The captain and goals in the Euro, Embiid, “Bulk Displacement” … Fournier facts

As usual without the language of wood, the Blues’ top scorer is assessing in front of the press at the start of the rally, in Nanterre.

State of mind at the beginning of the assembly in blue : “I’m glad to be here, it’s been a while since my season ended so it’s good to play matches and play basketball, see the players again and get back to the competition. I’m so excited. (Because he wanted to play Window last June and the cast refused) It was mainly about insurance…but I was free so I could play basketball, I’m still hot. I had to watch this as my buddies couldn’t come behind my screen but would like a little ride with them.»

Euro goals : “Obviously win. Now, with the France national team, we have very high goals. We inherited a good French team from the old team, and the results are already very good. We are trying to perpetuate that and raise the level of the French national team to the highest level in the world and in Europe.»

The absence of Nicolas Batum as Nando de Colo : “It means less experience on the field, with those players who know these competitions well. We’ve lived a lot together. They will also lack their leadership and certain knowledge. It will be up to us to freshen ourselves up a bit and play differently. (…) He wouldn’t change our role with Rudy (Joebert). The roles were already the same at the Olympics. We may have to do more… After that, you can make up for the absences with the guys there. There will be players who will have other opportunities, I think for example Tim (Luwawu-Cabarrot), who will have to do more.»

It’s a bit boring to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina (27 August), it’s a bit “dirty” trip…

Evan Fournier

Two World Cup qualifiers before the European Championships : “I see the qualifying matches as preparatory matches for the Euro. Anyway, the state of mind is to play hard in friendlies…so nothing changes. However, there will be more at stake in these two meetings. It may be lower than in a normal friendly match. But the mentality will remain the same. Faster intensification of the euro? We can see it like this. It’s a bit boring to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina (August 27), it’s a “lousy” trip (in terms of logistics, editor’s note). The other is a great match against a great team from the Czech Republic. All this won.»

The Blues expect more after the silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics : “There is no team to beat, just the big teams, as always. We are one of the favourites, the other teams know us well, and there will be no surprises. Anyway, the France team was targeted a few years ago. We are one of the big countries. So I don’t think there is any extra pressure.»

A Euro group reunion with Slovenia, and a knockout in the semi-finals of the Olympics : “I expect a committed match between two strong teams. There is no hostility between these two countries yet. It will still be a high level match, but no more.»

Luka Doncic, Giannis Antikonmo and Euro stars : “It’s great, it’s a very good publicity for European Basketball, EuroBasket has become a leading competition, which is closely watched all over the world. More credit will be given to future winners. We can objectively say that it will be one of the highest Euros in history. (…) International players occupy more and more space in the NBA. Inevitably, the level goes up to the euro and that’s much better.»

Celebrating Euro 2017 : “No one has forgotten but this is ancient history. It was still five years ago, there was a different group… We were really in the process of remaking the team. I swiped the sponge right after that.»

It’s not something I claim that I don’t necessarily have a particular desire to be a leader.

Evan Fournier

The captain in the absence of Nicolas Batum (Nando de Colo) this summer : “I don’t know who it would be… I didn’t give much importance to it. When you are a leader, you necessarily have responsibilities, but this is not something I claim that I do not necessarily have a particular desire to be a leader. In any case, driving occurs naturally on the pitch. It will be the coaches’ decision and it will be respected, that’s all. (…) Blues spokesperson? No, I’m the captain of the team, and it’s very clear that I have a certain weight on that, that I’m one of the most capped players, and one of those with the most experience. But it stops there. It’s just a personal story and experience.»

A mission beyond basketball by wearing the jersey : “Yes, over the past two years, my view of things has evolved. In the beginning, you were a young player who was trying to earn his place, make a name for himself, win…to promote your sport in your country and in general the sport in general in France. I find that there is a lot that needs to be done, to inspire young people, so that there is a tradition going on in France. We had a lot of good players in the past. I’m thinking of Boris (Diao), who is still there (the former blues captain is now the general manager of the selection, editor’s note). There is a certain form of continuity. It is important for us to hand over to young people, to show them how it works, to show very good values. At the Olympics (in Tokyo last summer), that was really what was amazing about our team. We will try to push things forward more in the future.»

The first round of the 2024 Olympics in Lille : “I wanted and we all wanted to do the preliminary round in Paris. It will be night. You all know my position, and I don’t need to go back to it…»

I signed the certificate for the benefit of the team and because it’s pointless to cause trouble for nothing, but I’m not a fan.

Yvan Fournier has announced French players that he is not optional if they sign with a Russian or Belarusian club.

Players who are contracted to Russia or Belarus and cannot be selected for the France national team : “I’m not a fan of that kind of thing…I signed the testimonial for the team and because there’s no point in making trouble for nothing, but I’m not a fan. There are many conflicts around the world. If we did that with all the conflicts, we wouldn’t play anywhere…we have to deal with it. This is the thing that transcends us players. We want to do our competition, be calm in the group and not cause any problems.»

Naturalization of Joel Embiid : “Since it’s not a topical topic, we don’t think about it. We know he’s not on the set, and he hasn’t been called (the Sixers’ hub is injured and hasn’t received his French passport yet, Ed). We’ll talk about it when the time comes. Maybe for the World Cup. In principle, my position has not changed. But you see what happens in the other teams. Spain with Lorenzo Brown (a naturalized American this summer, editor’s note), who doesn’t even have to know how to say hi in Spanish, Greeks with (Tyler) Dorsey… Lots of things happen. It’s very complicated because there are so many factors and elements to be for or against… and since it’s not the time to think about it, I don’t. When the time comes, we’ll all talk to each other and we’ll all make a decision. But Joel has a very good gait so far. We’ll see.»

Comments collected at a press point in Nanterre

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