An interview with Keystone-SDA/ATS (Swiss News Agency), published on many Swiss magazines.
Clint Capela: "I extended in Atlanta because I want to win"
Published Oct 20, 2021
On the eve of his 8th season in the NBA, the Genevan is ready to return to battle. Between recovery, contract extension with the Hawks, All-Star Game and Shaqiri, "CC15" made a few confidences to Keystone-ATS.
After finishing top rebounder in the league and experiencing a Conference final against future champion Milwaukee, Clint Capela took a break. And a passage through the injection box in early August. Not against covid, since the Genevan has been double vaccinated for a long time, but to treat an inflammation of the Achilles tendon which has been disturbing him since last December.
The rehab coincided with the preseason games in late September and that’s why the Hawks center has only played a quarter. "It's getting better, I feel that it is healing", claims the man from Geneva-Meyrin.
When asked to tell about this pain, the Genevan is precise: "Since December, say that I have gotten used to this pain. And once I'm warm, it's OK. But when I get up, I can't walk normally. On a scale of 10, I think it's 6. Before it was sometimes 8. I had to play with last season, but I can't do it over two years. It happens to people who run a lot, it's tendon wear actually and you have to deal with it. I will be starting my 8th year in the NBA and I know I have to take care of myself. In English they have a maxim that says "health is wealth"".
Decisive under the panels in Georgia, Clint Capela quickly became an essential cog in his team. And management was right in offering him a two-year contract extension valued at $ 46 million. Still having two years on his previous contract signed with Houston, now the Genevan is tied to Atlanta until 2025. "It will normally be until I'm 31," CC15 counts. I didn't hesitate for long, having seen that they had re-signed all the good players. It's a great environment and I want to keep winning. "
Better to win than to get more money
Capela has cultivated this winning gene since his time with the Houston Rockets. In Texas, he was part of a franchise that, with James Harden as playmaker, was one of the best in the west before being transferred to Atlanta in February 2020. "The Hawks raised their first offer and the case was quickly closed," explains Capela. "I could have signed elsewhere and made more money, but I preferred the Hawks environment. And getting to the playoffs is even cooler."
Capela is first and foremost a team player, but he also takes time to think about himself. What are his personal goals after winning the Best Rebounder Award? "I would like to be even more dominant in what I can do best. Atlanta doesn't need me to do three-point throws. And I would like to play an all-star game one day," Clint considers his own future. "To do that, you have to be good in the first 40 games and the team has to be in good shape."
Exchange with Shaquiri (= member of Swiss National soccer team)
During the conversation between the highest-paid Swiss team athlete and Keystone-SDA, the sounds of a football game can be heard in the background. As a big Arsenal fan, Capela can sometimes watch Champions League games live thanks to the time difference. "Since I like Arsenal, my colleagues ask me if I've ever had contact with Granit Xhaka." He would then have to answer with no. "But Xherdan Shaqiri asked me for my signed shirt. He offered me one of his in exchange, and of course I said yes."