By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
Mark Gasol proved to be quite laconic, but he is also right on the spot. With the help of Spanish federation’s press officer Kiko Martin – and we thank him for that – we had the chance to interview NBA’s defensive player of the year who now has to defend Spain’s Eurobasket title in Slovenia. Many NBA players decided to pass this year’s championship, but he is ready to play and was ready to answer our questions.
- You are one of the relatively few NBA players who are going to play in Slovenia. Do you have an explanation about the many absences around Europe?
“No I don’t. I think that we must speak about those players who have come and who will be important for their teams”.
- Are you feeling the obligation to play also for Pau?
“I have the necessity and responsibility to be with my teammates. I am ready to compete”.
- The last time Spain played in a tournament without your brother was back in 2005 and that was the last time that Spain didn’t get a medal. What do you think your chances are for defending your title this year?
“We work with high ambition but also we have humility”.
- Do you feel like the favorite or the team to beat?
“We respect every opponent. There is no other way to approach a tournament like Eurobasket, or any basketball game in general”.
- You had a break out season, you won the defensive player of the year award and your NBA team had the best season in its history. Is it an extra motive for you going to the Eurobasket, to prove that you can dominate in Europe?
“I just think of the present day. Right now, I prefer to concentrate in order to be the best possible on the court and once we are into the championship, we will see what every day will bring us”.
- Is it strange not having your brother and Juan Carlos Navarro in the locker rooms?
“Yes. They are great players and persons but fortunately Spain has also other great players in the national team”.
- Do you consider this tournament also as the passing of the torch from the older generation to you?
“What we want is to win games and enjoy playing together”.
- Do you feel ready to be one of the leaders of the team, or even the leader?
“My only aim is to help the team in any way my coach asks me to”.