Monday, December 11, 2023

Pablo Laso, Bayern coach, one year after his heart attack: “Basketball is my life, I missed it”

Little has changed at first glance in the life of Pablo Laso (Vitoria, 56 years old) just over a year after suffering the myocardial infarction that forced him to stay away from the slopes for a while and that, in the end, was the reason wielded by him real Madrid to dispense with their services. She looks a little thinner (“I’ve still lost a couple of kilos,” she admits). He takes more care of his diet and undergoes some more medical check-ups than he did on June 4, 2022, when he began to feel chest discomfort and was transferred to a hospital in Madrid. But in his day to day life he maintains the same dynamic.

“I’m fine. That was a long time ago. I wasn’t even afraid because I didn’t have any pain. And the only thing I try is to live a healthy life and the things my doctor tells me. They tell me I have to take it differently. But I don’t have the feeling that I should change my way of being. If I have to fight, I will fight anyway,” he says in a conversation with this newspaper, hours before visiting the Palau Blaugrana (8:30 p.m., Movistar +) to face the Barça in the Euroleague.

After a sabbatical year, taking some distance from the slopes, Pablo Laso has once again put himself in the shoes of a coach, accepting the proposal of the Bayern Munich. “I’m enjoying it again, having a good time,” she says. “Basketball is my life. I started as a professional when I was 15 years old. It’s been almost 40. Not training changes your almost life routine. I have recovered the adrenaline, the coexistence of the locker room, the preparation for the games… I had missed it. But this year I have been able to take advantage of it to travel and to watch the games in a different way…Xavi Pascual He told me: ‘take it easy’. And I have followed his advice.”

Laso He had several offers to return to the bench but he explains the reasons that led him to accept the offer from Bayern. “I thought about where I could be comfortable and grow with the team, regardless of the money and the city. The German is a league that has been growing in recent years. He Bayern He is doing things very well. There is an organization, an idea of ​​growing as a club. And in the end I am happy with the decision,” highlights the new coach of the German team, adding another condition that was key, after eleven seasons in the team. Madrid. “In the end, I preferred to leave Spain, yes.”

In the first days of his dismissal, Laso showed his anger with the decision of the Madrid board to remove him from his position to “prioritize his health,” according to the club. But, now with the distance, the Vitorian coach assures that he has turned the page and only looks forward without closing any door, not even the one in the Barça. “I get out of the Madrid But I don’t think back much. I’m professional. There is no resentment. Now I see everything clean: new team, new objectives and ambitions…”, he points out, although he has the day of his return to the Wizink Center very much in mind. “I know it’s December 14th. But I don’t expect anything special. Honestly, I just hope we win.”

Your challenge now is to convert Bayern in a winning project. “I think our aspiration has to be to win the Euroleague. I don’t understand anything else. And we want to build a project in which we want to win,” says Laso, who this summer has recruited top players such as Serge Ibaka, Leandro Bolmaro, Devin Booker or Sylvain Francisco to take another step in the growth of the Bavarian team.

The Spanish international Serge IbakaPrecisely, it will be one of the novelties this Friday in the match against the Barçaabsent three days ago in Victoriawhere he Bayern stormed the court Baskonia. “He hasn’t played for 10 months and we have to introduce him little by little,” he says. Lasowho speaks with great respect of Grimau’s Barça. “I’ve seen something of his last three games. And it is a project that is going very well. It has important new players, people like Willy newcomer to the NBA, the signings of Dario (Brizuela), Parra…Regardless of winning or losing, the team is still green. But is normal. “It needs time.”


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