El Nuevo Pibe de 39: the intimate details of Carlos Delfino’s return to the Argentine basketball team

He is the last member of the Golden Generation that is still in activity. The New Kid 39 who returned to wear the shirt of the National Team after his last participation in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Charlie Delfino proved its validity in matches against Paraguay, corresponding to the beginning of the classification for the world that will be disputed in Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia in 2023.

The Boat went back. And his experience was one of the keys to prioritize the team he leads Nestor Che Garcia, which was imposed with authority in the two commitments against the Guaraní team by 93 to 67 and 82 to 43 on Sanitary Works.

Former player of Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors was the figure in the first clash with 21 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and a recovery during the 25 minutes who was on the court, while in the second match he signed a score sheet 12 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in 22 minutes. And in dialogue with Infobae analyzed the most intimate details of what his return with the shirt meant albiceleste.

How did you experience this return to Soul?

—I was surprised by the call because it was 5 years without being part of the world of the Argentine national team. Although one is always competing and every time a citation came out, I tried to be prepared in case, because of my age and my absence after all this time, I thought I was already out of the group. Anyway, I always tried to keep up and now that it was time to come back, it made me very happy. How could I not enjoy this? Surely the wear felt a little more, because I am no longer a kid like I was before, but I came with all the desire because it was a very great encouragement to put on the light blue and white shirt again.

In addition to your talent, you also contributed your experience to the team. What was it like to convey those values ​​of the Golden Generation to the new generations?

“I had to make a change.” When I was younger I thought about solving things only on the court. He was less vocal and less involved in things that happened off the court. Although this was a group that was assembled and disarmed in a few days, one tried to reflect to mark the behaviors and habits so that they are as healthy as possible, because in time it is those habits that lead you to win important things. . Today, at my age, in addition to trying to play well, I also try to have more voice to support a team that seeks to be as well prepared as possible. I talk a lot more on the court than I did before. In this window I had companions who are the age of my eldest daughter. It is another generation, but basketball, although it is mutating, remains the same. One tries to keep up with them physically, because there are 20-year-olds, but it is also good that they see how so many things were achieved with a union in the group.

Did this having companions your daughter’s age lead to some charged? Did anyone dare to hint at you as a possible father-in-law?

—No, absolutely not (laughs). Besides, I don’t like being treated as a sir. If they respect me a lot, they make me feel like an old man and I don’t want to be, but I am one of the group. In the same way that happens to me in Italy, sometimes I am the first to self-charge to aggiornate with these new generations, who are much more aware of cell phones and social networks. You try to be close and understand how you connect with others.

El Alma celebrates the victory against Paraguay (Credit: CAB)

Was it more difficult to readjust your game to basketball now or to new communications with young people?

—I was always worried about what happens on the court and not on social networks. There are moments in which we are gathered in the concentration, where the boys are taking pictures with their t-shirts and one says why don’t I do it too? So, it is time to do it and learn from these new ways of communication. Anyway, there are things like Tik-Tok I do not dare to see what they are about, because that world does not attract me much attention. I just try to see what they are up to, because they are partners, and perhaps in a chat in the middle of a meal these types of topics arise. Likewise, what interested me the most was always the little ball. It is true that basketball is not the same as before and my legs are not the same as before, but one tries to adapt to try to be in a position to compete. Today I am very happy to be part of this sport and I will continue to be until the day it stops being competitive. As long as I can help a group fight, I will continue to do so. Something similar happens to me in Italy. Although we are not having a good time with the team, I feel that I continue to help and generate positive factors for the good of the group.

After what that beautiful tribute that Oveja Hernández gave them at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games meant, where all the members of the Golden Generation ended up playing the quarterfinals against the United States, could you imagine this new call 5 years later ?

-Truth to be told I do not know. At that time I thought about continuing to play, because I had the encouragement and desire to be there. I never took that game as a retreat. There is an anecdote of what happened at that moment that I do not forget anymore: when Manu (Ginobili) started crying and Chapu (Nocioni) also started to shed some tears, I grabbed them all and yelled no you had to cry. “We don’t cry in front of everyone!” I was able to say, because I didn’t take it that way. I did not like to show that human part of the group, which over time I realized that it was terrific. For Chapu and Manu it was their farewell, but I never took it that way. Then I realized what had happened. I was also out of the national team for a long time and I did not imagine that this was going to be my last game. I say it without any regrets, but I had not taken it as such. For me it was my last game with a group of special people, with whom I had had very great experiences, but things turned out like this. Today is a page that thank God was left behind. And I say thank God because this new chance I had to wear the national team shirt made me very happy.

First was Manu Ginobili, after Luifa Scola, and today it’s your turn, what does it mean to be the benchmark in a young team whose maximum aspiration is to achieve what the Golden Generation?

“I don’t know if I’m the one to talk about that.” Perhaps Néstor (García) should answer that. I simply try to do the best possible for the team, with the idea of ​​adding. When I was the youngest of the Golden Generation in 2004 I tried to do the same; and today that I am the oldest, I continue with the same idea: to contribute as much as I can. My mentality was always like this, because basketball is a team game and at times the help can be by making points, defending or generating play. But always from a functional side for the group. What happens in the next window or next year will be seen. Today with 39 balls I can’t look much further ahead. I know that I have one more year of contract at Pesaro and I will respect it. And as long as I play, I will never retire from the National Team.

Are you excited about the idea of ​​playing the World Cup in 2023?

“I hope it comes.” Hopefully my body and my basketball are current at that time. Today I think about the day to day and I took this window as if it were an America’s Cup, an Olympic Game or a World Cup. The national team jersey was always very important to me and after everything I went through I don’t want to think much further. Maybe you have your internal goals, which are your little carrots that you train for every day and wake up in the morning full of energy to try to achieve those goals. But I am aware that I have to be sensible and not rush into anything to feel good, because my body must be prepared to be on a court. I know that I am fit to play today, but I don’t know how I will be in two years. I don’t want to chart my career with my mind set on 2023 or 2024 because I am 39 years old and you have to listen to your body every day.

Carlos Delfino Argentina SF National Team
The Lancha during its glory days in the National Team (Photo: NA)

Did you get calls from former classmates Golden Generation?

“There were messages from more than one.” They are beautiful gestures, but also strange sensations because we were concentrated in a hotel where we had already been. Receiving a message from Fabricio (Oberto), El Chapu (Nocioni), from Colo Wolkowyski or Pablito Prigioni, that several of them were roommates, was strange because I was in the same place. It was like the image of the Titanic (laughs), a movie that I had seen before, but now with new and younger faces. Furthermore, one also changed. Before I was not as vocal as I am now. It was weird, but the guys were close. It was a beautiful pampering, because one always keeps in mind all the beautiful experiences that we have lived.

Did you also have to readjust in your free time to integrate with the younger ones? The games of the PlayStation they are not the same …

—I was always of the old generation and I never got hooked on Play. I am this. When they told me that this note was going to be by phone and not by Zoom, I was very happy because I prefer this kind of thing. I am always on the phone, aware of the people close to me.

Are you more board games or cards?

“No, neither.” I prefer the talks in the after-dinner table and the rest. Because each one has arrived with a lot of activity. In my case, I played for Pesaro for 36 minutes and I had to travel to Buenos Aires to join the National Team. As my family also saw little of me in Italy, I also took advantage of my free time to be in contact with them. As there was also the time change and the wear and tear of distances, I wanted to listen to the body when it asked me to rest. And in my free time I shared many moments with the greatest, with whom I had already shared moments in the National Team such as Marcos Mata and Luciano González. We had some nice conversations after each meal, and we talked about each other’s current affairs. The good thing about this is that there are also friendships.

Did the case that was opened to you in Santa Fe about an alleged money laundering related to drug trafficking have any influence?

“No, nothing.” That is a cause that keeps me very calm. I’m waiting for us to go to trial, because I want to let everything run its course. If I continue doing what I like, it also speaks of the tranquility I have and how I have always handled myself, because I am not guilty of anything. I am exempt from everything that has been accused of me, and I try to leave it in the hands of my lawyer so that everything runs its course. I am very calm. I prefer that people talk about me about what I did in sport and not about this, which was something fortuitous and I have nothing to do with it.

Carlos Delfino He spoke with the sincerity that characterizes him. The New Kid 39 was one of the figures before Paraguay and his productions feed the hopes of seeing him again with the shirt of the Soul in the second window that will take place in February before Venezuela and Panama. Then, in June, there will be the commitments as a visitor against the same rivals and if the team of the Che Garcia finishes among the first three, will be classified to the next instance, in which will integrate the Group E with three selected from the Zone C (Canada, Dominican Republic, Virgin Islands and Bahamas). And the Boat is going to want to be.


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