A shield of rage. Olimpia Milano wins its thirtieth championship

A shield of rage.  Olimpia Milano wins its thirtieth championship

Messina's team was created to compete in the Euroleague, they got their third star after a hard-fought and uncertain series against Virtus Bologna

The happiest of all in the end was the man to whom Milan owes all this: Giorgio Armani. Without him, Olimpia wouldn't be here. He still wouldn't be on the roof of Italy at the end of an exhausting series, in a game seven played with crazy ferocity and a Gigi Datome who who knows where he got all this energy. Milan celebrates and enjoys it. It's good because he had a lady team in front of him and getting to the front at the finish line wasn't easy given how he was doing.

Behind and inside the shield of the third Olimpia star there are a lot of meanings. Inside the 30th championship is the pride of having reached a peak that very few Italian sports teams have climbed, writing the history of their disciplines. But behind the Italian title there is also anger at having failed in the European campaign in a year in which the team seemed built on purpose to at least reach the Euroleague Final Four. Pride and anger. Sensations that coexist on a day of celebration in which one would be inclined to forget how wrong one was during the season.

A mistake that the celebrating Olimpia cannot afford because, with the budget and the facilities they have at their disposal, they are not a team that can afford to pick cherries only in their orchard. He has to go looking for them everywhere, broaden his horizons. It would be like having a Red Bull and competing only in pedal car races. Armani-branded Milan, a Milan that owes everything to Giorgio Armani, Leo Dell'Orco and their love for basketball, cannot be satisfied with counting one Scudetto after another, even if this is the thirtieth, even if this is arrived in an odd year where usually only tears wiped away.

The day after closing the season with the Scudetto sewn on his chest (the last titles in a row date back to the end of the 1980s), the president should summon the coach to his headquarters and give him a frank speech. “Congratulations on the Scudetto, which arrived after a very tough and very intense final series, but with what we spent this year we can't forget that we didn't even enter the top eight in Europe after losing the Italian Super Cup and being eliminated in the first match at the Italian Cup Finals. We have to understand why we failed in Europe, what we did wrong in building the team." The coach, i.e. the man who chose the players in Milan, would take his blame, admitting that he overestimated some purchases (Pangos, Voigtmann), that he trusted too much in a mini point guard like Napier, that he did not exploit enough Davies' muscles, for turning Tonut's talent into a mystery. He would also take the credit for a Scudetto won by remembering he has a bench, freeing up the talent of Shields and Melli, exploiting the infinite knowledge of Gigi Datome. The problem is that in Milan none of this can happen for the simple reason that the president and the coach are the same person and it is difficult for Messina to call coach Ettore to relieve him of his duties, it is impossible for the Messina coach to discuss a purchase. Perhaps the president-coach formula tried by Milan doesn't always work. This year, apart from the third star championship, it didn't work. Because if on the day of the meeting coach Ettore says: "This could become the best Olimpia I've ever coached" and then sails for months in the last places of the Euroleague standings, something didn't go as it should have. And the Scudetto party cannot cancel everything that happened before. Fans have notoriously short memories. For better or for worse, They contest the previous week's hero and triumph over the one they booed in the previous match. They are like this around the parquet or the rectangle of grass. They have short memories. But a club, a fantastic club like Olimpia, can't turn a blind eye even if its shirts are soaked in champagne. The thirtieth championship is worth a party, a super party, but it must also and above all be a life lesson in order not to repeat certain mistakes.

Olimpia won its first championship in 1936. Since then it has remained dry only in the first ten years of the new millennium, when Italian basketball was under the dictatorship (later revealed to be illegal) of Siena. There isn't a decade in which Olimpia hasn't pocketed at least one Italian title. He sublimated the passion of great entrepreneurs like Adolfo Bogoncelli, like the Gabetti family and now like Giorgio Armani, he wrote the history of Italian basketball. But now he has to play exports: he hasn't won in Europe for 35 years, too many not to think about it. The vocation of his property is that. It starts from Italy but exports made in Italy to the world. Anyone who writes the words of Mameli's anthem inside the uniforms of our Olympic athletes knows the importance of an away victory. That's what Olimpia has to aim for. Don't settle for dominating in Italy where, if you have that budget and that structure, you'll start right from the final.

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