We from nss sport usually spend our Sundays laying on huge and super comfy couches, with a beer in our left hand and the remote control in the right, binge watching every single kind of sport event, to later report on it in our own way. This Sunday, though, we bended the rules thanks to Danilo Gallinari, one of a few Italian athletes that really put themselves out there with great initiatives. In fact, on Sunday it was inaugurated the first basketball court requalified by the project WE PLAYGROUND TOGETHER at Parco Vittorio Formentano (Largo Marinai d’Italia, Milan), strongly wanted by the NBA champion. We went there to see what went down in the new playground and we had a chat with Danilo about his project and his next NBA season. 

 

A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 0

The initiative's porpuse is to requalify a series of abandoned courts, creating spaces and tools for all the baskeball lovers. Every city needs a street court to spread even more such a beautiful sport like basketball also among the younger generations. The project was supported by the sports department of the city of Milan, hoping that Danilo's message will be received also from other cities and all this could be an incentive for other cities around Italy to do the same. The aim is to make the "street basket" practicable, fun and available to anyone, requalifying the neighborhoods courts to turn them into spaces of aggregation and fun. Danilo is not alone in this project, besides the city of Milan, in support there's also D1 MILANO, Italian watch brand founded in 2013 by Dario Spallone. The initiative will continue in 2019 and 2020 with two other buildings being requalified. To celebrate even better the event, Danilo started a series of charity initiatives, like the auction for the Automatic watch D1 MILANO worn by Danilo during the event, with his silk-screened signature on the back and his signing on the packaging too. Here's the link to take part in the charity auction that will go live this Thursday. 

A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 0
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 10
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 1
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 2
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 7
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 6
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 5
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 4
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 3
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 11
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 12
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 21
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 13
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 14
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 19
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 18
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 17
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 16
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 15
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 20
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 8
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 9
A chat with Danilo Gallinari  We met the NBA champion at the newly inaugurated Milan playground  | Image 22

 

#1 It's beautiful to see first-class athletes like you taking part in this kind of initiatives. You've been familiar with the American reality from many years now, a place where events like this one are very common, just think of what LeBron is doing. Is it easier to do things like this on the other side of the ocean? 

Yes, in the USA it's so much easier to organize this type of events. I hope that what I'm doing will become a model for athletes of other sports, but especially in the basketball world. 

 

#2 How and when is WE PLAYGROUND TOGETHER born? 

It all started about a year ago. I started discussing about it with my dear friend Michele Ponti, and then we got involved the friends we usually play with. We thought it was about time we did something practical for the city and for those who love this sport. 

 

#3 What was the first step? 

We approached the city of Milan and they were immediately on board with this project. It was clear that they were waiting for someone that was willing to do something and help the city. For me it's a big gratification, because I know all the people that have been working on this project for more than one year and seeing it becoming a reality is just great. 

 

#4 Also because you're a playgrond guy. When you come back to Milan we often see you playing with your friends. You still enjoy it, don't you? 

I love it. I do it all the time. I'd rather play on the playground rather than going to the gym and training with a coach. It's great to being able to play on the court with my friends, who luckly are all pro or former players so the level of the game is high. I must admit that even in these little games we are super serious, we don't ever want to lose, not even on the playground. Once the game it's over, it's over, we go get a pizza and drink a beer all together. 

 

#5 The new NBA season is just around the corner. What are your expectations for yourself and for the Clippers? 

For me it's a fundamental season, especially if I think of the last season, when my team and I were not very lucky from a physical point of view. We all had a lot of injuries, so now the most important thing is feeling well, and have a good start. For me it's fundamental to take the team to the Playoffs, that's my goal as well as the team's. 

 

#6 More generally, what do expect from the next season? How much has changed since LeBron's moving to the Lakers? And, above all, are the Golden State Warriors still the front-runners to win the title? 

Things will go exactly like in the past years, Golden State is still the best team in the league. Clearly to the East everything has changed because Cleveland has lost LeBron and it's not the front-runner anymore. There are other figures, like Boston and Toronto, that could do great things. 

 

#7 By the way, what will Boston do with Gordon Hayward fully recovered from the injury and the comeback at 100% of Kyrie Irving?  

Boston (when it's complete) can be super competitive. It can easily reach the final and play for the title. 

 

#8 Will the arrival of Carmelo Anthony to Houston help the Rockets to finally make that qualitative leap Mike Antoni's team has been waiting for years? 

Melo is the right man, that's the player they wanted. He will contribute enormously and Houston will be able to compete until the end to win.