Euroleague.net interview: Danilo Gallinari, Armani Jeans Milano
December 18, 2007
Very few teenagers walk into the Euroleague and score in double digits through their first six games. The fact that Danilo Gallinari of Armani Jeans Milano has done so, however, has not surprised those who have watched him in recent years. Gallinari is already considered team leader cut in the mold of his own father, Vittorio, a member of Milan's triple-crown team that won the Euroleague in 1987. The son's return from injury three games into the Euroleague season has since seen Milano win its first two games - both on the road - while Gallinari has climbed the statistical charts, ranking sixth among all Euroleague players in performance index rating and 11th in scoring with 16.5 points per game. He is the talk of a storied franchise, Milano, who also knows that when he goes home after each game, he has to face a real expert: his father. "He always comments on my games, yes," Gallinari told Euroleague.net. "I know that if he remembers only one action that I made, then it means that I played a good game. But if he starts to say 'You did that and didn't do that', then it means that I played bad."
What do you remember of your father's games?
"What I remember is that in every video that I watched, he always won. On the video he never lost. In reality, I know that sometimes he lost, however."
Which one of your father qualities would you like to have?
"Every trophy that he has."
What does he say about your basketball?
"He always comments on my games, yes. I know that if he remembers only one action that I made, then it means that I played a good game. But if he starts to say 'You did that and didn't do that', then it means that I played bad."
Which position do you feel more comfortable playing , guard or forward? What quality would you like to improve upon?
"I am a basketball player, just that. Whether I am a guard or a forward is the same for me. I like both of them. As for improvement, I would like to have better athleticism."
What do you think about the Euroleague Basketball competition?
"I expected it to be a tougher challenge in some ways, but I think that the difficulties I have run into in the Italian League have prepared me well to face the Euroleague. What I would like is to play better to help my team win."
Who is your favorite player, or the one you followed most growing up?
"I can't say that there was one player whom I followed as a role model, but it's true that (Predrag) Danilovic and (Dejan) Bodiroga are two important players. I watched a lot of Michael Jordan's videos, too."
As you might know, you will be eligible to compete for the Euroleague Rising Star Trophy this year. What kind of competition do you see around the league?
"I don't know. The French player (Nicolas) Batum plays up and down at times, but I know that in the last game he played really well. I don't really know yet many of the other young players."
You have had three head coaches with Milano so far: Sasha Djordjevic, Zare Markovski and now Attilio Caja. What differences have you seen?
"They are different coaches, with different types of game and they have different leadership styles. As for coach Caja, what he tells me is to run and always have energy on the court."
Which team do you expect to win the 2007-08 Euroleague? Where can Milano finish?
"I think CSKA will win the Euroleague. Yesterday I watched Roma-Panathinaikos and Roma played a very good game, so I think that CSKA, Panathinaikos, Tau and...I don't know, maybe Barcelona. For my team, Milano, it is very hard but we must play to win each and every game, I'm just trying to compete in every game, our goal is always to win!"