© photo by SAVINO PAOLELLA
One has to wonder why Hector Messina in November he had made the hasty choice to sign Luwawu-Cabarrot to remedy the injuries of Baron and Shields. And know who provides him with player scouting. Faced with the need to replace two strikers, one with the characteristic of performing better on discharges and the other of knowing how to build the shot on his own when necessary, a good player was chosen who can count on Shields in the defensive phase as a characteristic. Let’s not be distracted by the 16 points scored against Asvel and Alba Berlin, the two worst teams in the 2022-23 EuroLeague.
Luwawu-Cabarrot never had leader status either in 20 years in Antibes and Megaleks, or in the several NBA years in which he traveled with averages of 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists in 16, 0″ average in 690 games played. It was unthinkable that it could make a difference thrown into the objective difficulties of an Olimpia where the main problem was already evident in the lack of a strong play-pivot axis. We like hearing coaches who speak to the heart of the players, who encourage them to give everything, who gloss over the technical errors of the game they propose and which, thank goodness, the audience of the highlights and the easy dunk tends not to understand and/or not to consider interesting. games are won or lost.
Among other things, Luwawu-Cabarrot had to play out of position going from 0.7 turnovers in the NBA to 2.1 in the Euroleague. He’s growing along with the setting with the team and the brick of him is eventually carrying him. But the problem remained unsolved because the problem wasn’t there. It was enough for TJ Parker to change the marking on Brandon Davies in the last quarter to deflate EA7. He had already managed to muzzle Billy Baron, the rest was done by the inability to serve the American with a well done block and pass.
Then in December the Facundo Campazzo case arrived. With Pangos injured, the press threw everything, us included, to see the right opportunity for Milan to seize instantly without even looking at scouting. Because in hindsight it’s easy to say that the last three defeats with the Argentine playmaker (Asvel, Zalgiris, Alba) could have been avoided but he is already a leading player in Real Madrid and skilled in serving his teammates or creating a shot even in the NBA where only the aspect of physical size has betrayed him.
Messina said he deliberately stayed out of a possible negotiation. After receiving (according to hypothetical estimates circulating) 40 million to make this team, did he not want to ask Giorgio Armani for an extra budget or is the money really over? Or does Campazzo and his effervescence not like the coach’s idea of basketball? What technical area within the Messina club did you deal with before making your choices? Certainly not with Stavropoluos, forced into the role of yes-man by the dual position of the coach who is also a senior manager. Or of a property that is absent from a technical (and there could be) and decision-making point of view.CopyAMP code.
Perhaps here is Armani’s real problem: the structure with a single man in command in basketball has proven not to work. And that the roles like Gianmarco Pozzecco first and Peppe Poeta then are useless. And that a very valid game idea and an indisputable experience like they can do well can touch unthinkable abyss of bad bad in the summer. Many innovations have arrived from the NBA inside Olimpia, and those who have visited the current structure have been amazed but they are the technical ones. The top of the organization is always structured in the Italian way including the encirclement syndrome, a favorite of Serie A executives not only in Milan. At the Warriors, the Kerr-Myers-Lacob triad made basketball history with its interpreters, including extroverts like Draymond Green, the history of the Spurs itself tells of managements involved and not just Popovich. Once again the details make the difference between winning and convincing.