Former French national team point guard Laurent Sciarra, who would surely be a permanent member of a hypothetical European All-Interview team, has hit big once again in a recent interview he gave the French newspaper Libération. You can read the full interview here, but we’ve translated the most interesting parts into English for you, as there are several quotes that will wake up the French basketball scene. (Thanks to our friends at BasketSession for bringing this story to our attention.)
After starting to trash the NBA and its individualistic play compared to the Euroleague and the explication of the good performances of Greek basketball by their non-presence in the NBA, Sciarra comes to always very hot topic in France, the national team and its players:
The French National team needs a coach.
The interviewer tells him that Vincent Collet was recently selected as National Team coach.
That’s what I mean: They need a coach. Somebody with a precise project. Somebody who asks himself the following question: Is it normal to ask players that barely play in the NBA, that are getting paid USD 1 million per year to watch their colleagues playing while sitting on the bench? And additionally, these players refuse to come to play with the National Team to stay with their NBA franchises over the summer. This kills me. At the beginning of this decade, if a Digbeu or Sciarra did not join the National team to play a vague Summer League in the United States, they would have been banned from the National Team forever by the Federation. But that would not have happened because we were proud to play for the National team.
What about Tony Parker?
Superb player. The best I have played with during my career just behind Yann Bonato. But what? He selects the National team coach, he selects the players, he decides how the National team plays…. (ironically) It is pretty close that he even negotiates the TV rights with French TV. That’s a lot!
Why do basketball careers last that long?
To f**k the young players. Every game, every practice, show that you are there. To coach would be a lot more relaxing, so what. I have to be ready. I don’t want to end like all these guys that stop their career and start as a coach immediately. They are still players at heart and suffer when they cannot play anymore. The player that I still am needs to die in order for me to pass onto the other side of the line and start coaching.