Team Italy head coach Gianmarco Pozzecco made a lot of noise during the 2022 EuroBasket tournament, where his team reached the semi-finals, losing to France in the big game. Besides the team's big performance during the tournament, Pozzecco earned a lot of attention thanks to his eccentric personality.
After eliminating back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, Pozzecco starred in a big moment with Giannis Antetokounmpo, jumping into his arms to celebrate the big win over Serbia. Following that moment, he became a big sensation in the tournament.
Many would think that Gianmarco developed this personality as a head coach, but this is who he has always been. He was this way when he was a player, challenging rivals and coaches during his active days.
Gianmarco Pozzecco Once Trash Talked Michael Jordan During A Scrimmage
Talking with Eurohoops, Pozzecco revealed how he didn't shy away from a challenge, no matter who was in front of him. Back in the day, while he was trying to make it to the NBA, he faced off against His Airness, even stealing the ball from him and telling MJ to make better passes.
In the summer of 2001, after averaging 27 points per game in Serie A, he tried the American adventure. Both the Phoenix Suns and the Toronto Raptors were interested, and before choosing the team, he played a scrimmage with several NBA stars, in Chicago. Michael Jordan was there, undecided whether or not to return to play with the Washington Wizards. Legend has it that the little guy from Trieste stole his ball, and Pozzecco recently confirmed it: “There were 25 black players, and then me. Michael Jordan said, “Who the fuck is that guy?”. We play, he tries to catch a ball by throwing it back after a wrong pass from a teammate, and I catch it up. Legend has it that I said to him: “Michael, I thought you were a little stronger…”.
Pozzecco was always like that, challenging others, no matter who got mad at him. He even dared to go against Michael Jordan and made a move on him, making the GOAT mad while showing that he could make it to the league even though he was reaching his 30s.