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[NBC Olympics] Speaking with Luis Scola

Discussion in 'NBA Draft' started by jsmee2000, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. jsmee2000

    jsmee2000 Member

    Sep 21, 2003
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    Speaking with Luis Scola

    Argentina's Luis Scola was selected in the NBA Draft in 2002, but didn't join the league until 2007. Why? He was too busy tearing up the top Spanish league. But he made his NBA debut with the Houston Rockets last season, and turned in a solid rookie season. He hopes his added experience will lead Argentina to back-to-back Olympic gold medals.

    You played for Argentina last summer, but some of the team's other NBA stars did not. With them back for the Olympics do you expect any problems with regaining chemistry?
    Players like (Andres) Nocioni, (Manu) Ginobli, (Fabricio) Oberto, they're definitely great players. We're not going to discover that now. Everybody knows. But you still need to build a team. All the things we've achieved all these years, we did it because we have a team. So no matter how good the players who are coming we need to make a good team, a solid team. And if we make a good team, whoever plays, then we're going to be good. If we don't, no matter who plays, we gonna be bad.
    Luis Scola starred for seven years in Spain before joining the NBA in 2007.

    So do you think your team is capable of a gold medal run like in Athens?
    Well, I think even Athens or Indianapolis (at the 2002 Worlds, where Argentina won silver) was a really high level for us. It is not easy for a country like Argentina to keep that goal, it's really hard. But of course we are trying to focus on building that same chemistry and same mystic that we had on those teams. We gonna try, we gonna work on it and we gonna do our best. Sometimes you do it and for whatever reason, you still lose. These kind of championships are difficult because once you (play) three, four (round robin games), then you go one-game elimination, win or go home. And it's tough. I think we played way better in Indianapolis; way, way better. And we had this one night we lost, and we finish second. And we didn't play that good in Athens. We lost against Italy, we lost against Spain, but we became solid as the championship was going on. When we had to play we did it. So we were more solid, though we shine less, but we win the championship.

    You were named MVP of the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament. Were you surprised by that honor because the U.S. was so dominant at that tournament?
    I don't think individual awards are really important. I think all that matters is what the team says. I'm happy because the team qualified, that was our biggest goal. Of course, when you get extra recognitions like MVP award, you like it. You take it. I'm not going to be hypocritical. I like it and I take it and I have it in my house. But the most important thing is we qualified. That's what made me proud. The rest of it, if it comes, way better. If it doesn't, no problem.

    What was your impression of that U.S. team you saw in the final?
    They were dominating and they were playing great. They got what they need to be Olympic champions. But I think playing in America is different than playing in the rest of the world because the American teams are pretty much NBA-oriented. They wanna run, they gonna shoot, they don't want to play really, really solid defense. You got (teams) who try to play this way -- I think it's impossible to beat the NBA players that way because it's the way they're really the best. When you go out -- the same thing happens to Argentina -- when you go out there and play these European teams it's different. They play much more like a block; it's really more difficult to get points, it's really difficult to get 100 points in a game. It's hard to run, they play extremely physical. So I think it's going to be a little bit different.

    Do you think playing in China will help your Rockets teammate, Yao Ming, and his team?
    Yeah, definitely. You play at home, you get advantage. That's a fact. But sometimes, the team playing at home makes a big impression for the home crowd and sometimes it's not good. But if you ask anybody in the world where they want to play, everybody's going to say at home. It is an advantage.

    Have you been to China? Did you ask Yao for any insight?

    No, I've never been to China. I'm looking forward to it. I'd really like to know this country. I always tell him that we're going to beat his ass (laughs).

    How does he respond to that?
    He's pretty humble so I become a little bit bored because he'll say, 'Yeah, you're right. You're going to beat us.' I wish he'd say, 'No, we're going to beat you. We have a little pride," so it would be funnier. But he's very humble.

    What was your Olympic experience like in Athens?

    Well, it's great. It's unique. Everything is different. You're going to play a championship wherever it is and you have all these big luxurious things like hotels and planes and everything. And the Olympics is not about that. You get the Olympic village that is good, you got everything you need, but it's not luxurious. You got a public place where you eat, where everybody eats. You got to share a table with everybody and every time you turn around you see a top-level athlete in whatever sport it is, like tennis or whatever. It's a great experience. You get a chance to see other sports. It's a unique experience. I love it and I can't wait to do it again.

    Did you watch any other Olympic sports?
    It's really hard, especially in Athens, it takes like an hour to go anywhere. I got a chance to see the track and field 100 meters semifinals and I didn't go. I can't stop regretting myself for doing that. At that time I decided it was better because we had a big game so I didn't want to.

    -- Comiled by Jon Ackerman, NBCOlympics.com
  2. chonox

    chonox Member

    Oct 15, 2006
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    hahaha Yao wont admit in public that he feels that Team China is pathetic and wont stand a chance to get a medal, but i reckon he feels that way, his not being humble scola, he just honestly thinks argentina would whoop china's ass, just like any decent team would, probably why there are whispers of yao being disinterested in competing after these olympics, team china just plain sucks

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