After the Los Angeles Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs, Spanish superstar Pau Gasol said that he is planning to play for the Spain National Team in the upcoming EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania.
Gasol, who did not play for Spain during the past two off-seasons, said on Wednesday that he is leaning towards playing this year, as Spain competes in the EuroBasket 2011, a tournament where teams are going to square off for a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.
The Lakers superstar big man, who led Spain to decent finishes when he’s with the team including the gold-medal finish in the 2006 World Championship, didn’t play for Spain for the past two summers because of their deep runs in the NBA playoffs. But with the early vacation they are having, Gasol said that he’ll have time to rest and be back in time for the European championships.
“My decisions the last couple years have been because of a lack of rest and time to recover from our runs to the championships before the beginning of the season,” Gasol said. “But this obviously gives me more opportunity ofparticipating with my national team.”
Gasol also added that he will take the national team stint as an opportunity to analyze his own play and be back with a vengeance after a lackluster performance for the Lakers in their series against the Mavericks.
Gasol and the Spanish national team will be one of the teams to watch out for in this year’s EuroBasket Championship that will run from August 31 to September 31 in Lithuania.
Spain was drawn in Group A where they will go up against Turkey, Lithuania, Poland, Great Britain, and another soon-to-be-determined qualifier.