Ibon Navarro, a week after the end of the season, after the defeat in the semifinal play-off against Barça, went through the microphones of Cope Málaga to talk about everything he experienced in the season that recently ended, in which hehe team won the Copa del Rey, was third in the Endesa League and fourth in the Basketball Champions League. The Basque coach reviewed various issues related to the green and purple team.
Barça, League champion on the fast track, surprise?
It hasn’t surprised me. Barça has arrived very well, we saw it in the semifinals. They have shown that they arrived better than the rest at the final moment.
It has been a very long season. We all remember Badalona, but on a daily basis it has been very satisfying and pleasant. It is very easy to work with this team. It is a group that has adapted very well to everything. The most complete game of the season for me is the first of the playoffs in Tenerife. We always had the feeling that we were close to them. We lost in the league in La Laguna, with a day of bad percentages, some injuries and we came out thinking we could. We prepared things and they went well. Sometimes everything is trial and error. And it worked.
It would be very ostentatious to say that everything is my doing, but it is not true. We have people who help us. I really believe in sports psychologists. They tried to help us so that the mood in the Final Four would not weigh on us, but they were not allowed to have our plan because we had to meet schedules, go to a concentration hotel… The best thing about the Copa del Rey was not seeing each other for a few days. Even sacrificing two-three games at the cost of later recovering sensations as a collective. Last summer we did a great job of getting to know the players on their personal side and it is not usual to get so much right.
We have a lot of room for improvement. We have to have more records, do more things. In defense we can do other things and in attack the philosophy is to run because the team is formed to play in the open field. The base is very clear and you have to make the pyramid grow. It is important to maintain the hunger and ambition of the club.
Renewals: 13 of 13?
It is very difficult. It will be a challenge for me if they all stay. The greatest enemy of any organization is routine, boredom. We have worked very well on a human level because we have taken special care of this. We have done many activities parallel to training, especially at the end, so that the players have a good time. We have done less than we wanted. There are many beautiful places in Malaga that we can visit next season. The more you know the site you are on, the better. Links are created and that is something I believe in. We can find players in the market that give us other things, but do we need them? The important thing is to improve and the best that all the players continue is what improves us.
I don’t know if it will continue. In the market It is difficult to look for a player with leadership, but secondary in minutes, who can help you in the low post, who can play 8 minutes one day and many more or even less another, who always performs… Find one better than this. I would like it to continue.
It hasn’t surprised me. He had personal references about him, they were just what we found. He is a charismatic player, a leader. He is an American player, but with a European mentality. She has been in Europe for a long time, he knows what to do. She does not have that desire of the Americans to do their numbers. He gets involved.
I’m going to EuroDisney for a few days with the kid.
Favorite landscape of Malaga
There are times when you think a lot about a lot of things. I’m going to walk on the beach, that clears me up and helps me prepare for the games. It is a landscape that I need at a functional level, at work. It suits me very well.
He has seen how successful his team is seeing that he has a different role than he showed before. Not secondary, but different. He is very thoughtful. He is a perfect player for this role that he has in the Spanish team or in the current Unicaja.
He is a player who has always been there whenever we have needed him. And that is very important. Sometimes it was necessary to explain to him why he didn’t play so much, especially at the beginning. It’s very important.
He had a very bad time last season with the team. He has suffered a lot for the team and this year I have seen him smile many times. We have missed him in the playoffs because the pain did not allow him to do what he wanted to do.
The third best Unicaja in all history
We cannot think of tangible goals. The goal must be to grow, follow our path and preserve the synergy with the fans…
club organization chart
Everyone talks about Ibon’s plan and how Juanma and I set up the team, but Little is said about how the club has opened up to the province thanks to the ideas brought by López Nieto. There are many children in the Carpena. It has much merit the president who has turned Unicaja into a close club. This has helped a lot to relativize the results. From before to now it is as big a change as the strictly sports one.
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