Ronny Turiaf on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower this Thursday. - T. Gagnepain / 20 Minutes

  • What becomes of Ronny Turiaf? We asked him yesterday since he was in Paris on the eve of the NBA game between Milwaukee and Charlotte.
  • The Martinican has not changed. Relaxed, cool, he has strong opinions and accepts them.
  • He always follows the results of the NBA and the French in particular. Rudy Gobert must be selected for the next All Star Game according to Ronny Turiaf, and Franck Ntilikina has a bright future ahead of him.

Could he make another entry? True to himself, Ronny Turiaf arrived relaxed this Thursday morning in a living room in the Eiffel Tower. He was expected there as ambassador of the NBA, like a certain Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Between the two, a clear difference in style.

Dark suit and turtleneck for the legend of the Bucks and the Lakers. Lattice, jogging jacket and Pharell Williams hat for the former French international, as cool in his clothes as with his interlocutors. For a simple one-to-one on the eve of the match between Charlotte and Milwaukee, Friday at the AccorHotels Arena.

What is it like to be in Paris for an NBA game?

"I am very happy to be here ... By not being a player!" It makes me super kiffer. It's a bit like what I experienced in 2016 when I went to Rio at the Olympic Games as a spectator. I have no pressure, it's super cool. "

You have already experienced it on the floor. It was in 2010 for a lost preseason game against Minnesota with the Knicks. What memories do you have of it?

"(He blows) The word that comes to me is" fatigue "! You had to go right to left, I hadn't had a great match… I hadn't taken advantage of the craze and only seen the hotel. It was nice to be there but it didn't have a better flavor than playing with the French team in Bercy. "

This morning thanks to @ unss and the Paris City Hall, young girls were able to participate in the 100% female session "Her Time To Play" moderated by Cathy MELAIN (double European champion with the French team) , @Ronny_Turiaf (NBA Champion in 2012) and NBA coaches. #NBAParis #FFBB

- FFBB (@ffbasketball) January 22, 2020

What has been your daily life since the announcement of your sports retirement in October 2016?

"I have lots of daily newspapers!" I meditate, I do a bit of the activities I wanted to do, I also work with the NBA as an ambassador. No, I do not go around the world by boat (like Boris Diaw) but I am his assistant skipper from time to time. For example, we went to South Africa together. I live my life in my own way, calm.

And where do you live?

"(He cuts with a smile) I won't say it! Let's say between France where I have my family, the United States for my friends and business, and Martinique where there is my father. I am happy because I have the opportunity to travel with the NBA, especially in a continent close to my heart, Africa. I rediscover life! "

Do you still follow the NBA a lot?

" No ! Do you think I'm going to wake up at 3 am or what (laughs)? But when I drink my coffee in the morning, I look at the stats. "

What do you think of the French in the NBA, you who were the sixth in history to play there?

"I'm happy for them. I want Evan (Fournier) to make big perfs in play-off because he is a hard worker and he deserves it. I want Nico (Batum) to have good matches and I am happy with the debut of Sekou Doumbouya (with Detroit). I also want Frank (Ntilikna) to find a rhythm where he feels good all the time. He is not a defensive player but complete. We would put it in teams like the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, the Houston Rockets or the Toronto Raptors, we would talk about it differently. Frank is a system player and needs to evolve with guys who will see how to make it better. He can and will win in the NBA, I am convinced. "

You're not talking about Rudy Gobert?

"No ... I did it on purpose because people don't talk about it. It pisses me off to see that what he is doing is not highlighted enough! He magically impacts his team's game and does everything on the pitch. He deserves to be All-Star and it would be very serious if he were not. We are talking about a guy who has won the title of best defender twice. "

Is there a Frenchman in the NBA who inspires you today?

“All because they have a particular history. For example, Thimothé (Luwawu-Cabarrot), we never crossed paths too much, so he doesn't know that I'm a fan. He made good little bits of games here and there ... I want everyone to succeed and fulfill their dream. "

Last question, who do you think will be the champions and the MVP at the end of the season?

"I'm going to say the Toronto Raptors because they're the defending champions. I know they have already lost a lot of matches but it is to make a little controversy! And like MVP, drum rolls, I think of Giannis (Antetokounmpo). It would be a great story and it would annoy some! "


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