Gigi Datome: Winning in Italy is something I’d like to add to my resume

2020-09-14T17:05:52+00:00 2020-09-14T17:05:52+00:00.

Antigoni Zachari

14/Sep/20 17:05

Gigi Datome discusses his expectations to win a title in Italy with Olimpia Milano, his Fenerbahce stint, as well as his experience in the NBA.

By Eurohoops team /

Gigi Datome has returned to Italy with Olimpia Milano with hopes to win a title in his home country as he tells in a recent interview with Olimpia Milano TV.

“I have been lucky enough to win a lot of titles during my career, but I never won anything in Italy, at least as a real player. In my resume, there’s something that belongs to the Siena years, but I wasn’t an important player. Instead, I’d like to be important in what Milano is going to win. Our goal is to improve our ranking in Europe as we said, but winning in Italy as a useful player is something that I never experienced and I’d like to add to my career”, Datome says.

The veteran forward also discussed his five-year stint in Fenerbahce, and the support he still gets by the fans after his departure. “Most of the affection I got is the result of all the successes we had and also of what we showed on the court. I think we were a group that made the fans proud of us, of our mentality. We were very close to Fenerbahce in spirit, to Istanbul, to Turkey, many of us remained there, wanted their children to be born there, many of us felt very comfortable there. For me, it hasn’t been easy to conquer the fans. Some of them were a little perplexed in the beginning since I came to replace Nemanja Bjelica, who was the EuroLeague’s MVP. In truth, I played more like a 3 than as a 4. But over time, I received affection, deep love. Still, as today, fans are texting me, even if I moved. Obviously, it’s been an important chapter in my life, one I’m happy to have experienced.”

Datome made his jump to the NBA with the Detroit Pistons in 2013, while he moved to Boston Celtics in 2015. Despite the criticism, he managed to use this experience to grow, as he further explained:

“It’s been crazy, very intense, I was under scrutiny a lot, I had to stay confident while all around me there was a lot of skepticism about my potential as an NBA player. It was a formative experience, who made me stronger. Fortunately, I finished it in Boston, where I enjoyed myself, had the chance to stay on the court and feel like an NBA player. To live in that world, for two years, has been huge. I’m happy I got to experience this, despite the frustrations were bigger than the satisfaction. As I said, I enjoyed myself and to do certain things in Detroit and especially in Boston for a basketball fan like me means a lot.”