On a temporary basis due to the sanitary restrictions caused by the pandemic, the Amalie Arena in Tampa (Florida) has become this season the provisional home of the Toronto raptors. A pavilion that, since this last morning, will always have a very special memory in the race of Sergio Scariolo. For the first time in his NBA career, the National Coach has served as head coach. Anti-Covid protocols meant that Nick Nurse, head coach of the Canadian franchise, and other members of the coaching staff had to be removed from the team’s dynamics. A circumstance that made the Raptors bet on Scariolo to lead the team to the win over Houston Rockets 122-111.

Appointing Sergio was not difficult. The experience he has, not only in the NBA but as a head coach either in Europe or in the Spanish National Team, has made it not difficult. He has an incredible ability to see the game, to make adjustments, he knows his role very well. So we are happy to see you in the role of head coach and see what you can do.“, he pointed Bobby webster, general manager of the Raptors, to the Efe Agency.

Scariolo, who is facing his second stage as a coach, landed in the NBA in 2018 to join Nick Nurse’s project as an assistant coach. In his first season in Toronto, he helped win, alongside fellow internationals Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, the first championship ring in franchise history. Months later, it would lead Spain to its second World Cup in China.

After two and a half seasons as an assistant, the coach took over the team last night to get a win that would place Toronto with 50% of victories (17-17). A new milestone in Spanish basketball that its protagonist valued in this way: “It is the other people who make me feel that this is special because you are so focused on what you are doing that you don’t have much time to think about your emotions”. At the end of the game, point guard Kyle Lowry handed Scariolo the game ball in the team’s locker room.

Scariolo, the most awarded Coach in the history of Spanish basketball with seven medals in eight directed championships, returned to the United States this week after winning two victories with #LaFamilia last weekend in Poland in the last qualifying matches for the Eurobasket 2022. In total, he has directed a total of 151 matches for the National Team with a balance of 122 victories and 29 defeats.