With the basketball season off to a flying star, Monaco Life sat down with star player Jordan Lloyd and coach Saša Obradović to find out more about the Roca Team’s expectations.
Just last week, AS Monaco Basket celebrated a sixth consecutive victory with a win against Gravelines-Dunkerque in the Betclic Elite (91-76). Before that, the Monegasque side had cleared the 100-point mark in a match against Maccabi Tel-Aviv at home (107-79).
The coming weeks are going to be intense for the Roca Team; a heavy schedule is ahead, with near back-to-back meets in the French league and at European level.
And it was ahead of a Euroleague pitching against Olimpia Milano on Thursday night that Monaco Life met with professional US player Jordan Lloyd, who joined the Roca Team in 2022, and Serbian coach Saša Obradović to hear about the preparations and challenges ahead.
“I am excited to be back in the team and just helping them out,” says Lloyd, who returns to the lineup after overcoming a long and challenging journey following an injury that required surgery.
His presence adds depth and expertise to the team, as well as that all important defensive factor. Monaco is a team that relies on its players’ confidence and a collective effort to really play to its strengths; something not lost on Lloyd, who adds, “Our success goes to the whole team, who pitch in where they fit.”
Point guard Mike James might be the name most often in the headlines when it comes to Roca Team coverage, but this is far from a one-man show, and Lloyd explains that each player contributes to the team’s success by adapting to different situations, and by demonstrating their versatility and adaptability.
For Coach Obradović, the focus is what is coming next – “To be us, to play our game, to do even better than the previous game,” he tells Monaco Life – although he also has a strong appreciation for consistent performance, especially on the road.
The fixtures coming up in November include some formidable opponents, particularly in the Euroleague, and Obradović is keen for his team to learn lessons from the early season and come together.
“There is not one strength,” he says, “the strength is supposed to be on each position. It’s not just about individual skills; it’s about how they come together as a cohesive unit, making the game easier and more dynamic”.
“A goal reached”
Collective power is going to be important, key even, if the team is to echo its achievements of last year, and hopefully even surpass them.
“I would say that repeating last year’s success would be amazing, a goal reached,” Obradović continues.
The French title win and reaching the Final Four of the Euroleague, making Monaco’s side the first ‘French’ team to do so since 1997, ensured that last season was one to be genuinely proud of, but it is in the past now.
Obradović, Lloyd and the rest of the players, including recent signing Kemba Walker, are all looking ahead, and if the start of this season is anything to go by, the commitment to teamwork and shared success shown thus far could be the cornerstone of an even more promising campaign to come.
Main photo of Jordan Lloyd by Monaco Life