Campazzo continues to work to gain ground in the team that has Michael Malone as its coach (Photo: AFP)
Facundo Campazzo’s presence in the NBA has the Argentine public very expectant every time the Denver Nuggets take the field. The 30-year-old point guard is in the last year of his contract with the American franchise and he fights game by game to adapt as well as possible to his team’s style of play, and thus win the renewal for the coming seasons. However, an injury and the irregularity he suffered in the first matches had a negative impact on his head.
With the current injury of Jamal Murray, star of the Nuggets, and with the appearance of Bones Hyland as a promise, the Cordovan needed time to assimilate his playing minutes. “I take it easy. When I made the decision to come here, I knew that I had to put my ego aside because it was going to be another role, I was going to have to have an impact in less time and with less ball time in hand. I still have an adaptation process. It’s not easy, we’re in the best league in the world. Many times, in general, I don’t read both the good and the bad, but I live on social networks, and after all, one sees it,” he explained in a talk with Basketball Magazine.
It was difficult for the Cordovan to get into rhythm at the beginning of the season, but he finally ended up coupling (Photo: AFP)
His level at the beginning of the season was not ideal and the minutes fell to the level that there were games in which he did not enter. “In Peñarol and Real Madrid the bullets did not enter one, he continued, here there were bullets that did enter. I tried to be with my family, with the people who give me good vibes and keep going. Don’t read too many good things and bad things. Keep trusting me. It was three weeks that I was with that perhaps they were right. What is journalistic criticism in general, I always took it well, they are numbers. Later there were more criticisms of the bone and that is the one that damages a little. I suffered two or three weeks. It is harmful and cruel, there are people who suffer from it their entire sports career, “he added.
In search of his development, Campazzo is very clear about his point to improve: “I train the shot from three out of games, I stay more and all that. I try to train as much as possible, resemble the match, as real as possible. Both mentally and physically and wear. In my case, decision-making is important, when I have to take that shot, when I can risk taking one more shot”.
On the other hand, he sought to explain the change he had to make in his style of play in order to fit in the NBA. “My game is based on being emotional, impulsive, many times I control well and others not so much. My game was not based on gaining confidence from my shot, my confidence on offense was based on defending behind, not worrying on offense and that the points find me alone, not forcing it. It’s a different way than what I was used to, if I want to survive this season in the league, I have to improve it. I will try to be my best 3-point shooting version. My best shot is when I stop putting pressure on my head that I have to put it in”, he concluded about it.
Facu Campazzo faces the challenge of having to defend the best players in the world (Photo: AP Photo)
OTHER PHRASES OF FACUNDO CAMPAZZO
· Gabriel Deck’s situation: “I didn’t talk much with him. I don’t know where he is now. I think he did not have the opportunity and the luck that is also needed to land just in the team that needs him. I truly believe that Gaby can play here. It doesn’t depend only on one, I can tell from my experience, you have to land in the right place, with the right dynamics and patience, be calm. The season is long. Gaby can easily play here, whatever he is going to do, make him happy, and do it with the passion that characterizes him”.
· If you are desperate to be in your last year with a contract: “I don’t think that it is my last season of contract. The fact of playing so many games, minutes, trips is too much physical and mental exhaustion. Thinking about the future… it’s impossible to know anything, more wear and tear on the head, I’d rather not. At no time do I feel that it is a factor that influences me when it comes to playing. I take it with nature, live in the present. Therein lies my challenge, to read the situation where I am, to have an impact with less ball time in hand, with a different way of playing than I was used to. Die with it. I am here, in this situation, this is my role in the team, I will try to be the best version of myself in this role”.
· Play alongside Nikola Jokic: “It’s amazing, I’ve never played with someone like him. It is very tall. I can imagine it, I would love to have two chairs, be up there and see how everything is from above when it comes time to pass. With the ease that it does. He has been on the team for years, he knows the offenses, when he runs the offenses he knows how the defense is going to react, he gets ahead and already knows where he is going to put the ball, he puts it at the right time. He makes all his teammates better when it comes to playing, he is training all day, all day in the gym. The game ends and that same night he goes to the gym, to do whatever it takes to keep improving. He is agile, talented, for his size he is fast. I really enjoy watching him play.”
Facu found a great partnership with Jokic and Green (Photo: AFP)
· The relationship behind closed doors: “I get along with most, I talk more with some than with others, but there is a good union. With those who are most Jokic, with Vlatko Cancar the Slovenian, I am next to Jamal Murray and PJ Dozier in the locker room, they both help me a lot. My English is not the best, it is known. I shared a plane with PJ before he was injured and I told him: ‘Look PJ, when you talk to me do you have to speak slower and clarify your words? Or do you talk like you do with your friends?’ And he clarified: ‘No, I speak slower because you are not going to understand me’. I explained to him that he makes me like his friends to see if I can improve more by listening to more fluent English. Communication in the NBA is very important, being on a par with your teammates, getting to know them, talking to a coach or assistant is important”.
· The support of Argentines in the United States: “I don’t fall for some things. The recent games I felt in Argentina directly. In Orlando it also happened to me, the last three games there were 20 people waiting outside the stadium with Argentine flags, who were working in the surroundings and others. It’s incredible and that support is very noticeable, it gives me a lot of energy. It makes me happy that they enjoy and the best way to honor that is to leave everything in each game”.
· Most difficult rivals: “Of the rivals that cost me the most, first comes Utah, which is a team with the best defensive and offensive sides. They are very good, complete. They are in another game dynamic, you are penalized for the mistakes you make at all times. I think it’s one of the most complicated, as can the Lakers, who even though we beat them well, they’re athletic, tall, long, they compress the court and it’s difficult to penetrate. Clippers can also be one of those quietly.
· The ones he enjoys facing the most: “One of the ones I enjoy the most is Golden State, seeing Curry is tremendous, even more live, copying things like that is impossible but I enjoy watching. I enjoy watching us play, when we are in a good dynamic it is a nice team to watch. I also like Lillard, I really enjoyed watching him when I was in Europe and here I love to defend him”.
· The new stage in the Argentine team without Scola: “I imagine it and want it with the same commitment that we have been doing in recent years, with the same values that Luis transmitted to us. We have to go down that same path, in that we find the best version. If we go down the right path and embrace that, good things may or may not happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s a failure. Let’s find the best version that way. The commitment of always. Try to go, those of us who can be in each tournament, to generate that union, that DNA, it is important that the team can always be there, for that Nestor is also perfect, he knows how to manage the group, get the best out of each game, make play with trust. A beautiful challenge is coming, there is a window in February, June, August and the American in September.
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