked last night with Joaquín Prado of the U-20. Every day there is something to do, but if you like your work and you have availability to give them hours you can do.

What would be for you to win the ring and the World Cup?

(Touch the pavilion's scoreboard). I do not want to answer it. (And smile) .



Photos from as.com

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