By John Rammas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Berlin, Germany – France is facing Poland in the Eurobasket semifinal (16/9, 17.15 CET) and with a win, the team of coach Vincent Collet will have its ninth medal in major FIBA competitions since 2000.
Not bad and the explanation is simple, per Evan Fournier: “I started with the team in 2014 and since I got here the main thing is consistency from our players, coaching stuff, trust and just knowing we got a good foundation. When you have a strong core, young guys can come in and contribute right away”.
And now France must make the extra effort and play for two more games, like also Germany, Poland, and Spain, for a total of nine in 18 days. “At that point, two games is a lot”, admits Fournier. “It’s very tiring for the body, but it is also part of the Eurobasket. Eurobasket is probably the hard competition physically, but it’s the same for everyone”.
So this might explain, or even continuity why Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are already out of the competition.
While Evan Fournier doesn’t have the answer and doesn’t have to explain to other NBA players what Eurobasket is all about, he agrees that FIBA competitions, no matter how you see it, are special: “I don’t have to explain anything. They probably don’t even watch the games. On my team, I have RJ Barret who plays for Canada and lost to the Czech Republic last year in the Olympic qualifiers. So he knows. He knows that FIBA is special, and I am sure that the American players who went to the Olympics they know that FIBA playing is different. Still, I don’t have to explain anything”.