Virtus Bologna, revolution: coach Scariolo sacked

The coach fired after the latest statements

Virtus Bologna has announced the dismissal of coach Sergio Scariolo, who has led the black Vs since 2021. The Bologna club itself made the announcement with a note on its official website. “Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna announces that it has ordered the dismissal of coach Sergio Scariolo. The coach’s statements released to the press on 13 September 2023, which follow those released during the end-of-season press conference on 27 June 2023, undermine, unfortunately, the serenity and enthusiasm of the Virtussian environment and of the group that is about to face the first official commitments of the new sporting season with the aim of achieving important results both at a national and international level. The club also communicates that it has been the first assistant Andrea Diana was relieved of his duties”.

The tension between the coach and the owners, which arose in the decision of the owner Massimo Zanetti to sack Scariolo, defeated against Milan in the last 2 Scudetto finals, arises from some sentences pronounced by the coach during the press conference last Wednesday: “The seasonal objectives? It’s a question for the club. The club gave me the team and I receive it.” Scariolo also lamented the absence in the roster of a figure who can manage the ball in crucial moments, after the farewell in the summer to Milos Teodosic (who did not renew his contract). It is the first time, in the “Segafredo” era, that less is spent on the transfer market than the previous season. Sign of a change of philosophy in a market that still brought Achille Polonara, Ognjen Dobric and Bryant Dunston to Bologna, following the departures of Semi Ojeleye and Teodosic.

Distant positions also on the ‘Lundberg case’, put on the market by the club after the physical problems he had in the last playoffs. But the relationship between Scariolo and Virtus had already been frayed for some time: from the words spoken in the end-of-year conference cited by the club in the press release (“I am not disappointed by the knockout in the championship finals. We are aware of the strength of our opponents. We fought and did everything possible for what was in our power”) to the non-renewal of his contract (it expired in June 2024), up to the transfer rumors that had linked him in the past to the benches of the Toronto Raptors and Real Madrid.