Italy Rumors

Former NBA big man Luis Scola, who spent the 2019/20 season playing for Olimpia Milano, announced on Thursday that he won’t be returning to the Italian club – or any other EuroLeague team – for the ’20/21 campaign. Scola added in a statement that he’ll decide within the next few weeks whether or not to continue his playing career. “I have chosen not to play in the EuroLeague anymore, neither in Milan nor with another team,” Scola said. “I want to thank Olimpia for giving me this opportunity, it was a fun year in which I experienced a good environment where I felt right at home. “On the other hand, I have not decided whether to retire from basketball for good or keep playing in another competition. I’ll make a final decision during the next few weeks.”
Storyline: Luis Scola Retirement?
Marco’s grand national team debut saw him playing with so much confidence against some of the biggest stars of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2006. “That game against the USA changed everything,” the shooting guard said, reflecting on his 25-point performance against the NBA stars in 2006. “I was really young, and there I was, playing against Chris Paul, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony… It’s funny because I watched the game like two weeks ago, it came up on YouTube. I was so young, but coach Recalcati believed in me, and allowed me to be myself on the court. You are like 19, 20 years old, and you go out there with LeBron and Melo guarding you. Yeah, I was nervous.”
2 months ago via FIBA
“The first shot went in. Then the second one. Just like that, I wasn’t scared anymore,” Belinelli explained 14 years later. His 25 points against USA came in just 28 minutes of work, done on 9-of-18 shooting from the field, which included an and-one dunk against Carmelo Anthony. “My life changed after that game. All of a sudden the NBA scouts were coming down to see this skinny young Italian guy playing, and the Golden State Warriors drafted me a year later.”
2 months ago via FIBA
The coronavirus hit Belinelli’s home country of Italy hard. Many died, were hospitalized and the situation impacted Belinelli. He’s been urging everyone to remain indoors, and keeping 6-feet apart. He also gave financial assistance to an Italian hospital at the peak of the virus’ impact in Italy. “From a distance I see how all our doctors, our nurses, all those who are on the front line against the virus are giving 150% to heal people,” Belinelli said.
Danilo Gallinari: I’m from Italy. My country had been dealing with COVID-19 issues for more than a month at that point. Sporting events there had come to a stop. I figured maybe something had happened over here, too. But no one was telling us anything, and none of my teammates had any sort of personal experience with what the virus was doing to people like I did. So when they sent us back to the locker room, I don’t think anyone else on our team was thinking what I was thinking. They were just really confused. And the scene was unlike anything I’d ever been a part of. Our arena gets so loud during our games, but while we were walking off the court, it was like you could hear a pin drop. Back in the locker room, it seemed like we were waiting forever to find out what was going on. We were all just sitting around trying to predict what was up. After a minute or so, I spoke up. “Guys,” I said, “my guess is that this is something related to that virus. The coronavirus.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Danilo Gallinari: As soon as I finished that sentence, a bunch of players started asking me questions. I was in the middle of the locker room just fielding questions from everybody. Guys just wanted to get information. For the most part, I wouldn’t say that anyone was scared. Me, though? I actually … was scared. I knew what was happening back in my country, and I’d had that feeling about what this might be. So I was definitely worried and scared, but mainly I just wanted to get information, too.
Danilo Gallinari: When my friend’s grandma died, the family couldn’t even see her one last time to say goodbye. The hospitals over there, they transport any deceased patients to a quarantined location for burial. But they don’t want anyone getting too close, so they don’t even tell the families where their loved ones are being taken. Can you imagine how hard that must be? Someone you’ve known and loved your entire life is just … gone. Forever. Just like that. And that situation is happening to so many families all over Italy. Once you have a parent or a loved one who is affected by the virus and they end up at the hospital, there’s a real chance that you may never see them again.
Belinelli’s father (Daniele), mother (Iole), and two brothers (Umbertro, Enrico) have remained confined in their homes in his native Italy since the coronavrius outbreak swept the country on Feb. 20. Since the NBA suspended the season last week after Utah center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, Belinelli and his girlfriend (Martina) have stayed at their San Antonio residence. Since, Belinelli has spent most of his day talking with relatives on FaceTime. “Everyone is healthy,” Belinelli said. “Thank God everything is good.”
Therefore, Belinelli has partnered with the NBA players union to donate an unspecified amount of money to help the “Ospedale Maggiore” hospital in his native Bologna, the largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. “They are going through a truly terrible moment where they don’t have enough beds and intensive care for all the people that are getting sick,” Belinelli said. “I’d like to help a little bit for everything that I can from San Antonio. It’s not easy.”
Reports of players in Italy flying back to the United States came in bunches on Friday morning. Emiliano Carchia, who runs the Sportando website that covers European basketball, reported the departures of Jaylen Barford, William Buford, Liam Farley, Davon Jefferson and James White from Virtus Roma in Rome. Numerous other Americans in Italy — Travis Diener, Ethan Happ and Terran Petteway among them — also received permission from their clubs to return to the States. Barford told The Athletic that people in the airport were “pretty calm” as he made his flight back to the U.S. The former St. John’s star said he might return to Italy if play resumes after the delay.
Emiliano Carchia: Olimpia Milano will honor Kobe Bryant in upcoming Italian Cup by wearing special jerseys Giorgio Armani: Honouring him one more time is our way of thanking him for everything he has done for basketball across the globe

Storyline: Kobe Bryant Death
Reggio Emilia has been particularly rocked by Bryant’s sudden death but the town remains proud of just how successful their former “son” became. Such was his impact on the area, Mayor Luca Vecchi announced the square in front of the town’s Basketball Center would be named in Bryant’s honor. “This town saw him growing up in the sports world, in basketball, in NBA, globally with the awareness that for him, Reggio Emilia wasn’t a stop like any other, but a fundamental piece of his formation,” Vecchi told CNN. “When at the end of his career Kobe Bryant showed up here in Reggio Emilia, I think that has been the moment during which the entire citizenship of the town understood the genuine depths of the connection.”
Italy, where Kobe Bryant grew up, will mourn the basketball player’s death for a full week. Every professional team in all levels of basketball will pay homage to Kobe with a moment of silence in every game for seven days, the Italian basketball federation said. Italian Basketball Federation’s president Giovanni Petrucci told CNN, “We are shocked and saddened by what happened to him and his daughter Gianna and we hold his family close to our hearts in this moment of sorrow.”
“He was a supernatural,” Italian coach Ettore Messina, who worked with Bryant as an assistant for the Lakers, told the AP via text message Sunday while traveling with his current club, Olimpia Milano. “To hear him speak and joke in our language and to remember when his father played here and he was a kid drew a lot of people to the NBA,” Messina added. “He was also always very attentive to help Italian kids arriving in the NBA and to help them enter such a tough and competitive world. He also did that with me when I arrived at the Lakers and I’m still very grateful to him for that. It’s very sad that his family has been devastated like this.”
Melvin Booker got to break a sweat on a few NBA teams but mostly played overseas in Turkey, Russia and Italy. Gutierrez allowed Booker, then 12, to visit his father one spring break in Milan, where the son played one-on-one with a future pro in Danilo Gallinari and showed the potential of being a special player. Eventually, Melvin ended his career to return home to coach his high school team and focus on his son. He convinced Gutierrez and Devin on a move to Mississippi before his sophomore year in high school so that he could be trained and prepared to play at a big-time college. “Letting Devin leave Michigan was by far the hardest decision of my life. I still have mixed feelings about it,” Gutierrez wrote. “Division I colleges were already pursuing him. Since Melvin was playing basketball overseas most of his life, the one-on-one that he got with his father was good for him.”
But you can step out and make the N.B.A. 3-pointer if you have to. Right? Luis Scola: I can make the N.B.A. 3. I shot 3s well the last two years in the N.B.A., especially in Toronto. But there are lots of players who can shoot 3s and are a lot more mobile. The good teams, they have better players. The bad teams, they have younger players. I just don’t think I am at that level anymore. I was there at some point. But the game changed also. It would be more difficult for me to play, even at my prime, in today’s N.B.A.

Italian team wanted Dwyane Wade

AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan president Pantaleo Dell’Orco, Giorgio Armani’s right hand, discussed various topics surrounding the Italian club with La Gazzetta Dello Sport. Livio Proli’s successor went on to explain Milan’s take on Mike James’ departure and also revealed that the team wanted to sign Dwyane Wade in the summer. “He was under contract with us.” Dell’Orco mentioned on James, “He talked to Ettore Messian twice and meanwhile he started playing tournaments with friends in the United States. This is not professional.” “This summer we wanted to sign an important NBA player.” he said on Wade, “We were interested in Dwyane Wade but we took some time.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 121 more rumors
In a 92-61 win against Angola on Monday, Gallinari wasn’t as efficient as his opening round performance against the Philippines, but the Italians again made quick work of an inferior opponent in Group D play in China. Against Angola, Gallinari had seven points, six rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes. Gallinari shot 3-of-7 from the field and missed his two 3-point attempts, but his engaged defense and aggression on offense helped Italy burst out to a 25-11 lead after the first quarter.
Italy last played at the flagship event back in 2006, during the last World Cup held in Asia. One of the players who saw action for the Azzurri back then is San Antonio Spurs three-point specialist Marco Belinelli, who remembers his previous World Cup experience well. “Being back in the World Cup is a very big achievement,” he said. “It’s a great competition, and I was on that 2006 team. We had a young team then, but we’ve always seen this as a great and important competition.”
Il Corriere dello Sport explained what happened with DeJuan Blair, signed by VL Pesaro early in August but suspended for doping by FIBA till 2021. Blair did not pass an anti-doping test while he was playing for San Lorenzo de Almagro in Argentina back in the season 2017-2018. FIBA informed Blair of his suspension writing him to to a wrong email address (“it is not my email address” Blair told Pesaro).