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Interview with Pablo Laso on Gigantes Podcast: «At Bayern, you come to win and compete at the highest level

There are people who need no introduction, figures whose mere name evokes a series of images, moments, and memories. One of them is Pablo Laso. One of the most decorated coaches in European and Spanish basketball, capable of bringing Real Madrid back to the forefront and experiencing a decade full of successes. Now embarked on the promising project of Bayern Munich, Laso continues to maintain the excitement of the first day in the fight to grow in the EuroLeague. All this while each summer he runs the Pablo Laso Training Camp, an elite camp for young players where he leads a group of top-level coaches.

Laso is the first guest on the Gigantes Podcast program “Basketball According To…,” a place where players, coaches, and personalities from this sport will appear in a classic interview format to get to know the other side of these protagonists.

Listen to the full interview on Gigantes Podcast within the feed of our program Gigantes Daily.



Pablo Laso on Bayern Munich’s objectives

“I believe that Bayern Munich is a team, well, I don’t know, like Real Madrid was. In the end, you have to win. If you come to Real Madrid, like I did as a coach, and the first thing I say is: well, let’s see if we make it to the Cup. The people of Real Madrid would look at me and say: look, you weren’t brought here to just make it to the Cup, you were brought here to be a champion. It’s the same at Bayern Munich. I believe that the player who comes to Bayern Munich has to understand that they are not coming to just see if things go well. You come to win and compete at the highest level. I think this, without a doubt, takes time. You have to understand it from day one.”

Pablo Laso on Bayern Munich’s season

“I think for teams that play in European competitions, it is always complicated because people don’t appreciate that. They don’t even appreciate the difference in how basketball is played in Germany, how it is played in Spain, or how it is played in Greece, and it is very difficult to adapt. I am one of those who believe that in the end, your team must have an identity, and for us, well, for me, it has been necessary to adapt to a different kind of basketball, to a different club, to a different idea, and to new players. I was at Real Madrid for a long time with the same players.

For us, the beginning of the year was very demanding. We won and lost games in the EuroLeague. We always had or have had the feeling in the EuroLeague that we fell a bit short of making it to the playoffs, just a bit short. For whatever reason. Due to quality, not knowing how to manage the end of games, lack of experience, injuries. All of that might sound like excuses, but the reality is that we fell short of the EuroLeague playoffs and we feel that we could have done better. We must be critical of ourselves and also appreciate the things we have done.”

Pablo Laso on his elite camp

“It is a learning experience even for us. The first thing we want is for the kids to be well and feel comfortable, but we also tell them from day one, well, that if you want to go to a basketball camp to just have fun, just to have fun. No, here you come to work and improve. And that is what we want. Of course, we want the kids to have fun, but also, well, I think we have a group of professionals, coaches who demand a lot from them and we have also been adapting a bit to what they demanded.

We never think about whether you are in one group or another, we think that the work you are going to do will be good for your improvement as a player, regardless of how you feel. Regardless of whether you are with groups, with much older people or younger people, because in the end the work will be very similar, the improvement work will be very similar. We have opened it up internationally, we have had Argentinians, Romanians, Israelis… Last year we had a group of Chinese players, well, we believe we have achieved something very difficult, which is that the players really get involved in daily improvement.”

Pablo Laso on the importance of individual training in players

“Transfer is very important for us, and this is something that, in quotes, is the hardest to train, but for us, it is what we try the most, which is often working on decision-making. When we talk about a great player, we say: they always make the right decisions. Well, why? Because they are alone and shoot? No, because they know when they need to shoot, or when they need to pass, or when it is important to box out, because if not, they won’t succeed.

Those decisions, of which there are many in basketball, are what we try to improve every day, and obviously, that is why we then introduce the game, what is the reality, playing three-on-three, playing four-on-four, and playing five-on-five. I think that is a bit of what we have seen over time, what the kids demand and what they really improve on while they are with us.”

Pablo Laso on his academy and youth teams

“The idea of the Pablo Laso Academy is also somewhat linked to what the training camp was. The idea of player development. They have to work and feel like a team and, well, we saw that need to transfer what we saw in the training camp to the academy.

I believe that the success of the academy cannot be measured. Or we do not measure it only by winning or losing. We want to win, of course, but we do not measure it only by that. We want the kids to compete well, to improve, to feel part of something important, to respect their coaches, to have a good education. For us, all those things are as important as winning.”