Olimpia Milano’s President Livio Proli spoke to the media during the new coach Luca Banchi’s press conference. Here what he had to say.
“We’re coming from an early elimination from the playoffs: we had to take the hit but fortunately it didn’t kill us. Since the day after, with humility but also with sheer determination, we analyzed our mistakes and all together we tried to understand where and how we couldn’t capitalize the potential of our project. All together means the front office, the coaches and the players too. We didn’t work well enough to improve a team with talent and enough ability to do more. What’s really important is to learn by our mistakes and don’t indulge in them. During the last five years our club didn’t win but improved and grew up, we understood our vision for the future: we have resources both financially and human to look at a three-year plan. From the club’s perspective, we thought about working with a small staff: few but good, thet’s the motto. Inside the club you’ll find young people, with a lot of desire and capable, who’ll be promoted.
“We also chose a coach representing with his example the values we’re looking for: hard work, stay in the gym, pragmatism, simple smartness and energy. We understood what the Milano’s pressure means. In the past has been used as a negative value, but I believe we are very fortunate to live in a city where basketball is important and followed. Just like in Italy during the last playoffs, as showed by the tv audiences. Our last win took place in 1996 but people didn’t leave us. The expectations are big, handling the pressure is not an easy job but to be in the middle of the battle is much better than leaving alone. Our fans are our foundation and during the last year they’re more than in the past. We owe them a lot. They followed us consistently and in bigger numbers even when we didn’t play up to the Olimpia’s name. We still had more than 5.000 people pushing us. To them I want to clarify: We’ll play in Milano, no doubt about that. It’s obvious.
“Three years ago we signed a six-year contract with the Forum beacuse we didn’t have the Palalido. The Lido is important not just for 5.500 seats creating a good environment but also because all our teams, including the youth teams, are working out there. And right now they’re working under, let’s say, improvable conditions. We need a decent home seven days a week. Everything happening, the delay, was nobody’s fault but I’m sure next summer we’ll have the Lido for the 2014/15 seasons. In the meantime we’ll play at the Forum but obviously if sometime it won’t be available we’ll be obligated to move occasionally in another arena, probably Desio. But it’ll happen rarely”.