Clint Capela - interview with Keystone-SDA/ATS (Swiss News Agency)


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.

A $46M-extension

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."

Clint Capela - interview Aargauer Zeitung


An interview from a Swiss newspaper in German language:

Aargauer Zeitung - 05.08.2021


Swiss NBA star Clint Capela: "I keep receiving death threats"
The Geneva basketball player Clint Capela holds his basketball camp in Zurich - in a big interview he talks about the downsides of being a professional. And he promises: "Soon we will win the title with Atlanta, then you will all know me."

Interview: Nicola Berger, Zurich

It is Wednesday afternoon in a school gymnasium in Oerlikon (= northern district of Zurich), young people are dribbling in the "Capela Camp", which was held for the first time, music by rapper Lil Uzi is booming from the speakers, and Clint Capela speaks into a journalist's camera. He was asked to explain briefly who he actually was, so he said, "I'm Clint Capela, I'm 27, I was in the NBA semifinals with the Atlanta Hawks. Soon we will get the title, and then you will all know me."

There is something remarkable about the last sentence - Capela is the best-earning Swiss team athlete in history, and he will be paid 18.6 million dollars for the 2021/22 season, which begins in October. He has just played what is probably the best season of his career, he was the rebound king of the NBA.

He is since a while a star in Atlanta. But in German-speaking Switzerland, the man from Geneva is only marginally noticed, which is also due to the local lack of interest for basketball. On the fringes of his visit to Zurich, Capela also spoke to CH Media about the dark side of his job.

_ _ _

Did the Atlanta trade in January 2020 shock you?
Clint Capela: I wouldn't say that. There has been speculation about this in the media for a while. It was hard to leave Houston, I had good friends there. But we weren't successful enough, so it was clear that something would have to change. Fortunately, I ended up in Atlanta.

With the Hawks, you've exceeded all expectations this season. Hardly anyone believed this team would make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
That's correct. But we did, I mean: You need to believe in it, right? After the coaching change in March, we really turned it up. We have a young team, that was just the beginning.

The NBA season has been overshadowed by a number of injuries. After the forced break caused by the pandemic, were there simply too many games in too few days?
There were definitely too many games. We didn't have enough preparation time, so the injuries were no wonder. I wasn't fit either. In the playoffs I played with an injured Achilles tendon. When I got up in the morning, I could barely walk. But what can you do about it, with fewer games there would have been less money. That was also out of the question.

Speaking of money, you signed a $ 90 million five-year contract in 2018. Has the money changed you?
Of course it changes you. For better or for worse. I don't think it changed me for the worse. Money opens up opportunities, you can have fun in life. I enjoy that.

In Houston, your team-mate at the time, PJ Tucker, is said to have made fun of the fact that you "only" drive Rolls-Royce ...
That's correct. Because of him, I bought a Lamborghini. What can I say, they are just beautiful cars. And it's cool that I can afford it. But it should not be forgotten that there is also another side. It's not all just sunshine, although people may believe it.

Is it true that your car was demolished by angry fans in Houston after a playoff defeat?
Yes, it was like that. People are emotional. They bet on the games, more money than they can actually afford. And then they lose. I keep getting death threats.

I'm sorry, what?
Really often. On Twitter, on Instagram, everywhere. But I've learned to deal with it. In a way, it’s just part of this job, that's how the world is today. I ignore it.

How did you manage to be clarified like that?
You know, I left home when I was 14 and went to France so I could become a professional basketball player. I had to learn early on to think and live independently. That toughened me up. That helps me today.

A dominant theme in the NBA over the past twelve months has been the Black Lives Matter protests. The league and especially its players have done a lot to raise awareness of social injustice. Has it achieved anything, do you see any progress?
If you can sensitize people to an important topic, that always brings something. And yes, things are changing. Too slowly, but they are changing.

Thabo Sefolosha, your teammate in Houston in 2020, was once a victim of police violence in New York ...
Yeah and guess what? When we were playing with the Rockets in New York, Thabo and I saw the policeman who broke his leg. It was so weird. Thabo recognized him immediately, but we both could hardly believe it. The US can be a dangerous place to be, even today. Fortunately, I've never had to experience that myself and try to protect myself as much as possible by leading a quiet life. I am happy when I can watch a movie with my girlfriend at home.

You rarely stay in Switzerland. Why are you holding your camp in Zurich for the first time this summer?
Basketball lacks popularity in German-speaking Switzerland. My aim is to encourage children and young people to practice this wonderful sport - regardless of the level. I think wins help: if I were to become an NBA champion, it would help make the sport better known in Switzerland. For me that is a motivation. And I'll play for the national team again, if the game plan allows it.

Will there be another Swiss NBA professional after you?
I really hope so. If not, it will happen with my children at the latest.

What individual goals do you have besides winning the title?
That I can make it to the All-Star-Team. It will be soon. In my center position, I see myself in the NBA top 5. No, let's say top 4.

Clint Capela - short interview from Switzerland


29.07.2021, 15:39

Clint Capela recharges his batteries in Switzerland before starting a new season
Best rebounder of the last NBA season, Clint Capela is back in Switzerland. In Meyrin, the interior of the Atlanta Hawks offers its second youth camp and adds a first edition in Zurich.

Switzerland's most famous blonde lock is at home in Meyrin. Harassed by a marathon regular season of 72 matches picked up over five months, then three play-off rounds and a loss in six matches against the future champion Milwaukee, Clint Capela admits having ended the season (July 3) with a limp.

"I was hurt in the hand and in the heel", he explains. "I'm injured, but I'm fine. Nonetheless, I will have to go to Los Angeles to do some rehabilitation for my hand. " This passage in Switzerland therefore reads like a parenthesis of ten days. After Meyrin, the highest paid Swiss sportsman will go to Zurich for a German version of his camp. "No no, it will be in English," he laughs when asked if he will speak to young people in Swiss-German dialect.

To the participants of his camp, Clint Capela hopes to send them a message: "It's my mission, they must understand that everything is possible, but that it will not be easy. It’s possible to learn a lot and I would like to see some will break into LNA (=Swiss first division) or higher in the future. I would transmit to them this mentality - while not forgetting to have fun. "

It is legitimate for young people to watch a Capela at the top of his game with stars in their eyes. Recovered from a foot sole injury contracted while still playing with the Houston Rockets in early 2020, the 27-year-old Genevan had to whip to become essential with his new team, win the title of best rebounder in the League and make it to the Conference final.

"It was a pretty incredible season because of the covid, he analyzes. A real challenge from December to July. It did not start as we wanted. But after the break and the arrival of Nate McMillan as a coach, it woke everyone up a bit. We gained confidence and I gained responsibilities. We remained united despite the injuries that inevitably occurred. "

The beautiful story of the Hawks was interrupted in the play-off by that of the Milwaukee Bucks and its Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo. "Amply deserved", according the Genevan speaking of the title of the franchise of Wisconsin and the "Greek Freak". "He has always worked very hard."

In order to be ready for the preparation for the coming season at the end of September, Clint Capela will not exaggerate, while continuing to follow a preparation allowing him to respond to an insane schedule: " With increasing age, is necessary to be increasingly careful. I know I still have a big athletic margin. I can become more dominant and I can lose fat. Of course I want to defend my title of best rebounder and participate in the All-Star Game. "

While Clint Capela takes care of the youngsters at his camp, the Swiss team are preparing the European pre-qualifiers for the 2023 World Championship which will take place in August in Skopje. And even if he will not be present with his compatriots, Clint Capela will be the first supporter as he had been when Switzerland beat Serbia. "I want to play with Switzerland again, he concludes. If the schedule allows."

Clint Capela - Article-interview, before RSeason 2020-21


Basketball - Clint Capela opens new chapter in Atlanta
Published Dec 16, 2020
Traded to Atlanta by Houston in early February, Clint Capela has yet to play any official game with the Hawks. Fully recovered from an arch injury, the Genevan is ready to open a new chapter in Georgia from the start of the NBA season on December 22. "I work to be dominant for a long time," he says.

Almost everyone agrees that the year 2020 should be tucked away at the bottom of a drawer. Clint Capela is one of those who will not remember these twelve months. Injured in January before a move in February and the onset of the pandemic, the interior is eagerly awaiting the three strikes on December 23 against Chicago. "I want to be on a winning team," says the one who averaged 13.9 points and averaged 13.8 rebounds last season in Texas.

The daily life of NBA players remains however impregnated by the Covid. After the success of the "bubble" of Disney World and the title of the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA could not impose such a structure for the season of 72 matches (instead of 82) which is announced. This therefore means that the players must be absolutely careful not to be infected, as the Genevan explains: "For the moment, I have not caught the Covid. I am being very careful, but we do not We are never safe. We are tested every day. When we arrive at training, we are entitled to a sample in the nose and we have to wait 45 minutes in the car before the result. "
The arrival on the market of several vaccines could change the protocols, but this is not for now. "We are not among the priority people, specifies the center of the Hawks. The seniors and the nursing staff come well before us. If it is necessary to be vaccinated to continue to play, I would not mind. We will travel again. and we will have to limit all our contacts. There will be an inspector for each team and fines if we break the rules. "
And the rules are not necessarily very clear. "Can we just go out for a walk when we are in a city?" Asks the Genevan, for example. "This period is complicated, we cannot not live."

The impression of aging faster
Clint Capela is entering his seventh season in the NBA, the sixth as an important player in his club's workforce. But at 26, the Meyrinois realizes that his body is subjected to intense workloads. "You feel like you're aging faster, he admits. It's such an intense life! But I work to be dominant for a long time." Back from injury, Clint Capela is delighted to be able to speak on the pitch. The first two preseason matches showed him that his excitement was mounting as we approached the start of the 2020/21 fiscal year: "It's a marathon, not a sprint. You have to increase the intensity little by little to to be on top later in the season. I still have to improve the cardio, but in my Achilles heel, I feel a lot better and my body is readjusting. "
"Create chemistry"

In Atlanta, Capela finds himself in a formation in the making which revolves around a talented young fullback, Trae Young. What motivate the "veteran" of 26 years. "The team is young. More than in Houston. There is a lack of experience, but we work to create chemistry," he analyzes.
The Hawks have also been active in the transfer market, signing Danilo Gallinari, shooter Bogdan Bogdanovic and veteran point guard Rajon Rondo (34) who just won his second title with the Lakers.
"We will do everything to hang the play-off, but it will not be easy, says Capela. The system in Atlanta is different. There is John Collins who is also an interior, but who can move away and shoot three points. At the Rockets I was a bit on my own. "
Isolated for six months

Even in Atlanta, Clint Capela hasn't forgotten Houston. "This is my home, the city I love," he sums up in an interview with Keystone-ATS. There is an apartment and her friend still lives there now. "We see each other on weekends," he says.
In a "covid" world, you have to comply with many rules that are not always easy to understand. So Capela hasn't seen her family for over six months. Tough, even when you're paid several million dollars to play basketball. "They should come soon," he concluded. "But with the quarantines and the current situation, I don't know if it would be great to have to stay home. Honestly, now I just want to start this season."

Capela interview before game4 (from a French Basketball magazine)

Clint Capela, what will be the keys for this Game 4? I think we will have to play with the same intensity throughout the game, and avoid the "empty" moments that we had in the previous game. We had a few minutes without scoring during crucial moments in Game 3, and we shouldn’t do the same against the Bucks, who make you pay cash. By building up the intensity on defense and pushing forward for the 48 minutes, they can be beaten. We want to win this Game 4. We have to win this Game 4. . You who are a defensive specialist, how do you try to limit the impact of Giannis Antetokounmpo? We try to slow him down, if we can… (laughs). But he really is a very, very strong player. He’s aggressive all the time, he’s attacking in aggressive mode all the time, and he’s got tremendous energy. It’s very hard to limit it, really. I think we can try to be aggressive in our turn in defense, but he’s really monstrous on many levels, physically, mentally. He’s been a league MVP twice, he’s one of the very best players in the league, he’s a guy who gives it all, all the time. We can only try to put a lot of intensity on our turn, but it is really very, very difficult to defend on him and limit his impact…. . The Hawks, despite losing two in a row, don’t seem to be panicking despite what is at stake in the upcoming game. How does the group feel? We feel good in our heads, and we feel good in our bodies. There is no reason to panic, we just have to continue to apply the coach’s instructions and play our game thoroughly, because it has been our philosophy for a few months and this is what has made us win matches since the start of the playoffs. Just because we’re two wins against one doesn’t mean we have to change everything. We were back to the wall during the previous series, we don’t panic, we can bounce back and we will do everything to do it from Game 4. We are a group of guys who love to play together, we love to progress and play together, and this unity is truly one of the keys to our success. We’re going to fight tonight, and we’re going to give it our all. . With audiences back in sport arenas for several weeks now, Atlanta’s ‘sixth man’ feels like it’s having a real impact … Yeah, that’s crazy stuff. The fans are awesome, and Atlanta is a city that loves basketball and the Hawks, so all the ingredients are in place to get pushed by the public. As we’ve seen in previous matches, our home crowd is loud and can help make a difference, that’s for sure. I think people felt this lack of coming to matches, and that their passion was a bit "limited" by the pandemic because they didn’t have access to the halls for a long time. Now they’re here and it’s really great to see, they let go, they’re happy to be there. We vibrate with them, they give enormous energy to each of our matches at home. We expect the same for Game 4, we can’t wait to be there. . Is the Hawks ‘wave’ also making itself felt in town? Yes, thoroughly. We feel that the whole city is behind us, that people want to see us win. We want to win for us, but we also want to win for them, because they really give us a lot. He’s a really great fan base, they are wholeheartedly with us, and we want to make them happy by winning. I don’t go out a lot because we’re limited with the pandemic, but when I go to refuel my car or go for shopping, I see flags, people who after ten seconds are yelling at me "Let’s go Clint!" Let’s go Hawks! "And it’s really, really good. It’s been increasing in intensity since the start of the playoffs, and we are in the conference finals, imagine if we go to the NBA Finals… It will be anything, it will be madness (laughs). . We have the feeling that you’re happy, taking great pleasure in this Atlanta team … Yeah, I’m having a lot of fun in this team, it’s really great. We have a good mix of players from different backgrounds and we have a solid unit, because we all want to help the franchise become a stronghold in the league again. I love playing with these guys, and I feel well with this system of play. I’m more important than I used to be in defense. There’s no more PJ Tucker by my side (laughs) but I’m really comfortable in my role, and I’m happy to be able to help win matches and have such a good season. I had a great season with the title of top rebounder in the league, and I’m feeling great. . Do you think you might be having your best season in your career? Not sure if this is my career best season, but it’s in my "Top 2", that’s clear. I had to tweak and adapt my recovery programs between games a bit because it’s been a really tough season, but I feel good, and I have an impact in my role. I love playing on this team, with these guys we really enjoy playing together and it makes you want to give it your all. To give more energy to recover an offensive rebound to give extra possession, things like that. . Nobody really expected the Hawks at this level. Which playoff game triggered the team? I think it was Game 5 of the series against the Sixers. We had a huge capacity for resilience, and we struggled to get back in the saddle after a few less good matches on our part. When we won in Philly in Game 5 we started to think that it was possible to go to the next round and go even further. We take the series in Game 7 against the Sixers, after hard and intense battles, and we have also built up confidence for the future. Now we know what we are capable of and we will do everything to keep it going as long as possible. . In the back of your mind, are we starting to dream of the NBA Finals? Yes, that’s clear, although there is still a long way to go. It starts with Game 4, which we have to win. If we win this game, it’s a whole other series that begins. We dream of taking the Hawks to the NBA Finals, making history for the city and the franchise. I think we have the best team in Hawks history, and we still want to aim higher. If we make it to the NBA Finals, it’s going to be something huge. . A little word about your duel against Joel Embiid, during the previous round? (Laughs). It was really, really intense. Joel is an ultra physical, athletic player who can do everything. He’s kind of a modern-day Shaq, a guy who puts a constant physical impact on the floor. In the first two games he put in 40 points and I had to readjust some things, but our duel was very intense, our bodies remember that I think (laughs). I have another client with Giannis now, and I like it. The physical duels, the contacts, I like it. . Interview by phone

Deni fit with Hawks


"My favorite landing spot for Avdija is Atlanta. The young Hawks desperately need a secondary playmaker alongside Trae Young – a special offensive player who had to carry far too much of the load for Atlanta last season. Avdija would give Young the opportunity to play more off the ball and use the threat of his deep shooting as a more dangerous weapon."

We Haven't Seen Anything Like Luka Since Lebron


Luka is playing lights out and can't even legally drink alcohol yet.

Prospect Brandon Clarke has private dinner with Coach Lloyd, GM Schlenk


Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reports, "Brandon Clarke had a private dinner yesterday [May 30, 2019] with Lloyd Pierce and Travis Schlenk."

BleacherReport article


"Atlanta Hawks Star Prospects: John Collins; Trae Young Other Notable Players: Kevin Huerter; Omari Spellman Schedule the Hawks for entry into the next tier in T-minus, oh, by-the-start-of-next-season. John Collins is coming for stardom in an Eastern Conference begging for new members, pre-Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis joining the Knicks, of course. Defense remains a struggle when Collins is on the floor, which for now, drags down his would-be peak. As Jeff Siegel wrote for Peachtree Hoops: "For the moment, Collins plays power forward in part because he's not good enough defensively to play the most important defensive position on the floor, which puts some limits on what the Hawks can do from a team-building and lineup construction perspective. The Hawks do have two rotation-quality NBA centers in Dewayne Demon and Alex Len, which further explains why Collins operates at the power forward spot for the vast majority of his court time. With that said, Collins currently has to be paired with a defensive center who is capable of spacing the floor offensively and, in turn, that allows the second-year big man to be the main dive threat in pick-and-roll." Collins' holes present real problems for Atlanta's lineup structure. But they're not damning enough to harsh his offensive progress and activity on the glass. Assuming his numbers hold, he'll join Karl-Anthony Towns as the second player to clear 20 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one made three per 36 minutes before his age-22 season. View this in tandem with Trae Young's recent uptick, and the Hawks get real scary, real fast. The undersized point guard is a defensive pushover, but his finishing around the rim is better than advertised, he's a high-IQ table-setter, and the space he creates with his perimeter dribbles offsets his early shooting wrinkles. Besides which, Young is averaging 18.2 points and 8.1 assists while splashing in 38.2 percent of his triples over the past 30 games. Combined with the sweet-shooting Kevin Huerter, Atlanta is laying a gnarly offensive foundation that already needs to be reckoned with."