Juancho Hernangómez will not finally participate in the Olympic Games. It was announced this Saturday by the president of the FEB, Jorge Garbajosa, who to begin with has asked “apologies for muddying the Olympic Games, which are the great global celebration of sport, for an absolutely extra-sporting issue. Even more so in times of COVID, after the immense effort made by each of the 11,000 athletes who are competing as of today, and who have already secured a medal for Spanish sport. But we are obliged to appear before the Media, within our commitment to transparency with the press, fans and the rest of the bodies that make up the world of basketball. “
Garbajosa explained that “the question is simple to state, although it deserves a longer explanation that allows us to understand what happened in all its dimensions: right at the limit of the closing of the registrations of the players who will participate in these Olympic Games, we have seen in the obligation to replace Juancho Hernangómez by Xabi López-Aróstegui. The facts are clear and allow few interpretations: Minnesota Timberwolves, the franchise to which Juancho Hernangómez’s sports rights belong, officially communicated to us on July 23, that is, the day before yesterday, that it did not authorize the player to participate in the Olympic Games. As everyone will know, Juancho Hernangómez was already among the 12 players that the Spanish National Team had traveled to Tokyo at that time, after having obtained medical approval from the Minnesota Timberwolves physicians and physiotherapists the day before the trip ”.
It has also detailed the last 24 hours. “The FEB has tried to exhaust all diplomatic channels, both with the franchise, and with the player, his representative, with the FIBA ??and the NBA to try to reach a dialogue and satisfactory solution for all parties,” he said. Unfortunately without fruit, so, given the certainty that Minnesota did not agree to sign the player’s medical discharge, we have been forced to replace him in the final team of the National Team and urgently summon Xabi López-Aróstegui in his place, I want to publicly thank him for his good disposition, and who is already on his way to Tokyo to join the team’s discipline as soon as possible ”.
“We have always put Juancho at the center of the question”
“We want to be very emphatic when it comes to stating that we have always put Juancho Hernangómez at the center of the issue,” the FEB president wanted to make clear. From the first minute of your unfortunate injury in Malaga, we have been determined to provide you with the best medical, personal and sports treatment, both to safeguard your health and not to harm your professional interests or those of the franchise in which you provide your services. . This position has been made clear in the transparency with which we have approached his injury and the different stages of its evolution, which led us, with complete honesty, to dismiss it according to the unanimous criteria of all parties on the night of 8 July, and correcting that diagnosis until his medical discharge when the judgment of the specialists, the subsequent tests and the player’s sacrifice made it clear that he would be ready to compete ”.
Garbajosa has remarked once again that “the most important of all this matter for the Federation, and for myself, has always been Juancho Hernangómez. First, your health. And once it is verified that he is fully recovered, his desire to be there as one more member of The Family. And so it continues today: Juancho is healthy. And Juancho wants to play these Olympic Games. But he won’t be able to do it because the Minnesota Timberwolves’ one-sided criteria will prevent it. And allow me to insist on this issue: if for a single moment Juancho or the doctors who treat him had expressed a single doubt about the convenience of his trip to Tokyo, he would not have taken that flight to Japan. Moreover, even if once there the slightest annoyance gave rise to doubts, as President of the FEB, I myself would have made the decision to send him back from Japan. But it turns out that this is not the case, and that it has not been so for the doctors and physiotherapists who have been treating him since last July 8. As the chronology of events will show, there is not the slightest doubt that the criteria used by Minnesota Timberwolves can be described as business, or even political, but never medical ”.
“Neither disposition to agree nor respect for the criteria of medical professionals”
“I want to clarify that I focus this matter on the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise, and within it, on its General Manager, Gersson Rosas –Garbajosa has also pointed out-, in whom we have not found either the disposition to the agreement, nor the respect for the criteria in which the medical and physiotherapy professionals on both sides had been unanimous. Whether for contractual, business, or future market options reasons, Mr. Rosas has decided that Juancho Hernangómez will not be discharged and that he will not be able to play these Olympic Games. We have tried to stop this circumstance until the end, but it has been impossible to achieve it ”.
In any case, Garbajosa has insisted “on our good relationship with the NBA, of whose criteria and professionalism we have not the slightest doubt. As has been the tradition in recent decades, our harmony with the best basketball competition in the world is unequivocal. We believe in the importance and value of the NBA, in its role as a creator of value in our sport around the world, and in the respect, loyal collaboration and transparency it has shown with FIBA ??basketball. Our conflict is not with the NBA. I would dare to say that it is not even with a franchise, the Minnesota Timberwolves in which Ricky Rubio plays. Our problem is with what seems like a different franchise: the Minnesota Timberwolves that have prevented Juancho Hernangómez’s Olympic dream ”.
Thanks to Juancho, Xabi López-Aróstegui and Valencia Basket
Juancho Hernangómez will be replaced by Xabi López-Aróstegui. Jorge Garbajosa has detailed that since the 23rd the player is “in Games mode, he underwent the first PCR, the IOC has already been notified of his inclusion in the official list, we just need to officially approve the change. As soon as we receive it, the player will get on the plane and travel ”. Although it is therefore not guaranteed that López-Aróstegui will arrive in Tokyo in time to participate in the first match of Spain. For all this, the president of the FEB has shown his appreciation for the collaboration and predisposition shown at all times by Valencia Basket.
“I want to publicly thank the commitment and determination of Juancho Hernangómez to defend the shirt of Spain in these Olympic Games,” has also assured the president of the FEB-. He is an essential piece of La Familia and he has shown it by working tirelessly to recover and be able to help us in this competition. Unfortunately, he has not obtained a medical discharge from his club in what is a hard blow for the player, as a person and as an athlete, and for the Spanish National Team, which loses a key piece in Scariolo’s scheme. But we will continue forward, and Juancho will continue to be an essential figure of our team: La Familia will continue to count on him, giving his support in Tokyo during these Games, and on the track as soon as possible. I also want to highlight the generosity and commitment of Xabi López-Aróstegui, who from the first contact we had with him gave a resounding yes to the possibility of replacing Juancho, and that he is already on his way to Tokyo to put everything on his part in the La Familia fight to get a new Olympic medal.