Luis Scola left his playing career behind. Did he leave her behind? He never made an official announcement, did not post a farewell on networks or anything like that. It is not surprising: it is an outstanding characteristic of the former captain of the National Team not to make great fuss in any situation, no matter how extraordinary. He barely left a publication when confirming, yes, his retirement from the Argentine National Team after the Tokyo Olympics. But yes took the next step of his life by being introduced as CEO (or executive director) of the Varese of Italy, last club you played for.
The rhetorical question in the first line, of course, has to do with something said by himself. Luifa near the end of his first executive press conference.
Scola allowed himself to joke with one of his last answers: “I have not stopped playing, I am going to continue playing for the team this year, what is the announcement that …? No, no,” he clarified, laughing. brighten the days: I will play with my children, with the youth, even with the first team if there is a problem with a player who cannot be there. I can’t play it at the level of professionalism I used to, but I like it and I’m going to stay in shape because I like it too. “
Beyond the joke, the former power forward was clear. “I’m a player of basketball, it’s my passion. But it was not so difficult to stop doing it, it was natural -he explained to Italian journalists-. I like to play, the matches are beautiful, when you play well and win it is nice, but day by day it had become a bit difficult for me. My body doesn’t react the same way, and I have to do so many things to play at the level that I want that to become something that I don’t enjoy so much. So it was natural and I feel calm not to play anymore. The part of the games and the competition no, but the week, the training sessions became difficult. “
The important thing, anyway, was the presentation in this, the role it will play in the coming years. Luis and the staff of the Pallacanestro Varese appeared before the media in Villa Calmia, an exclusive venue for events in Galliato Lombardo, a charming place less than 15 minutes from the center of Varese and in front of the lake that bears the name of the city.
Scola, between President Marco Vitorelli (on his left) and Italian legend Toto Bulgheroni. Photo Press Varese
A five-year period. That is Scola’s initial plan for the project he intends to spearhead. The reason? “In less time I think it cannot be done; the first results will be seen from the third fourth year“He explained. And he assured that in the first year he will not make changes because the manager (Andrea Conti) had already done the work for this season, even choosing a coach.” Then we will see little by little what to tweak and improve over time, “he explained in his already fully fluent Italian (he has lived in this country since the end of 2019).
Scola took up the challenge with enthusiasm, knowing that his situation changed diametrically as soon as he crossed from the “playerist” path to the leadership. “A friend called me and told me that yesterday I was the oldest in my job and today I’m the youngest in the new“, reasoned before adding:” I want to give back to the executive position a maxim that I have always maintained as a player: to learn something every day.
And he exemplified it with something that he experienced in his farewell: “Before the last game of the Olympic Games, my trainer Sergio Hernandez, perhaps the most important of my career, he put me through a 15-minute fundamentals session. Until the last day there is something to learn, improve, correct. On the court I had a lot of experience, but here I am making my debut. “
Scola in action during the last Olympic Games. Photo Aris MESSINIS / AFP
In addition to not ruling out entering the team’s company as a shareholder (so far he has not done so despite having talked at length with the leaders about it), Scola made it clear where he will aim in his management, and it is not surprising because he always NBA it was a lighthouse for him.
“It is inevitable to look at it; everyone’s basketball should do it,” he said, not forgetting that Olimpia Milano, a neighboring club where he also played, will be another reference.
Scola highlighted three mainstays to which he intends to pay special attention in his management: “The marketing, what in USA It is of enormous importance although here, logically it is reduced by the size of the market; the analysis of data, not only on the field but in everything that revolves around the club, because everything is measurable and evaluable in detail; and then him youth development which, however, is something more European and where we will have to be good to get the most out of it. “