The doors of the Accor Arena in Bercy had barely opened to the handful of French journalists when a big “boom” sounded in the empty room: it was Isaïa Cordinier who found himself on the ground on one of his many attacks. of the circle!
More fear than harm for the rear of Bologna who quickly got up to finish the training session… and answer questions from Basket USA about his preparation and his ambitions for the future.
“No matter where I am, I will have the same mentality”
How is this preparation going for you, as we get closer to the Euro?
“I feel good, I think I have found my place and what I can bring to the team as I go along. I think I’ve done it well so far and hopefully I’ll keep doing it, getting better and better. »
We feel you are very invested defensively…
“We know that we have very strong players, executives who have responsibilities and around that, it’s up to me to find the areas where I can contribute. I have always liked to stop my opponents. You have to put a lot of intensity, runs on the counter-attack, cuts towards the circle, play without the ball. It’s a whole lot of little things that make the team play well. Stopping opponents and playing like a dog in defense is something that I have always appreciated. »
You are used off the bench with the Blues while you are a major player in your club team in Bologna, how do you manage to juggle these different roles to manage between club and selection?
“It is true that it is not easy but honestly, it is more to manage my role [en Equipe de France] during windows and my role [en Equipe de France] in this preparation. In club too, we have strong players but I still have more responsibilities. I want to say that I’m pretty versatile and that’s something I can do. »
Has your time abroad made you grow, because we know that, generally, being French abroad implies being immediately productive?
“Afterwards, I don’t see myself as a Frenchman abroad but simply as a basketball player who must perform well. I don’t necessarily feel more pressure [à l’étranger]. It’s still basketball, it’s my passion and I always want to be the best I can be. No matter where I am, I will have the same mentality. »
“Having brought a historic club like Bologna back to the Euroleague is something special”
Is it difficult to be productive on (very) short sequences when you are rather accustomed to a substantial playing time?
“Of course you have to be ready for it, it’s not necessarily easy to do. You have to stay as ready as possible to seize opportunities and to help the team in a short time. »
Where are you in your relationship with the NBA? Is it an increasingly distant dream or a goal that you keep in the back of your mind?
“I’m in Bologna, I have my contract there but it’s true that I keep it in the back of my mind. It’s the biggest league in the world, and I hope to at least have an opportunity one day. I got my rights back last year so it gives me more possibilities but we’ll see. For now, I’m focused on Bologna where we’re going to play the Euroleague. It is the second largest league in the world. And then, the fact of having brought a historic club like Bologna back into the Euroleague is something special, with the city behind us, it’s going to be cool! »
We imagine that you have to discuss it with your comrades from the French team… What makes you have a real chance in the NBA, rather than snippets of playing time, like your friend Timothé Luwawu- Cabarrot, disappointed with its last season?
“If an opportunity arises, you have to seize it and give it your all to see what happens. That’s not what scares me. Honestly, I haven’t really had an opportunity to go to the NBA yet. I didn’t choose to stay in Europe, it’s just that I didn’t have a real opening in the NBA. But when she arrives, that’s not what will scare me. It’s high-level sport, that’s how it is! »
Interview in Paris