Catching Up with Carlo Recalcati: Insights on Coaches, Players, and the Future of Basketball

Talking to Carlo Recalcati is like immersing yourself in reading a book by one of your favorite authors. Just as you already know from the start that those pages will not find you indifferent, so talking with Charly is an experience that you are well aware will leave a mark on you.

Having reached the age of 78 last September (“taking great strides towards 80 makes me a little strange” he admits), the “Carletto” continues to not miss anything when it comes to basketball, always staying on top of things. Whether it’s the national team, Serie A, A2, NBA, Euroleague, youth, minors, women’s, his well of knowledge shows no threat of drying up at all.

And therefore, we try to draw from that well, taking advantage of the visit he paid to our editorial staff and the impressions he wanted to exchange with us.

In 2017, at the age of 72, you were called to the Cantù bench to try to save the team from relegation to A2. Now, Pesaro is asking Meo Sacchetti, 70 springs, to put Victoria Libertas back on the waterline. Do you find analogies?

My bond with Cantù played an important role, but when you get to this age – I mean our age… – there are no rules because evaluations are subjective. If you still feel fit both mentally and physically why should you give up? And Meo will certainly have evaluated the pros and cons, the motivations, the interests, the desire. One must have the ability to understand when the time has come to say enough, so if he answered “present” to the call it is because he evidently feels that he still has something to give and to say.

Let’s rejuvenate the audience of coaches by talking about a Canturino who is doing very well in Pistoia, namely Nicola Brienza.

He had already made himself appreciated when he coached Cantù, then he had the misfortune of arriving in Trento – an opportunity not to be missed – immediately after the departure of an institution like Buscaglia which always forces you to make comparisons. A less than positive experience certainly does not take away the qualities of a valuable technician. The truth is that many coaches are too afraid to compare themselves, while who you are remains regardless of whether you coach a top team or a relegation team. I would offer a personal example.


The year before being called to Varese, I had coached in Serie B in Bergamo and I had gone there deliberately because I wasn’t convinced by Verona’s project in Serie A. In short, if you accept a lower series or encounter a negative season, your they have no harm in their abilities and you can express them again at the first opportunity. Just like Brienza did. Good boy.

Here, let’s go back to him.

He found himself in an environment like that of Pistoia where he had the opportunity to express his qualities in the best way and he is reaping the results.

In Serie A, do you think there are outsiders capable of wreaking havoc in the two-way deal that seems to be the one between Milan and Bologna?

Brescia and Venice demonstrate with facts how competitive they are. Yes, they have what it takes. If we evaluate the full rosters, Olimpia and Virtus remain favourites, but sport teaches us that the strongest team does not always win in the end (recently in basketball we have had the examples of Sassari and Venice). And that’s the beauty of a championship in which nothing is taken for granted.

A trip to the Euroleague to talk about the two Italians.

We have competitive teams in the most prestigious event even if the role has been reversed compared to the predictions of the day before when it was thought Milan could be in the top four and Virtus Bologna was playing for access to the playin. Certainly, beyond this, our basketball benefits immensely because one imposes itself for the quality of its coat of arms and the other for performance in a very high level competition which in my opinion remains more fascinating than the NBA.

And in the Euroleague two players from Como such as Awudu Abass, at Virtus, and Gabriele Procida at Alba Berlin find ample space. A completely negligible circumstance.

This is proof, if any were still needed, of how much the work done by the PGC produces not only players, but also champions. You evaluate a youth sector on the quantity of players it manages to produce, but then within the quantity you must have the leaders who also enhance the work of coaches and managers and who repay the choices that have been made.

Let’s move on to A2: who are the main candidates for the category jump?

Trapani is currently proving to be superior to everyone. Cantù is a serious contender like five other teams in the other group, namely, Forlì, Udine, Fortitudo Bologna, Trieste and Verona. None of these are superior to Acqua S.Bernardo, in fact some are even inferior, but then the playoffs are a world apart in which everything is worth it. So there’s no point in going out on a limb now. Also because the strength of a team compared to what it is now can be modified by a possible addition that can really strengthen it. But there is one thing.


Cantù has demonstrated that it knows how to win away games against important opponents such as Trapani and Turin. And this is very important because in the playoffs the field factor has always taken on a significant aspect, but having already demonstrated that you can achieve results even away from home is undoubtedly a plus. Which increases self-esteem.

Speaking of Trapani, what do you think of its wealthy president, Valerio Antonini?

He is a character very busy with the ambition to do and obtain results. And I believe this ambition is supported by a serious program and above all by the economic potential that he certainly has. The risk in these cases could lie behind a possible disappointment.

In what sense?

When you have so much enthusiasm and can’t wait to achieve the result, if you can’t grasp it immediately you face discouragement. But let’s think about hypotheses, because the way things are going, there is no reason to believe that he cannot realize his aspirations. And it is right that those who invest so much freely express their way of being and seeing things. It would be a shame for all of basketball if, in the face of a negative result, such an ambitious project were called into question.

2024-01-23 11:43:59
#Abass #Procida #top #Euroleague #PGC


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