By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
A player who always spoke with actions decided to leave the court by making directly the transition to a managerial role. Luis Scola announced on Wednesday (22/9) that he is officially retired, one day after the announcement that he had already become the CEO of Varese Basketball.
The Italian club was his last team and a former European powerhouse in the 60s and the 70s which is trying to regain its old glory. And getting Scola to announce his retirement at a press conference held by the club, is a step in the right direction.
“I haven’t stopped playing. In fact, I am playing with the team this season… just kidding!” Scola joked on Wednesday. “I practice every day. I like practicing and surely, at some point, I will play basketball with my kids, the junior team, or the first team someday if a player is injured, and I will do it because I like it. I am a basketball player and this is my passion. I cannot do it more at the professional level but you can always play basketball.”
Scola retired at the age of 41, winning with Argentina the 2004 Olympics, a bronze medal in 2008, and two silver medals at the 2002 and 2019 World Championships. He helped Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz reach three consecutive EuroLeague Final Fours from 2005 to 2007, making it to the championship game in 2005.
“It wasn’t really difficult to stop playing because I think it was a natural choice for me,” Scola said on Wednesday. “My body was not reacting the same way and each month was worse than the previous one, and I had to do more things to play at the level I like. This is why it was a natural choice for me to stop playing. I feel quiet about not playing anymore because it was difficult. When it came to games and competing, it was not a problem, but going day by day, every week, was difficult.”
He has also played in the NBA with Houston, Phoenix, Indiana, Toronto, Brooklyn, as well as for Shanxi Brave Dragons and Shanghai Sharks of China before joining Pallacanestro Varese.
He holds the record for most appearances with the Argentinean national team, 169. Scola helped his national team win as many as 16 medals in senior tournaments. He helped his national team win four other gold medals at the 2001 and 2011 FIBA Americas tournaments, the 2019 Panamerican Games, and the 2008 FIBA Diamond Ball. He has retired as the second top scorer in World Cup action, 611 points, trailing only Oscar Schmidt (906) of Brazil. Scola ranks fourth in scoring in the Olympic Men’s Basketball Tournament (591 points). Only Schmidt (1,093 points), Andrew Gaze (789), and Pau Gasol (649) are ahead of him.