Nando de Colo on EuroBasket: “I needed to breathe”

Returning to France after winning everything in Europe, Nando de Colo There is no configuration for numbers. The double Euroleague champion still has the same motivation and the same ambitions. Present at the National Basketball League media day, he answered questions about his arrival at ASVEL, his absence during the EuroBasket and the end of his career.

I skipped the euro this year. If France had won the competition, would you have regretted not being European champion?
Nando’s from Colo: I am not someone who lives with regret. This summer, I skipped the France team because I’ve been there since 2008 and haven’t missed a single summer. To be honest, I needed to breathe and spend time with my wife and three daughters. Then I also think about my career as a whole. I didn’t say no to the France team, I just said I was taking a break to be able to start stronger than 2023, at the World Cup, and finish at the Paris Olympics. Once again, it’s not just a goodbye to Team France. Obviously get results. I have no regrets in any way.

I signed with ASVEL this summer. Was it important to return to France after 13 years abroad?
Nando’s from Colo: My priority was to stay at the club that plays in the Euroleague first. The club in question happens to play in Ligue 1, so it’s good to be able to find rooms I’ve known for over thirteen years. Even for family life, we are happy to come to France.

Was it asfail a truism? How was your arrival?
Nando’s from Colo: honestly no. It was not clear. I had connections with Valencia, for example. A very interesting project, somewhat similar to the one that ASVEL can have today. The only problem is that they were one year into the Euroleague. They did not know exactly what the year 2023-2024 would bring. With all due respect to the club, I couldn’t see myself going there for a year. It was a personal goal to be able to stay in the Euroleague. Contacts were also made with Monaco. Obviously, I received Fenerbahce’s suggestion. Then down the self-proclaimed.

Tony (Parker, club president, editor’s note) Explain the project to me. After thinking with my wife, I decided to sign with ASVEL. A very interesting project, which will not be easy. One of the top eight in the Euroleague, who has a big goal. This is a team that wants to develop. I’m here to give my experience and what I can do on the pitch to help the team. Again, as we like to say in France, I am not retired. Two more years to do my best, whether in training or even more in matches, to develop even more.

Did the fact that ASVEL President Tony Parker play a role in your decision or make things easier?
Nando’s from Colo: No way. Of course I know Tony. He happened to be the president of ASVEL, but any boss could have called me at the time. This is the important project. I also needed to talk to TJ (Parker, team coach, editor’s note). That was the most important thing for me, because I know what the coach’s philosophy is. I knew TJ, but I didn’t know exactly how it is on a daily basis. When I spoke to him on the phone, we said things clearly. This is also what weighed in the scale.

Since you left Cholet in 2009, the public has seen that you grew up in Europe or the United States. How do you judge your development and the player, the man you have become?
Nando’s from Colo: I think I went my own way. I have always tried to distinguish between what is happening on the field and what is happening outside. On the court, I followed what basketball gave me. We often have all these voices on the side that think better than us, that tell us what to do. I am fortunate to be in an environment that knows basketball well, and to be in a relatively limited circle of friends who allow me to see things very well. And then, gradually, I also established my family life, I met my wife in Spain. We have three daughters today. I’m fine, satisfied, and I hope to continue to thrive on the pitch.

We see more and more NBA racing and recruiting among youngsters. You have proven that we can have a great career by staying in Europe. Is it something you talk about to young people?
Nando’s from Colo: It depends on each other. What I’m trying to explain to them is what they can develop from day to day. The goals they have then depend only on them. Sometimes we are well surrounded. Sometimes, we listen a lot to what is being said on the side. All ways are different. I think first of all you have to agree with your choices. We like to ask the question about Victor Wimpanyama And the fact that he went to Levallois. But this is not my choice. it’s his. If he wanted to evolve with me, would he have progressed better? I don’t know. I would definitely teach him a few things. But I definitely would have learned from him as well, because I think it goes both ways.

Choices are made depending on each other. There are many of them appearing in the draft. After that, there are not many who go to the NBA. We know that Europe is increasingly interesting. I’d rather have my career in Europe, rather than fifteen years in the NBA without going to a final. It’s in my genes. I can’t just play basketball. There must be goals. There has to be this pressure, it has to be good, that every day I go training for something.

You had a busy career and you won almost everything at the club level. Is it hard to maintain the same motivation after all these years?
It’s complicated, yes, because the body is evolving. But it is not complicated in terms of motivation. I think the day I’m tired of going to the gym will be the day I have to put my running shoes on, obviously. Either the body no longer follows or the mind is tired, we must really move on. But it would be a shame to stop if we had the ability to go on. Today, I am an excited person. If I don’t get an hour or an hour and a half earlier to the gym to get ready for training, there’s a problem. Anyone who knows me on a daily basis knows that. I know that through these sacrifices comes success.

You still have good years to give, but you’re approaching retirement. Do you see yourself in a new role as a mentor in the next few years? Why is there no coach or assistant coach?
Nando’s from Colo: There are things going on in your head, of course. We must not hide it, I am more at the end of my career than the beginning. So you have to think about this post career. But today I’m not really yet into this dynamic. Like I said, I’m still two years old. I know there are big goals to be achieved, and people are counting on me. I think and hope there will be a few more years after that. Obviously it will depend on what my body and mind are willing to put up with. I think I could still do a few more years.

I am a person who loves to teach and share. I was able to learn as my career progressed, whether it was when I started, in the NBA or on the different teams I was able to develop in. So stay in basketball? Yes, I think that would be a logical continuation. Now, back to my career as a coach, to travel… I’m not sure this would interest me right away. I think the time has come to truly devote myself to my daughters, to develop them in all that they are going to do. But that won’t stop us from seeing the opportunities that may arise. I have little in mind.

Magic, Luka, Nando, 🧠 in Mook REVERSE #10!

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