The coach of Boulogne Levallois – also the coach of the French basketball team – admits in an interview with infos-dijon. He talks about JDA Dijon, the French Championship, the prodigy Victor Vembanyama, the Paris 2024 Olympics that makes him dream, but also Elan Chalon.
He is not yet sixty years old, that is, not retirement age, but he has such an important place in French basketball that he is already a legend. French national team coach Vincent Collet is also the happy coach of Boulogne Levallois. Lucky because French basketball prodigy Victor Venbanyama works under him. And one thing all NBA clubs want to sign, the Metropolitans guarantee full houses everywhere. As at the Palais des Sports in Dijon, this January 15th. Inevitably, packed rooms are exciting for a coach. Before the shock match in Dijon, Vincent Collet admitted in an interview with infos-dijon. And it’s exciting.
Is facing JDA at the Palais des Sports in Dijon a match you’ve been dreading?
VINCENT COLLET: “There is no easy game. They are all difficult. As in Dijon, elsewhere or at home. Even if we’re facing a team we’re only one win ahead of, it’s no more special than any other match…”
You defeated ASVEL last week as JDA Dijon. Is knocking ASVEL a label?
“No, because ASVEL is not as strong as we thought at the beginning of the season. This season, this championship has Monaco and others. Monaco is on top. I think that with Boulogne-Levallois we are part of the teams chasing after the Principality club. In the same way as Dijon, Cholet. We all had a slight advantage over Bourg en Bresse and Limoges. But the championship will be very long. We are only halfway there.”
Wherever you go, the halls are full. Is it more complicated?
“No, no, it’s not more complicated to manage. We know that many fans want to see Victor Vembanyama. It is also very good and very good for basketball. Not only are we not complaining, but we are very happy.”
How did you convince him to join you?
“It was his decision. I didn’t look for it. He was the one who asked to come to Boulogne-Levallois to work with me. With his agents, he felt that I was leaving, that the club and I would allow him to move on. It is true that the team is built around him and favorable conditions have been created for him to develop his game. He knows that at his age he still has a lot to learn, so if we can help him… »
If you were to advise him to choose between the NBA and the Euroleague, what would you say?
“This is not a discussion. He dreams of the NBA like many other players and he is right. His joining the NBA is a no-brainer. And I’m sure he’ll be successful in the NBA. My only question, my only question is at what level will it be successful. But once again, Victor is young and he will definitely improve.
So you’re hoping for him at the 2024 Paris Olympics, wishing for that date?
“All teams, all players dream of the Olympics. The goal will obviously be to have a strong and efficient team. After a year and a half, Victor will definitely be stronger and more efficient. Frankly, I think a lot about the Paris Olympics. Two days ago I was working with the mental coach of the French national team. Yes, coincidentally, we are already preparing for this great meeting, we are thinking about it. We are in the preparation stage. On a more personal level, I see the Paris Olympics as my Everest. I put this goal in the highest place!”
Chorale de Roanne coach Jean-Denis Choule told L’Equipe in a recent interview that he is against the reduction in the number of teams in the French championship. What do you think ?
“I developed more in the same direction. It is not necessary that the Euroleague is developing, the number of teams in our elite should decrease. Because there is no need to protect the teams in Euroleague. I think it is important for basketball, for our basketball, to have a good area network. I notice that even the teams that are at the bottom of our league today are good teams. I remind you that the desire to reduce the number of teams arose to meet the demand of broadcasters. But there is no broadcaster who applied. Therefore, Jean-Denys Choulet is right about our players. We also need matches for the public in all the halls…”
Elan Chalon was able to achieve his goal of promotion this season. Is it important to you?
“It was not appropriate for this club to go down so quickly after the title of French champion. It was surprising because the fall was brutal. Chalon, like everyone else, has a place in the Elite. Lo and behold, Nancy is back and every game in the house is sold out.
Between Dijon and Bourg, with Chalon in the middle, there are hundreds of kilometers. Do you believe in the merger of the two clubs?
“No, it’s impossible. The combination is very complex. Dijon, Chalon sur Saôbe, Bourg en Bresse are bastions of basketball. Dijon took the lead today, recovered from the departure of Laurent Legname and the Palais des Sports is often full, with the added bonus of consistency at European level… Bourg is an example for other clubs, the economic basin is not large, but many partners, because they work well . They built a nice room, but today it is too small. 5000 seats would be good. After DEt, Chalon is also a beautiful salon with great participation. This is the network of the area.”
Collected by Alain BOLERY
(Photo Boulogne – Levallois)