When I came back home, I was happy because I could watch the second half of the French Classic Elan Béarnais Pau-Orthez against ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne. But when I turned on the TV and saw the score, I could not really believe what I saw. Pau was trailing something like 25-52 in the third quarter at home.
Pau-Orthez was several years ago a multiple French champion and regular Euroleague team. The team featured some players like Antoine Rigaudeau, Boris Diaw or Mickael Pietrus but also some fantastic US-born players like Conrad McRae (RIP), Lawrence Funderburke or Marcus Brown and of course the Romanian giant Gheorghe Muresan. After having won their last French championship in 2004 and after an unsuccessful period with the former player Didier Gadou as head coach, the French team signed Gordon Herbert as coach in 2006.
But last year was then the first time for several seasons that Elan Béarnais did not qualify for the Playoffs. And this fact brought Gordon Herbert up to do an already famous press conference which cost him his job. He never managed to bring some chemistry in the team and discredited publicly “some persons” that did not let him do his job. Here is the extract of this press conference, unfortunately there is a French translation on it but you can understand what he is talking about.
And now, this year should be a new beginning with the signing of some French young players and a new young coach. But the season started not as expected and Pau was 1-3 before today’s game against former archrival ASVEL. And the game ended in a disaster (60-104). It looked like the worst defeat in the history of the “Palais des Sports” and I can imagine that the boss, Pierre Seillant, will have to do some changes in the team if he wants to become a contender again.