Poirier predicts “glory years” for France’s basketball squad.
After the European Championship and their disappointing silver medal performance, Real Madrid’s pivot and the Blues’ captain take stock of their situations.
Vincent, how are you the day after the Euro final lost against Spain?
Vincent Poirier: I had previously competed in and lost other finals before this one. It’s starting to become second nature, I’m able to make it work, and I’m familiar with the way it feels… We have no one else but ourselves to blame. In light of the criticism that we received throughout the preparation and the summer, we fared quite well overall. I think a lot of people kept their tongues quiet… This was another objective; we wanted to demonstrate that we could still achieve a lot of success despite the absence of two executives (Batum and De Colo). Maybe if we had them on our side, we would have won the championship, or maybe there would have been another contest. It is time for us to move on. In particular for those who compete in Europe and who will be back to work with their respective clubs very soon…
And maybe even more complicated for those, like you, who play in Spain?
This next weekend brings with it the Supercup, a trophy that can be competed for. You have to redirect your attention, forget about it, and go on. As for any bending by my teammates at Real, we made it clear with Gershon (Yabusele) that the first to sleep, ends up a quadriplegic, and he took it to heart (smile). It will involve punches, misplaced screens, repositioning of odds and company, and so on. They are aware since we have given them fair warning. They could be more afraid of Gershon than they are of me, but since you and I are the ones who set up the screens, I highly doubt that they will want to play (smiles).
We are still quite proud of what we have done but we were there for the gold so we are disappointed.
What is your analysis of the final?
We gave them some space to calm down. Juancho Hernangomez racked up seven of a possible nine points in threes. He behaved responsibly and completed the necessary tasks. It’s us. We were unable to stop him as effectively as we would have liked to, and as a result, we had to make up for it later by bringing our score back from -21 to -3, even though this was difficult and drained our energy. And then, behind them, they climb into a few baskets, which then return them to the ocean… It was a championship game, and we played poorly in it; the entire time, we trailed behind them.
What assessment do you draw from your performances at the Euro?
It was… I have a job in which I am required to provide some assistance for Gershon, Rudy (Gobert), and Mous (Fall); but, it is not a role that is necessarily simple or one that provides you with a lot of playing time. I gave my best effort to succeed. I concentrated on what I am good at doing and what was expected of me most of the time. Not the best version of me, if we’re being totally honest. However, I did the best that I could.
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In any case, the future seems promising for the Blues after this silver medal…
This silver medal is not something that can be ignored or disregarded in any way. It’s a fantastic showing all around. Nobody was anticipating our arrival, and as a result, nobody is happy about the result of the game. It seems to go against itself a little bit. Throughout the entirety of our training for the European Championship, we were subjected to criticism. And everyone is shocked when we end up losing in the championship… It’s got a comedic vibe about it. Throughout the entirety of the campaign, we chose to ignore the detractors to succeed despite them. Although we are still extremely happy with what we have accomplished, the fact that we did not win the gold medal is a source of disappointment for us. The fact that we will maintain the same base and continue to bring back players who will each contribute their unique touch, however, is a positive sign for our chances in the upcoming contests. The subsequent few years ought to be magnificent.