In an extensive 15-minute interview, Žalgiris Kaunas head coach Joan Plaza manages to pack in quite enough to make Greens fans highly optimistic about the future.
While not commenting on his boss, Žalgiris’ notoriously wacky owner Vladimir Romanov, the Spanish mastermind does fearlessly take on heavy questions of race and culture. Plaza is admirably learning Lithuanian and emphasizes how important it is to learn that second (or third) language to communicate with players – but finds certain attitudes toward 21st-century multiculturalism a “little shock” in his country of residence.
On the plus side, Plaza sees hope and promises that he is devoted to “working on creating a new generation of [Lithuanian] players” and that he “can’t imagine” leaving Žalgiris with his long-term plan in mind.
(Sudden thought: Might we someday see Plaza helming Team Lithuania?)
Plaza also manages to get in a plug for his novel-writing (!), with his 2009 book Les Mantes de L’Angelina translated into Lithuanian and a second tome set for spring 2013 release in Spain. While the latest novel is not about basketball, its female protagonist (!!!) is a character “fighting for dreams,” a theme Plaza knows something about.
The full interview runs below.