Valerio Bianchini and duels with Dan Peterson

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The words of Valerio Bianchini

Valerio Bianchini looked back on his 80 years with La Repubblica: “We lived in the lower Bergamo area where Olmi filmed L’Albero degli Zoccoli, then we moved to Milan with my mother who educated me in books. I was always reading, never leaving the house, so she dragged me to the oratory and there I found hoops, the American dream, the Platters. My uncle worked in a fashion store where Bongoncelli, godfather of modern basketball in Italy and of Olimpia, took his players to dress. So I began to frequent the Palalido, I would sit behind Rubini’s bench and as soon as he called timeout I would try to imagine the changes he would make even though for him basketball was about running, shooting, defending.”

“The toughest opponent? Always Dan Peterson because he was the one with the most glamour and value. He represented Milan and his task force. We faced each other many times, his laser defense with Mike D’Antoni was scary. Beating him was a complex job, first with a provincial team, then with the team from the capital, which, however, in basketball was not. It was a Rome that came out of the Dolce Vita, that was taking the dust of the ministerial city off its shoulders: with Liedholm and Falcao it was winning the Scudetto in soccer, small digital companies were being born, there was an awakening.”

Meanwhile, Gigi Datome spoke to “La Nuova Sardegna” about the season finale that led to the EA7 Emporio Armani Milano Scudetto, the Finals UnipolSai MVP title, and then the decision to retire after the World Cup with Italy in the Philippines: “It’s a choice that I was maturing slowly. On such important decisions, one should not get carried away by emotions. I promised myself I would decide at the end of the season, but in my heart I knew it was right to stop now or soon. I certainly wanted to do it as a top player, not as someone who had been one. And since it ended so well, I couldn’t have chosen a better ending.”

Datome then will have a role in Olimpia off the court as well: “I am happy that I was offered this very important opportunity, which allows me to be behind the team. The role is different, but I am also driven by great curiosity to learn. As a player, I don’t want to say that I had nothing left to learn, but I had seen a lot. Now, however, we are starting from scratch. The role? It will be more on the management side than the technical side.”

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