The Unicaja point guard and international with Spain, Alberto Diazpassed this week on Tirando a Fallar, the basketball-themed program of esRadio. In an extensive interview, the man from Malaga reviewed many key moments of his career as well as his current personal situation, after the popularity boom which he had after being a key player in Spain’s gold in the 2022 Eurobasket.
“I always had the dream of playing basketball. I was a very bad loser… and I still am. But I have always fought at every moment and I have given everything. Although things may turn out better or worse for me, but I cannot be calm without giving it my all. everything”, explained the Andalusian about a particular style of play that, over the years, has made him be considered one of the best Spanish point guards. “I take my problems home, I don’t sleep when I lose. I think about it a lot despite giving it my all and knowing that we have to live with error and success.but I get involved in certain things that I shouldn’t and even more so with a calendar like this”, he continued about his way of being when it comes to losing. Not in vain, the man from Malaga admitted that he suffers “much more with the defeat than I enjoy with the victory” and acknowledged that he is working on “changing that mentality, but it is not easy.
Alberto Díaz, during the interview in ‘Tirando a Fallar’
Despite already having a lot of experience in the Endesa League, Díaz’s great leap to fame occurred a year ago, when he entered Sergio Scariolo’s list for Eurobasket due to Sergio Llull’s injury and ended up being capital for the victory. Spanish. “It was such a special moment, so beautiful how everything happened, which has been a personal and sporting before and after.“, he valued. Such was the explosion around him that, in fact, it took him a month and a half to be able to reunite with his lifelong friends. “We came from Eurobasket, we had to qualify with Unicaja for the BCL, do interviews, commitments, rest… I ended up tired of the spotlight and the media and I was not able to meet up with my friends to enjoy myself for a long time,” he recalled. In fact, It was not obvious that he had been close to mentally collapsing.. “Yes, I would say yes. It has been complicated to manage everything. I am in my city, we all know each other here, I am the captain and I understand what it is to be in the media, but I had a very normal monotony as a public figure that overflowed with Eurobasket. It was hard for me to accept that I could feel like a rock star.“, he declared. The Unicaja captain also reviewed his experience this summer at the World Cup, in which an untimely knee injury almost left him out of the final list. “I had a very bad time because of the uncertainty, because Furthermore, it is something that does not depend on you. They were two very tense days, in which I feared the worst because that’s who I am, I thought I could lose my dream of playing in a World Cup.. I tried to divert my mind with family, friends and a partner, but it was very tense,” he recalled.
But it is in Malaga where Díaz is the watchword of the Unicaja project and where the public at the Martín Carpena pavilion long ago chose him as their idol. “I don’t hear it nor am I conscious when I’m playing, but I do notice Carpena’s support perhaps more than anyone else. I don’t know if it’s acceptable because I’m from Malaga, but I know that they are going to death with me and that is a luxury that very few can enjoy.. That trust is difficult to repay,” he thanked for his special bond with a fan that usually gets excited when he is on the field. And we are talking about one of the best outside defenders of the moment, with an innate ability to unsettle the rival and take advantage fouls in attack. “I’ve always had a knack for that, maybe I’m a little masochistic and I like to hit myself, but it’s something I saw since I was little and I applied it. I tried it, I saw that it was coming out… and I increased that way of taking advantage,” he joked. In fact, he acknowledged that he would not like to be defended by a kind of Alberto Díaz.”I wouldn’t insult him, but I would give him some. I know that I can be very annoying and it must not be easy to live with a person who goes to the limit of contact. I wouldn’t like to defend myself“, he acknowledged. Over time, the Andalusian point guard has earned practically widespread recognition. “My team has always valued me and shown me respect for what I do and I have always felt that, but let rivals or opposing fans do it “, something that happened after the Eurobasket, is something very nice.”
Díaz, on the right, in full defensive action
Finally, regarding his future plans, Díaz looks askance at the option to be an Olympian in Paris 2024. “It’s something very exciting, but it’s so complicated… We’re talking about Lorenzo Brown, Juan Núñez or Ricky Rubio, who I hope is back, as point guards. But thinking about that right now is very far away and so many things can happen, the best thing is go day by day with my club and we will see or it will arrive,” he pointed out. And going one step further, this Master of training, recently renewed by Unicaja until 2028 and with several academic Masters on his resume, cannot hide that, in the past year, everything that has happened to him has partly changed his way of thinking about what is to come. Asked about his plans when he puts basketball aside, he acknowledged that “now it is difficult for me to see myself as a teacher, I am not so clear anymore. I am at a point in my career where I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up… I continue to train and try to open doors to choose what I want and I couldn’t say. I’m eating the whole cake, which is what I’ve always wanted and I’m not thinking about much beyond that.“, he declared in ‘Tirando a Fallar’, in an extensive open-hearted interview that closed with a forceful: “I don’t know what can make me more excited than playing basketball, so I have to enjoy it.” Of course, no one can say that he has not earned it with the sweat of his brow.
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