22/May/16 15:53

Emotional farewell in Raul Lopez’s last game

22 May 2016 2016-05-22T23:54:50+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

- 22 May 2016


By Antonis Stroggylakis/ info@eurohoops.net

The Liga Endesa game between Bilbao and Zaragoza was the last for Raul Lopez. The international Spaniard had already announced in March that the conclusion of the season will also mark the end of his professional career.

It was quite the emotional farewell, not only for the 36-year old Lopez but for his teammates as well. Alex Mumbru, in particular, could not hold back his tears. He has been playing at Lopez’s side for eight years, counting the players’ days in Real Madrid, and was his fellow comrade during many success of the Spanish national team.

Raul Lopez began playing basketball professionally for Joventut Badalona in 1998. Apart from the Catalans, he has also been a player of Real Madrid (2000-2002 and 2006-2009), the Utah Jazz (2002-2005) Girona (2005-2006) and Khimki Moscow (2009-2001) before moving to Bilbao in 2011. This will be the last station of his career that spanned for 18 seasons.

Considered as one of the smartest Spanish point guards of the century, Lopez was the 24th pick of the first round in the 2001 Draft by the Utah Jazz. When he signed his contract with the NBA team, in 2002, he underwent a knee surgery that barred him from playing for the whole season. It is safe to assume that his knee problem never allowed Lopez to reach his full potential. However, he managed to play a full season with a Utah Jazz in 2003-2004.

As a member of the Spanish national team, Raul Lopez has won the golden medal in the Eurobasket 2009, the silver medal in the 2008 Olympic games and the bronze medal in the Eurobasket 2001.