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Argentinian coach Sergio Hernandez has a full trophy case from his stints with both his country’s national team and various clubs of the Liga Nacional. Most recently, he led the Argentinian squad towards winning the silver medal in the FIBA World Cup.
Throughout his career so far, Hernandez has rarely coached outside Argentina. In an interview with Infobae, he admitted that while his current focus is on the 2021 Olympics, he also finds the prospect of working in Europe rather appealing. And perhaps more profitable.
“I won’t put going to Tokyo aside to sign for a ‘common’ club, as I have no doubts that the national team will always be the most important thing in my career. But at the same time, I keep the challenge of coaching abroad,” Hernandez said. “And I’m 56 years old. How many years of productive life do I have left? Ten? And I’ve always been paid in pesos. Good but in pesos while the dollar started at three pesos and was 20 at the end of the season.”
“The only thing I didn’t earn in my career was money,” Hernandez added. “If you ask me if I can buy an apartment in Avenida del Libertador (a main avenue in Buenos Aires), I say no. I live in one of 70 square meters. Mind you, I’m not complaining, there are people who read things and think… whatever. But [Zeljko] Obradovic earns in a day what I earn in more than a month. And I went to [Sergio[ Scariolo’s house… and I competed with them, winning and losing, 15 years ago. I coached in three World Cups, I was in three Olympic Games, I won an Olympic medal. I have 21 titles, I’m one of the winningest coaches in the history of the Argentinian league and the national team. And there’s also a challenge because I already lived everything with the national team. I’m not crazy to go to live in Europe. Argentina is my place. But I have a few years left and maybe this is my chance. I want to be there.”
Hernandez also revealed that he was in Spain the days before the EuroLeague suspension and that he changed the date of his return to Argentina after advice by none other than Luis Scola. The latter experienced the outbreak of the coronavirus in Milan, Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries.
“Even on March 9, I was eating in a restaurant (in Spain) when Luis called me. He asked me how I go and if I had already met everyone. I said yes and he tells me, ‘then go to Argentina now.’ I ask him: ‘Why? Everything is normal here. I’m eating outside it’s full of people.’ And he answered me, without hesitation,’ Nothing happens today, but it will happen. A week ago we were the same and look now. In a few days, everything rots. The ACB is going to stop, the EuroLeague too,’ he told me. It seemed delusional to me but since he’s Luis, I called the agency and changed the ticket from 14 to 10. On the 10th, at noon, I went out to eat with the Real (Madrid) boys and they already told me that they were examining (Trey) Thompkins for fever. When I arrived in Argentina, it was known that he tested positive. If I waited for the 14th, I don’t know if I would return. That’s Luis, incredible in every way.”