“I was a little lost in my head”

“I was a little lost in my head”
“I was a little lost in my head”

The back of the France team takes stock, at a press conference, as the Blues begin their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Olympics start now for the Blues. Meeting at Insep since Wednesday before going to Pau for the first phase of the preparation, they only have one month to start the Japanese Olympiad in the best conditions, with an XXL opening match against Team USA July 25. After a complicated season, between a trade (from Orlando to Boston) and the Covid-19, Evan Fournier does not shy away from his pleasure to find the France team and play the Games for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old rear gave an update to the media on Thursday, via screens.

Back with the Blues : «Like every year, it’s always a pleasure to come back, to see friends, to see different players and to assess each other’s progress. And to be able to compete. We are there for that, to play basketball and do big competitions. I’m really looking forward to getting back to it.»

Read also :Substitutes Lessort and Howard packages with the Blues for the Tokyo Olympics

Its state of form : «I finished my season about three weeks ago. It’s a year in which it was a challenge to plan my rest period. Usually I always have some time to disconnect and a period of training. There it was a little different. I took about ten days and gradually resumed, at Insep for that matter. I’m going to need the preparation badly to get back into it, but that’s what it is. Again, I can’t wait to get started.»

The alchemy of the 2019 World Cup at the Olympics : «Alchemy is created naturally, it cannot be forced. We have a fairly similar group compared to 2019. There is a base. Afterwards, it is the truth of the ground! We will have to be attentive to training and that we do things well, the preparation is short with only four matches before the Olympics. We will have to attack all matches with great seriousness and intensity. This is how we will prepare well. The World Cup in China was two years ago. It is not realistic to think that we will meet again and that everything will be as in 2019, we will have to work on that.»

The favorites at the Olympics : «It’s a journalist thing, sorry (smile). There is clearly the United States, which has more talent than the other teams, and after that we will have to play the matches. In all competitions, there are teams that surprise and others that disappoint. In the end, the favorites …»

The new format at the Games : «I talked about it with Vincent (Collet), not yet with the players. I did not have the chance to participate in the 2012 and 2016 Games. There is a change in the formula and it will therefore be very important to win all our matches and in case of loss, to limit the damage. We have a big hen, that will be all the more important.“(The Blues will be in Group A, with the United States, Iran and the team that will come out of the TQO of Victoria, Editor’s note)

“I was only sick for a week and it wasn’t much, I only had a little fever. The big problem was especially after. “

Evan Fournier on the Covid-19

His experience with Covid-19 : «I was only sick for a week and it wasn’t much, I only had a little fever. The big problem was especially after. I had a hard time concentrating. I had vision problems. I was a little lost in my head. All my senses were a little attacked. Not necessarily the taste and smell. It was really not easy going, I felt like I was overwhelmed, that everything was going too fast for me all the time. For example, when I took the car, I had too much information, lights, other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles … It was complicated. Obviously, in the field, it was worse… I did the Pfizer vaccine. In Boston, there is Harvard, and therefore smart and famous people. And there were examples of when the vaccine made you feel better. After my first dose, it went much better. There, I did the second just before coming back to France. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% yet, but it’s getting a lot better.»

First participation in the Olympics : «I am happy to participate in the Olympics even if it is under special conditions. I hope that the hall will still be full, that we can experience these Games and that we will do a performance in Japan.»

American selection : «They bring their team back and that’s good. That’s basketball, international competitions: you have to bring back your best players. I was a little surprised by the presence of some players, like Kevin Durant. He’s just finished (with the Nets in the NBA). He is already a double Olympic champion. One would therefore have thought that he was going to ignore it. But I find it good. When you are a competitor, you want to play against the best possible teams. It’s positive. For players still in the play-offs (Middleton with Milwaukee and Booker with Phoenix, Editor’s note), it will be “short”. But at the same time, they will be in the rhythm. We’ll see how it goes.»

Les Bleues at the Euro right now : «I am necessarily from far away. I admit that I have not watched the matches. Afterwards, if I have the opportunity to do it for the semi-final (Saturday against Belarus) and hopefully the final, I will. I wish them to win.»

Growing up in a family of athletes : «When you grow up in a family of athletes, it necessarily affects your education. I was obviously marked, as a kid, watching my parents’ competitions, when my father brought back suitcases from the France team … Playing the Olympics has always been important to me. This is my first opportunity. I intend to seize it and make the best possible performance.»

An advantage over other competing teams : «We don’t have an advantage, no.»

“A group was born in China”

Evan Fournier

The memory of the 2019 World Cup : «To this day, the prevailing feeling is that something great has been missed. I still have this defeat against Argentina (in the semi-finals) across the throat. I think I’ll have it all my life … It’s part of the sport. We missed out on our game. There were special conditions for this meeting … Afterwards, I also have fond memories of it because it was a great adventure, with a great group. A group was born in China. A very good experience with a little disappointment in this Argentina match. ”

World Cup bronze medal : «I gave it to a Chinese in the audience as the commentator said at the time (laughs). No, I gave it to my father in China after the game, he still has it. I already have the bronze medal of the 2014 World Cup in Madrid. I didn’t need it suddenly … I’m not a very material person. I don’t bring a lot of values ​​to things. I know I finished third, I don’t need a medal to remember that.»

“I’m super happy that Nico (Batum) got out of this Charlotte trap”

Evan Fournier

Decreased in 2019, Nicolas Batum in shape : «It will greatly help us. I’m super happy for Nico, that he got out of this Charlotte trap. He is a player who needs to have responsibilities, to be on the pitch, to have the feeling of helping the team. That’s what he does with the Clippers. It is in his register. He does a very good job for them. He put on three dunks in the last game against Utah (in the Conference semifinals), it hasn’t happened to him for four or five years… He’s really in good shape, it shows that he is in legs, that he wants. For us, the longer he plays, the better it will be, because he will be really strong. I wish him to work with the Clippers.»

A favorite for the NBA title : «Brooklyn was my favorite… With the injuries, we know what happened. With the injuries, the Covid-19 in Phoenix (Chris Paul missed the first two matches of the Western Conference finals, Editor’s note), I would put Milwaukee as the winner, but they play a little upside down at times, especially last night (during of the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals). I would say Milwaukee to go to the end against Phoenix. I think it will be complicated over time without Kawhi (Leonard) for the Clippers … Unless they go back to playing “small ball”, but with DeAndre Ayton, it still changes the situation.»

The dream of meeting a particular sportsman in Tokyo : «I don’t really have an athlete in mind. I would still like to attend a few events, if there is time, if the schedule allows it and if I am not too tired. I would love to go see the athletics stadium and also judo to be honest.»

Interview in press videoconference

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