Shot in the foot

Pablo Laso was sent off for a technical double in the match against Anadolu Efes. The Vitorian will not be against Olympiacos, a key duel for Madrid.


The recent glorious stage of Real Madrid, with 20 titles in nearly ten years, bears the stamp of Pablo Laso, who has managed to print a colorful basketball and an unmistakable competitive spirit. Laso has transmitted his strong character to an indomitable team, which has overcome numerous adversities. That character has also given for viral memes and videos for his famous lasinas in the dead times, some fights that define his ambition and his demands. But the temperament that other times has served as a shock, betrayed him on Tuesday in the Euroleague against Efes. His protests for two arbitration decisions against Rudy and Thompkins, with the consequent expulsion for two accumulated techniques, have been a shot in the foot of Laso himself and Madrid, which already had irreparable consequences against the Turkish opponent and may have them tomorrow in the vital duel against Olympiacos. When Laso left the field, Madrid was five points behind, in a comeback, but broke down with his departure. "It gave us an advantage," admitted Ergin Ataman, the rival coach.

Another effect has been the sanction that will prevent him from directing the penultimate match of the regular phase. It is possible that Laso is right in some of his protests, which can be extended to the season, but his experience should make him gauge whether it is worth adding his absence to the innumerable inclement events suffered this season. For a team like Madrid, with its budget and its history, not making the quarterfinal playoff is a painful defeat. Ask Barça. All is not lost, of course. Laso's work is supported on a day-to-day basis. And Chus Mateo is also a guarantee technician. But his loss is one more obstacle, in this case unnecessary, on a path strewn with brambles, which to top it all could add another thorn: the injury of his star Edy Tavares.

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