Facundo Campazzo became an attraction in the NBA. Perhaps the most loyal fans of Denver have not noticed it yet, but in Argentina there was a boom rarely seen in recent times with an athlete from these latitudes. The Facumania It grew with the passage of the Nuggets games and the variable performance on the court of the Cordoba man: from playing little at the beginning, to having a great contribution in consecutive days and then not even entering.
The story is just beginning for the Argentine guard. There are 62 games in the regular phase and a few playoffs in which his team hopes to be the protagonist again as it was last season. But beyond the future Infobae proposed to do an analysis of the fenómeno Campazzo in his first 10 NBA games beyond his performance within the playing field.
And for that, he requested the help of two excellent coaches: one of them is Julius lamas, with a past for the Argentine national team and the Real Madrid bank, and who has now moved to Japan to lead the Japanese men’s team in the next Olympic Games. The other is Silvio Santander, current coach of San Lorenzo in the National League and who shared with Facundo many concentrations and tournaments as Sergio Hernández’s assistant in the national team.
“With Facundo, in Argentina, a situation was generated that everyone is pending. And there is no longer patience. After a long time, it happened that we had no one in the NBA and he came with a clear option to the competition. Then, he returns triumphant with the National Team jersey, that is, fully and as one of the best point guards in the world. Everyone is watching, those who follow basketball and those who do not even follow the sport, pay attention to it. This phenomenon makes the times of adaptation to the NBA and the urgency on this side feel even more ”, is the first thing Lamas has to say about the mobilization that Campazzo’s landing in the best league in the Argentine caused in the Argentines. world.
The case of Santander is particular and compared the arrival of the former Real Madrid player to basketball in the United States with what was generated with Ginobili almost two decades ago.
“The same thing happened to me as when Manu came to the NBA. One knows that there are players who can play in the NBA and that their participation can be a dropper, but with Facundo and Manu, before starting, one expected the things that are happening now to happen.. For having dominated Europe, for having a competitive animal inside. The same thing that happens with Chapu (Nocioni) or Luis (Scola), because I put Facu in the same line of highly competitive players, so he has far exceeded what we all expected ”.
Beyond the similarities, related to the need to return to have an Argentine in the greatest basketball tournament on the planet, the initial situation in the competition between Campazzo and Ginobili are not comparable. Were both considered vital players for basketball in Europe? Of course. Facundo was the leader of Real Madrid, a powerful in the Old continent, while Manu set foot as champion of the Euroleague with the remembered Children of Bologna. But statistically, the story is different.
In their first ten encounters, the Cordovan guard averaged 12.4 minutes per game. That counting that in the loss to the Dallas Mavericks, he could not be seen on the court against his former teammate Luka Doncic, since coach Michael Malone did not use him. If we get on a time machine and travel to the 2002-2003 season, Ginobili’s beginning in the NBA was different in an unprecedented aspect for what was that Spurs campaign: The 20 of the San Antonio started in five games of their 10 opening games – their only in the entire regular season – and saw action in just over 19 minutes on average.
Players of different positions, and in different scenarios for each of the franchises, The value of putting Campazzo hand in hand with Ginobili is related to the blow of effect that his arrival in the NBA caused by the similarities of their sporting conditions.
“There was a tremendous phenomenon because we once again have one in the NBA, that he is accepted and consecrated by all of Argentine sports,” said Lamas. “Facundo has one more thing: he is a bit the ‘Player of the People’, which anyone could have been because for reasons of height, He does things on the ground of giants that we happened to be in China and he makes a move and the Chinese, who did not know who Campazzo was, do ‘ohhhhhhhhh’. We went to Puerto Rico and he did something and also the same, “he added.
“That’s where you realize that the general public has an empathy that represents that we can all play basketball. It is not necessary to measure 2.06 meters “, explained the coach who summoned the Cordovan base and added him to the team with only 21 years of age to the team that was one step away from the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In tune with Lamas’ reflection, Santander also used the figure of Carlos Tevez to establish a parallel with the popular sentiment generated by the return of an Argentine in the NBA with the figure of Campazzo, a boy who despite his disadvantage in stature showed that thanks to his mentality, effort and development he could fulfill his dream.
“I believe that Facundo is an example to follow for many young people. He is a player who shows a new chance for Argentine basketball to take it en masse to all the houses and neighborhood clubs. The Campazzo phenomenon, we do not know where it will end, is one of the players that happens as with Tevez in football, who has won titles where he has played, with his charisma, with his image”, He analyzed one of the key pieces of the technical staff of the Argentine team.
“The Campazzo phenomenon should be able to help national basketball as did the Golden Generation, this new generation or Manu in the NBA. All situations that helped the overcrowding, “added Silvio.
Despite the needs of Facu fans to see him more time on the parquet, the path marks that so far their participation has been valuable in the team. Although he is in full adaptation, he completed good passages in a team that is still fully armed after the changes it suffered between last season and the current one.
In the opening five games, Campazzo played a role for which he was rarely chosen. He played in the guard position, without having control of the ball in his hands. Consequences? He only fired five shots at the basket. Everything changed in the two games against Minnesota: he averaged almost 24 minutes, made 15 shots – scored eight baskets with five triples – and could feel the owner of the substitute formation when he was on the court.
“I think it is too early to do an evaluation. This has only just begun. The times it takes to adapt to the NBA for a player who comes from abroad, are not the same as those of people who want to see Facundo succeed in the NBA. The adaptation times are different with the anxiety and wishes of the spectators ”, stated Lamas.
“Americans in the NBA tend to respect what they know. And they only know well those who are in the NBA. So everyone who has gone, Ginobili, Scola, Oberto and the rest, have had to adapt. And in the first year they live things like this: having to adapt to the competition, the team, the regulations, the style of play and American life. All this takes a process “added the current coach of the Japan men’s team, who also emphasized how strange the calendar was due to the pandemic, which forced Campazzo to have almost no recess and change Real Madrid for Denver in just under two months.
What does Santander think about Facundo’s adaptation to the Nuggets? “With the need to see Facundo, the two things came together: we know that he is ours, very charismatic, most of the people identified with his game. That’s why everyone wanted him to quickly remain the same or even raise his levelSo what was happening is totally understandable, because they have to take it slowly. Even from what happened to him in the games against Minnesota, that doesn’t confirm that he will always have that role because it is still under construction. That, for us who are such an anxious country, seemed all very little. But I understand that any player who changes league, who goes to work with new staff and new teammates, needs some time. But Facundo was very intelligent because he opted for a defensive part, invisible, that he knew that in a short time it was going to become something else “.
Now is the time for Campazzo to consolidate his foray into the team. Beyond the praise of coach Malone and his teammates, the near future is promising. Why? Simple. Facundo is a player who always surpassed himself. Did not stay in what they will say and he took advantage of all his basketball capacity and his mental strength to remedy any bad passage in each of his sporting experiences.
“I know him well and I see the competitive mentality in him. That was already demonstrated in the contractual decision he made to leave Madrid and enter the NBA. He made a bet. That again shows that his ambition is permanent, he recycles himself to go to the next level “, Julio Lamas explained.
“He has to wait for his moments and, in the meantime, contribute his energy to defense when he comes from the bench. He extraordinarily contributes that. It also happened that the initial compliments, many, from the coach, generated an excessive expectation. That confused a bit. To all, perhaps. But he is going to adjust it quickly ”, added the Argentine DT.
For its part, Santander opted for the same chips as Lamas to analyze what is coming for Campazzo. “His intelligence, that mental toughness that he has so that he will somehow get away with it, is going to help him a lot. Something very strange has to happen so that he falls into a mental well or that something does not understand. Facu is a player who, where he has spent his entire career, has been presented with doubts. And he surpassed them all ”.
And he added: “There are so many games that some are going to find it with more prominence and in others it can go unnoticed, but it is part of the rotation of a team with many bases. But he will be very happy for what he can achieve and what he set as a goal: knowing that he can play, that he can contribute to a team and give him quality minutes. At least in this first year. That should make us all very happy. “
Campazzo is a phenomenon. There’s no doubt about it. What is also clear is that his landing in the league that brings together the best players in the world generated a phenomenon. Now it will be time to continue seeing its evolution in a Denver that has not yet shown its best face and that, as it happens in most teams, is in full adaptation in an NBA that compressed its calendar. A scenario that gives you no respite or opportunity to think about anything other than the next game. And that Facundo knows.
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