‘Facu’ Campazzo: there is life after the NBA

Facundo Campazzo from Cordoba is one of the best Argentine basketball players today. Praised by locals and strangers for his conceptual and colorful game, the base player transcended borders and had his time in the NBA, where the best basketball in the world is played. In the United States, he was a member of the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks teams, going through various stages of his game, although he did not consolidate and his journey in the All-Star League ended unexpectedly.

In the Mavericks he had few opportunities: he played only eight games, with 6.5 minutes, 1.3 points and 1.1 media assists on the track, before they dispensed with his services in November. “I did my job, I trained, I did the extra tasks, I kept pulling and waiting for my opportunity. But it didn’t turn out as I intended, because I found out on Twitter that he cut me off. When Adrian Wojnarowski posts about a cut it’s because something is going to happen. Nobody had told me anything, I wrote to my agents and they told me that the version was very strong. I knew that my contract was not guaranteed, so I knew that it could happen. But the truth is that everything was a bit hectic”, ‘Facu’ was able to narrate about that unforeseen break.

After leaving Dallas, Campazzo traveled to Madrid to look for a new opportunity in European basketball, but there was no agreement with Real Madrid, the club that wanted him and ended up fixing Red Star of Serbia. However, in Belgrade he encountered an obstacle: the impossibility of playing in the Euroleague due to an administrative sanction against the club and irregularities in the financial documentation, which prevented him from having new contracts within that period. “All I ask is that they let me play,” lamented the 32-year-old point guard, who could only compete in the Adriatic League. Thus, after six months, the chance arose again to return to Madrid, the club where he shone in the 2014-15 campaign and between 2017 and 2020, before embarking on the trip to North America. Today, his name is once again in the European elite, showing that there is life after the NBA, since he was active in the “merengue” club for four years, until June 2027.

WHITE STORY

◆ Campazzo won 11 titles at Real Madrid: 2 European Cups, 3 Leagues, 2 Copas del Rey and 4 Spanish Super Cups.
◆ On an individual level, defending the ‘merengue’ jersey, he was chosen twice in the ideal five of the League (2018-19 and 2019-20), once MVP of the final playoff of the League (2018-2019), twice MVP of the Super Cup (2019 and 2020) and once MVP of the Copa del Rey (2020).

  • PHRASES FROM ‘FACU’
  • * “When you talk about Real Madrid, you talk about goals, titles and so on, and hopefully it won’t be an exception.”
  • * “I am super happy that Real Madrid is now official.”
  • * “It’s going back home, to Madrid. I am super grateful for giving me the confidence and it is an extra motivation to be prepared as well as possible from here”.

“It has no ceiling and it will continue to grow”

Leonardo Gutiérrez from Cordoba was part of the Golden Generation, is the top winner in the National Basketball League, currently leads the Olympic Cyclist and was a teammate of Facundo Campazzo in Peñarol de Mar de Plata. Finally, it is an authorized word to talk about the return of the Cordovan point guard to Real Madrid. In dialogue with CÓRDOBA PROFILE, ‘Leo’ highlighted: “The return to Madrid seizes him in a moment of maturity. Facu is at a very important level of maturity. He knows how to accommodate his teammates, take charge of scoring, he is very good, at the right time. He has the maturity to compete, to know when to speed up, when to slow down. Although he had already been driving the times for quite some time, he has already had several years of extraordinary level. He is going to be the little engine that Real Madrid needs”.
—How will you evaluate your time in the NBA?
—In the NBA he did not play badly. He did it well. Perhaps he was not in the team that he had to be to stay for many more years, but he can calmly play in the NBA and make his game. What happens is that he needs the ball to play and in the teams where Jokic (in Denver) and Luka Doncic (in Dallas) were, they already had the ball. Then, he diluted the game of ‘Facu’ and it seemed that he did not give up. But it’s not like that, he performs, because he defends well, he gives assistance, he’s not selfish. His time in the NBA was extremely positive: in his game, his head and in everything that being there entails.
—There is a photo where they are both kissing a drink. What do you remember about Campazzo from that time and did you imagine the career he had or has?
—That photo is from 2013. We each signed a photo to keep it as a souvenir. That was in Mendoza, the Super 8 final. I think that at that moment, he showed that playing in Argentina was very easy and that he had to emigrate quickly. There was already the possibility of going to Europe. We thought that he had to take one more step for Europe, to grow as a player and he grew by leaps and bounds. We knew the potential he had, and that at first it was going to be difficult, but when he adapted, the Spaniards were going to love him the way they did, because he was always a player of total dedication, a game he wanted and when he arrived at Real Madrid during his time, he demonstrated the second quality he had and took over Europe and Real Madrid. He makes me happy, me and all of us who know him. We all saw that he was really going to be what he is: a tremendous player, who shows his worth every day and that he can empower a team. I think ‘Facu’ has no ceiling and he will continue to grow as a player.