Scariolo's flower

The coach led the Raptors on Friday thanks to a curious carom. Nurse and five other members of the coaching staff were sidelined by the anti-COVID protocol.


On the night of June 24, 1984, after the National Team eliminated Denmark on penalties in the semifinals of the European Football Championship, Pablo Porta, then president of the Spanish Federation, uncorked a bottle of champagne and said this phrase about him coach: "Miguel Muñoz has a flower on his ass." A Spanish expression that means “to be lucky”, although Muñoz should have something more than luck when his record includes, among many other titles, two European Cups as coach of Real Madrid. In basketball there is another coach with a flower: Sergio Scariolo. But, like his football counterpart, he has also had to water and fertilize it. On Friday he led his first NBA game as head coach of the Toronto Raptors, with a victory over the Houston Rockets (122-111), thanks to a curious carom. Let's remember: the incumbent, Nick Nurse, and five other members of the coaching staff were sidelined by the league's anti-COVID protocol. Paradoxically, Scariolo was not among them because of another similar sanitary rule. Luck

The Brescia coach had to spend a few days in quarantine when he returned to the United States, after directing Spain in Poland at the FIBA Windows, where, by the way, he celebrated his 150th match (and also the 151st) as coach. The Italian combines the two responsibilities. With professionalism, pride and modesty. Nor have his rings fallen for leading a National Team that is more C than B by names, nor to act as an assistant in the NBA, although a world title, among other golds, shines on his record. "If you put your ego in a corner, you can do it quite naturally," Scariolo says of his role with the Raptors. The Italian thus waters his flower, with love for basketball, in the NBA universe or on any court in Europe, have Lowry or Brizuela at his command.

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