It is the end of an era for Real Madrid after Los Blancos announced that head coach Pablo Laso will not coach the team next season due to medical reasons.
Real removes Pablo Laso as head coach
Pablo Laso, 54, had coached Real for the last 11 seasons during which he restored its status as a continental power and EuroLeague title-contender level. When Laso joined Real in 2011, Los Blancos had last won the EuroLeague in 1995. With Coach Laso running the show, Real reached seven Final Fours out of a maximum of 10, won EuroLeague titles in 2015 and 2018 and competed in three other championship games. In early June, Laso suffered a heart attack during the Spanish League semifinals and did not return to the bench again last season.
In a statement released by the club, Real stated: “Real Madrid has made the decision not to keep Pablo Laso as coach of the first basketball team solely and exclusively for medical reasons.
“After the heart attack that our coach suffered a few weeks ago, Real Madrid has made several consultations with doctors and cardiology specialists and all of them have expressed the obvious risk to his health that continuing as the squad's coach at this time entails… Real Madrid considers that after this acute coronary event that led our coach to undergo surgery and to go to the intensive care unit, not making this decision would be absolutely irresponsible.”
In addition to the two EuroLeague crowns, Laso led Real to six Spanish League championships, six Spanish Copa del Rey triumphs and seven Spanish SuperCups in his time in the Spanish capital. He also helped Real win the Intercontinental title in 2015. Laso was named the Alexander Gomelskiy EuroLeague Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2018 and his team's attractive, run-and-gun playing style helped Real to fill the stands both at WiZink Center and on the road. More than 20 players, including Luka Doncic, Willy Hernangomez, Usman Garuba and more recently Tristan Vukcevic and Juan Nuñez made their EuroLeague debuts from Real’s youth program under Laso.
Laso was also a legendary playmaker who still holds the Spanish League career records for assists (2,896) and steals (1,219). He played at the 1996 Final Four with Real, won the 1994-95 Saporta Cup with Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and took part in 61 games with the Spanish national team, among other highlights. He has a 238-105 EuroLeague coaching record (69.4%). Laso also coached Castellon, Valencia Basket, Cantabria and Gipuzkoa Basket of Spain.