It is official. Pau Gasol will help Spanish National team in their fight for the Gold medal in Eurobasket 2009! There was much debate about him playing or not in the tournament but Gasol will be there for his country after all.
Gasol's decision makes his country the grand favourites for the Gold medal, especially if one considers the problems the rest of the contenders are facing, namely Lithuania, Greece and Russia.
Gasol himself stated:
"I wanted to talk to Scariolo because he is crucial to this project. At every step, Scariolo has been enthusiastic about my presence. We are all enthusiastic at having a great tournament.
The EuroBasket is very competitive, more than the World Championship. All the European teams are good and we cannot relax in any game. No one is going to give us anything for free. We are enthusiastic with the team we have but we cannot come out with the mentality that we will reach the final because we are very good. From the first day, we have to work and believe in our possibilities to give our best."
The coach of the Spanish National Team, Sergio Scariolo was delighted about Gasol's decision and said:
"Pau will be at the EuroBasket of Poland and this is the most important thing. It's a satisfaction to know Pau's desire to compete despite the tiredness and physical problems that one can gather after a hard season as he has had in the NBA.
During the month of July, we will establish contact with the professionals that take care of Pau's health. The Lakers and our team will design the regimen and the program for Pau and then let him join the national team with us thinking of the best for the player."