By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
France opened up the Olympics with a big win over Team USA, stopping their dominance in the competition which lasted the past 17 years as they went on a 24-0 record. Evan Fournier was the one displaying heroics with a 28-point performance and he explained post-game what allowed him to do so, compared to his run with Boston.
“I have a different role (compared to the NBA). The team wants me to score. I have to be more aggressive, I have to look for my shot. When I was in Boston, I was playing with JT (Jayson Tatum) and JB (Jaylen Brown) and all these guys, so it was just a different role. Me being in that scoring mode, I have to be aggressive here, and as fellow NBA players, we have to show the way for the guys that are playing in Europe, how to play these guys,” he said and added.
“First of all, you have to compete with them. That’s the message behind everything. We have to show these guys that we’re not going to back down and they are just like us. They are better individually, but they can be beaten as a team,” Fournier said, sending a strong message to Team USA and their future opponents.
Despite the big win, the French squad didn’t allow itself too much celebration as this game is only the beginning. As opposed to the 2019 FIBA World Cup when they got the best of the US squad in the knock-out quarterfinal round.
“The difference in celebration (now and in 2019) was… This is just the group phase. We won one, but we could lose the next two and go home. The other one was a Quarter-Final, which was obviously different,” Fournier explained.
He also commented on the upcoming NBA free agency.
“To be 100 percent honest with you, not at all. Not at all. Because FIBA game and NBA game are totally different. Like I said, I had a different role with the Celtics this year. With Orlando, I was obviously more aggressive but we weren’t as good. It’s honestly totally different. My agent is handling all the talks with the general managers, but I’m 100 percent here and I’m not even thinking about free agency.”
Coach Vincent Collet’s words didn’t steer far from Fournier’s.
“Evan was amazing. I don’t want to use big, big, big words, but he made some very big shots. To have that kind of a performance, you need consistency, for sure. This is the most important (thing). But you also need some players who can make shots nobody else can make. What was very important to me was that the team understood that and played for him. He made things by himself, but also received help from teammates to put him in situations to do that. This is the way that we must keep going.”