By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
Lorenzo Brown being granted Spanish citizenship and becoming available to play in the 2022 EuroBasket has stirred controversy in recent weeks.
Jorge Garbajosa opened up about the decision to include Brown in the immediate plans of the Spain senior national team. The president of the Spanish Basketball Federation sitting down with Radio MARCA stretched to what kind of criticism bothers him.
“Renouncing American citizenship is a huge commitment. He is a fan of the Spanish national team” he noted, roughly translated via Google Translate, “His arrival coincides with the injuries to Ricky [Rubio] and [Carlos] Alocen combined with Sergio Rodriguez retiring from the national team.”
“Simply disapproving his addition bothers me,” added the former player and FEB president since 2016, “More than 40 players have debuted these years. People are saying that by naturalizing one player in six years we are stopping younger players from coming into the team, but that is not true. That is a lie. He is coming in to cover an important position. Giving him up would seem irresponsible to me. He is excited to play for Spain.”
Discussing the approaching edition of EuroBasket, he placed Spain among the teams looking to win a medal in Berlin.
“It is not a normal preparation for an extremely demanding tournament. Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Lithuania, and Turkey are all candidates to be on the podium,” he commented on the favorites, “The challenge is probably the most difficult of recent years. But we are going to fight and battle as a team, as usual. Having Rudy [Fernandez] and [Sergio] Llull is huge. I am sure we will come out from this tournament proud of our efforts. With a medal also? We will see.”
The team guided by Sergio Scariolo will face Bulgaria, Georgia, Belgium, Montenegro, and Turkey in Tbilisi, Georgia. The countries ranking first through fourth in Group A of the preliminary round will advance to the knockout stage to be held in Berlin, Germany. The 2022 EuroBasket will start on 1 September and the gold medal game is slated to take place on 18 September.
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