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Even the weight of Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum, transformed into shock lawyers on Monday evening, did not save the presence of Marine Johannès during the Euro, which will be played from June 15 to 25 in Israel and in Slovenia. If the French Basketball Federation has already allowed its NBA players to miss the start of pre-competition training with the Blues on several occasions, it has been inflexible with its best player, determined to chain the Eurobasket and the WNBA this summer. This is why she asked to join the United States this week, in the wake of her title of champion of France on Monday with Lyon Asvel Féminin, in order to sign her contract there with the New York Liberty franchise, where she has already evolved in 2019 and 2022.
Until the end, the Fédé and the staff of the France team did not want to allow him to join the group of Bleues with a few days delay for the preparation course, which has therefore just started this Thursday in Toulouse. “Marine Johannès has confirmed to the staff of Les Bleues her intention to go to her New York Liberty franchise, specifies the FFBB in a statement announcing the fifteen players selected. The date of his return to France only allows him to take part in the preparation from June 7, a week before the start of the Euro. Given this late arrival, the staff of the French women’s team decided not to keep Marine Johannès in the group. »
“It is not possible to do everything”
The president of Asvel Tony Parker, however, spoke on Monday of a completely different calendar, since his 28-year-old player was only in danger of missing five days of training, and therefore the first two friendly matches against Serbia on Sunday and Monday. Interviewed by beIN SPORTS on Wednesday, the coach Jean-Aime Toupane and the manager of Les Bleues Celine Dumerc had all the trouble in the world to justify this very severe sanction. This has everything of a lose-lose scenario, while the French team finally wants to win the Euro with a generation remaining on five finals lost in a row in the competition. “We would like Marine to be there, assures Jean-Aimé Toupane. There was never any question of closing the door to him. The framework has been defined from the beginning and I focus on the team, not on a particular case. »
Former leader of the France team, Céline Dumerc, who had benefited (like Sandrine Gruda) from a different configuration by playing the 2014 World Cup after having missed part of the preparation of the Bleues due to a disputed WNBA season simply slips “It’s sad, it’s not easy. There are choices that have to be made because of the schedule. The preparation is super short and it is not possible to do everything. We have been chasing a title for ten years and we would like to be in the best situation, having the whole group”. Even if it means that it is therefore deprived of its greatest offensive talent. And even his two finest triggers, since Gabby Williams, victim of a concussion during the LFB play-offs with Asvel and “unavailable for several weeks”, is also out of the group. We will know in a month if this very risky bet without Marine Johannès, one year from the Paris Olympics, turns out to be a winner for French basketball.