Real Madrid legend Pablo Laso will not be coaching the basketball team next season after the club decided to fire him due to medical reasons this Monday. Here’s Real Madrid’s version of the whole situation, as published on an official announcement.
Real Madrid C. F. has taken the decision, purely and exclusively on medical grounds, not to retain Pablo Laso’s services as coach of the basketball first team.
Following the heart attack our coach suffered several weeks ago, Real Madrid has consulted with several with doctors and cardiology specialists, all of whom have expressed the clear risk that continuing as coach would represent for his health at this moment in time.
Real Madrid last week approached Laso about him giving up his role with the first team, whilst fully respecting the financial conditions established in his contract and proposed to wait and see how his physical condition progresses this season, before assessing the situation in March or April.
Real Madrid believes that following on from the acute coronary event that led our coach to require treatment in intensive care, failing to adopt this decision would have been completely irresponsible.
Above all else and out of respect and affection towards him, Pablo Laso’s health is the club’s priority.
Real Madrid appreciates that this decision has saddened our coach, but nothing, not even Real Madrid, comes before anyone’s health and, in this instance, it is a risk that this institution cannot overlook.
As thoughtful and reasoned as Madrid’s decision is perceived after reading the statement, Real Madrid fail to mention that Laso was given the green light to coach again by every doctor involved in the process of his heart attack and his recovery, and even by some doctors within the basketball section of Real Madrid who have been fired as well.
It’s also important to mention that the club did not thank him on their statement for all the hard work and achievements he accomplished during these 11 years.
This has the ingredients to be considered as a struggle for power between Laso and basketball CEO Juan Carlos Sanchez. The two of them have had a difficult relationship since 2014, but Laso kept on winning trophies, which made things difficult for Sanchez to fire him. Sanchez signed players Laso never wanted —Laprovittola, Heurtel— while Laso insisted on keeping some others like Jeff Taylor. However, it’s also fair and safe to say that Sanchez does not have the power to pull off such a controversial move without the OK from president Florentino Perez.
Laso spent the last 11 years resurrecting the basketball section for Real Madrid, winning 22 trophies in the process, including two Euroleague titles. Getting rid of him while using Laso’s own heart attack is definitely something that should not be happening, especially when the legendary coach has the green light to coach again and insisted on doing so.
His assistant coach Chus Mateo will replace him. Mateo coached the team during the past ACB Finals against Barcelona while Laso was recovering.