“I really want to get more prizes!”

Isa Cordiner gets used to it quickly. “What happened in the locker room? Great classics: champagne, music, goblet, photos,” he recounts, after being kind enough to pull himself out of these scenes of joy to tell BeBasket about the first golden evening of his career (80-67 against Bursaspor) . Or roughly, evoking the “classics”, the words of a Cup subscriber, who had never seen it before, except through television or the stories of some of his teammates.

A former great hope in French basketball, drafted by Atlanta at number 44 in 2016, before seeing his ratings crumble due to his stubborn knees, Issa Cordinier started from scratch, almost forgotten during his white season in 2017/18, ending up acclaimed. A few years later by an angry 9700 of Basket City, as an essential link in the team that brings the legendary Virtus back to the Euroleague.

The France international has also scratched an anomaly: not having played the fewest qualifiers during his career! Even better, he turned his first finalist into a coveted award, a key line on his awards roster: Euro 2022. “It’s a stone, no one can take it from me,” he laughed. By his own admission, his solo performance against Bursaspor (0 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 13 minutes) would not go down in history, even though he successfully executed defensive missions on the opposing outer forts (earning him a total score. 7/10 in the newspaper Il Resto del Carlino (local daily). It doesn’t matter in the end, except for the Milos Teodosic MVP Cup, no one will remember everyone’s performance. All that counts is an honor to be part of the group that restores the legendary Black V to its former glory. And baby sharks Antibes knew that well.


From her first professional appearance to her first trophy, Issa Cordiner waited 3,456 days
(Photos: Romain Roubini and Alexandre Lacoste)

Issa, you said the final was definitely the most important match of your career so far. Did things go well?

(laughs) I played like shit but I don’t care (bursts of laughter). We fucking won! Sorry for the words but I express my joy. It’s unbelievable, which is why we work every day. It’s a little addictive, I really want more (laughs).

Barely 30 minutes after winning?

Honestly yes (puffs). I don’t even know what to say!

It says you played “like shit”. But you were particularly effective defensively though…

Yes yes I know. Actually, I wanted to talk about the first half. The second, I came back to it. It was my first final. What I remember is that we really played as a team. There were times when we weren’t feeling well, when we let the storm pass to maintain control of the match despite everything. Everyone responded I want to congratulate the entire team. It’s really cool!

“I am happy to write a historical page for the club.”

There was some kind of wrong tempo in this final: you should have knocked them out and yet they were always more or less in the game, until they were back to -5 at the start of the fourth quarter…

exactly. That’s where they came back but we managed to keep our focus and our union. Defense was the key, the group was strong and in the end we won. It must now continue. Finally…we have to keep going, no, we’ll taste it first (laughs). But I really want more!

How satisfied were you seeing what you worked for for nine months come true?

We had a goal for this year and it was achieved! what I say ? We still have the championship but it’s time for a little taste. We won our place in the Euroleague next season. Congratulations to the whole team, all the players, all the staff, all the staff at the club. Honestly, it makes me want to work harder because I want to feel that way more.

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Isa Cordiner cannot be compensated for the commitment during 13 minutes of play
(Photo: EuroCup)

Exactly, being part of the team that brought this legendary black back to the Euroleague, is that a big thing?

Oh yes, it is our pleasure! We write a historical page for the club. That’s why I came here. I thank management once again for their trust in me. To be able to participate in this… I only have one thing to say, and that is that I want it to continue and I aim for higher achievement.

And the atmosphere…

(interrupts) Thanks frankly fans! It was… (Laughs) We knew Bursa always win away from home so they used to win in the big atmosphere but our fans were amazing. What a joe! It’s great to play for them, for this city.

“No one can take that from me!”

I’ve always said your white season in 2017/18 to have surgery on your knees was a good decision for your career. Now you have the facts with you to prove it…

I said it at the time but I let my game speak for me. I’m not a big mouth. I work, do my job, and move on. Hope this is just the beginning! But yes, in the end, that was the truth.

Nearly ten years after your first professional match, you have a proven track record…

(laughs) Yes, that’s it! See that ? (shows his medal) “Champions 2022 EuroCup”, it’s in stone! (laughs) Nobody can take that from me. And then, bringing the club back to the Euroleague…

What is the next great step in your Euroleague career then?

Next season, yes, I’m still under contract. But we won’t talk about it now, we’ll have fun with it first!

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The Tricolor Duo of Holy Virtus!
(Photo: Matteo Marchi)

in Bologna,

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