Sergio Scariolo responds to Mike James: “Everybody can have their own opinion”

2022-12-19T10:55:02+00:00 2022-12-19T11:42:21+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

19/Dec/22 10:55

Defense is far from fun but an effective weapon for coaches, Sergio Scariolo confirms reacting to a recent comment from Mike James

By Johnny Askounis/

Experienced tactician Sergio Scariolo was asked about Mike James complaining about Alba Berlin’s defense against AS Monaco in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 14 encounter last Friday.

“Can we all agree that playing box and one for 40 minutes in a professional basketball game is ridiculous?” wondered the superstar of the La Roca Team via a post shared on Twitter. He was held to a season-low eight points but his side prevailed behind a game-winning three-pointer delivered by Elie Okobo.

Following Italy’s LBA Serie A Regular Season Round 11 win against Germani Brescia on the road Sunday, the head coach of Virtus Segafredo Bologna was asked by Paolo Spelorzi to comment on the reaction to box-and-one defense.

“Everybody can have their own opinion,” stressed Scariolo, “We used it for three minutes in our last game and it gave us the opportunity to completely turn the game around. We were down by seven and we ended up being up by six in just three minutes.”

“Honestly, I have never played it for 40 straight minutes, but if a team with Monaco’s budget, which plays against Alba, wins at the buzzer because a player slips and can’t contest Okobo’s shot, it means that they did a pretty good job on defense,” he added, “In the end, everybody decides what it’s best for themselves.”

Rewinding and recalling Spain’s triumph in the 2022 EuroBasket and his experience in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors, he noted a similar approach to limiting Luka Doncic.

“We won EuroBasket with different types of defenses. I remember that when I was in Toronto, against Dallas, we played a lot of box and one against Luka and at the end of the second quarter he came to me saying ‘I’m done, just do what you want’, and I have a good relationship with him. In the NBA you can do it, you just think about the next game,” he said.

“Of course, the box and one annoys and suffocates you. But you must be able to answer to it,” concluded the Italian tactician, “I understand Mike James because playing a whole game with somebody on you shouldn’t be funny, but I’m sure that Sasa Obradovic thought about how to attack and try to find a countermeasure during the game. You can’t go to the other coach and say ‘Please, don’t use it because Mike is fed up’.”

Moving forward in the 2022-23 schedule, the team coached by Scariolo will visit Cazoo Baskonia in the EuroLeague Regular Season Round 15 Thursday.