Play Denver nuggets. Play Facundo Campazzo. Enter from the bench, add around 20 minutes and round a game more than correct. Night after night, the Cordovan base proves to be at the height of the NBA. But night to night Complaints are repeated against the coach, Michael Malone, whom fans of the Argentine criticize on social networks for not giving him more minutes. Do you hear that Campazzo? Not at all. It does not affect him in the least having to face a secondary role after having been an exclusive figure in Real Madrid and he sums it up in a short, concise and forceful way: “If I listened to my ego, I couldn’t be here“.
In the framework of a press conference for the event of Latin nights of the NBA, in which Latin American culture is celebrated in all league games, the Cordovan point guard reflected on his first months in the most important league in the world. There, He said he felt satisfied with what was done and he predicted better things to come. Questions quickly turn to the role played by the Cordovan in Malone’s team, who seems to be determined to use him as a revulsive sixth man, when things don’t go his way. For Campazzo, that fits within your expectations.
“I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I never felt frustrated or angry because I knew what was coming here. I knew I was going to go from having more prominence at Real Madrid to coming to Denver to try to win a secondary role, because I did not have it or insured. I knew that the adaptation was not going to be easy, that I was going to have to carry out a process, make mistakes, know … If something I learned so far, after several months, is that you never have to be satisfied, low, angry or frustrated. You have to be in the present, live the day to day and the moment to take advantage of it“, reflects in dialogue by Zoom with journalists from all over the world.
Just as he was once flattered Emanuel Ginobili, who agreed to play a supporting role in San antonio spurs for the team to function the way it did – and become a historic NBA dynasty – Campazzo seems to have things clear and does not let his ego cloud him. “If I listened to my ego I couldn’t be here. The ego is the main obstacle to everything. I try to run it, not listen to it, live with it but control it. I try that there is no ego in any decision I make in the game. From there, only good things can happen“, he explains, with the Cordovan tune that characterizes him.
If one analyzes the cold numbers, the contrast between the role he had at Merengue and the current one in Denver is notorious. After all, the former player of Peñarol He went from averaging 23 minutes – accounting for his two stages in Madrid and his time in Murcia – to just over 17 in the NBA. His statistics, in addition, also reflect a decline: from 10.1 points, 4.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds during his time in the ACB League to 5.3 points, 2.6 assists and 1.2 rebounds in the NBA.
Anyone would say that a player who knew how to be a star in Europe would have stained pride. Anyone, less Campazzo. The Cordoba understands that his contribution It has to be someone else if he wants to achieve important things with the Nuggets, a team that presents perhaps his best team in a long time and that, just one season ago, was at the gates of the NBA finals.
“I always try to make my game available to the team and read what they need or what we have less. I try to go that way, because in the team anyone can catch the ball and carry it“, analyzes the Argentine regarding the analysis before entering from the bench in each game. That prior analysis is what It has transformed him into one more member of Mike Malone’s “circle of trust”, that group of players that he blindly trusts to give the team what it needs.
For Campazzo, that ego control is the key. He does not allow himself to think about the minutes or the leading role, but instead focuses on what the team needs, game by game: “My head is more on the side of intensity, infecting my teammates in defense and being focused. If I am on the bench, I try to support and be focused on what is happening so as not to make mistakes when entering. If there is ego in it, nothing good can happen. At best something good can happen in the short term, but I want to stay long term. I try to remove the ego and think nothing more about what I can do on the court to help the team achieve victories.“.
The long term seems to be what takes him away. It is not the first time that he refers to that. A few weeks ago, in another press conference, Campazzo assured that his dream of reaching the NBA was fulfilled and that now his new dream was to stay and achieve great things with Denver. “I came to challenge myself, to compete, to show myself that I can play at a level like this and to adapt to a team full of stars like Denver. It is a very big challenge. There will be difficult times and good times. The NBA comes and goes, some days you have opportunities, others not so many. I work a lot on the mental, as well as the physical, to have everything under control. It’s not easy, but that’s what I came to“he explained at the time.
By way of closing, the Argentine was consulted regarding the impact it can have on young people, after several years without Argentines in the NBA since Ginobili’s retirement: “You have to do things in the best possible way, working hard and showing the same path that the Golden Generation showed me. Being a professional is not just coming, meeting schedules, training … It is extra work, to be well off the field and, when it comes to playing, to empty oneself. Leave everything. That people like and feel identified“.
Time will tell if Campazzo’s NBA adventure lasts for months or years. But the truth is that, in his own way and whistling softly, the Cordoba He has already shown that he does not want to be passing through in the best league in the world and teams seem to have taken notice.