San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol is still interested in joining the Spanish national team in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Over the course of the game’s international growth, Spain has developed a rich history of basketball allure by continuously pumping out NBA-caliber athletes. Amongst them, center Pau Gasol is widely considered the greatest Spaniard to play the game.
Few players have combined the skill and physicality of Gasol over an extended period of time. From his initial emergence in the NBA to his current state in 2018, Gasol has managed to create a style of play that’s heavily contributed to legendary teams. Of all the teams he’s been participated with, there’s none he takes pride in more than his country’s national team. At 38 years old, he’s not quite ready to give it up.
Gasol spoke with Spanish media outlet El Día at a release event for his new book, ‘Bajo El Aro,’ which translates to ‘Below the Hoop.’ He touched on his future and his potential to return to the Spanish national team in 2019.
As originally reported by News 4 San Antonio’s Jeff Garcia, Gasol said:“I love playing with the national team and I would like to continue and qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and help the team with my presence, if I am physically well my belief and my wish is to be in the World Cup.”
The greatest asset a team can gain from Gasol is his passion for the game. No matter what role he takes or platform he plays on, the six-time All Star has contributed and won consistently. His importance to the Spanish national team is a great reflection of his role in San Antonio. Not only is Gasol a fantastic locker room presence, but his teachability and true understanding of the game make him the ideal player.
In the 2017-2018 season, Gasol averaged 10.1 points and eight rebounds per game in a career-low 23.5 minutes per game. He’s molded himself into a highly efficient two-way role player to compliment the needs of head coach Gregg Popovich.
Whether or not Gasol can perform effectively in the FIBA Basketball World Cup isn’t a question: he can ball. As long as remains healthy, Pau can help his country get back to the Olympics.