By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ricky Rubio – who recently moved to the Phoenix Suns – will join the Spanish national team in the efforts to go all the way at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
Rubio won four EuroBasket and two Olympic Games medals but noted that Team USA was dominant in the past and that it was almost a given that they will grab the gold at any competition: “It was like watching a movie. We would know that in the end, the US will win. Lately, it seems that the movie has changed in the ending. Now we have a deeper show, and you don’t know what to expect in the end. Anything can happen.”
He believes that trend is changing and a lot of teams will have a shot at beating the USA and winning it all: “I see a lot of teams (in the medal hunt). It used to be the US team and one of the other generations, like Spain or Argentina, who can play toe-to-toe with them. Now we have a lot of countries who can compete. Not just to play in the Final. But also to beat the USA. Spain, of course, but also France, Australia…a lot of good teams out there who can compete and win the gold medal.”
The 28-year-old also shared his feeling about wearing the national team jersey and what it has meant for him throughout his life: “Putting the jersey on with the national team, playing along with Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez, it was like, ‘I made it!’ I’m one of the 12 best players in my country. And I’m not just playing for ‘Rubio,’ for me or my family, I’m playing for the whole country that’s watching us and cheering for us. I remember watching the World Cup and the Olympic Games as a kid, and saying ‘Spain are playing. We are playing.’ When you are playing for the national team, it’s not just the 12 guys playing. It’s ‘we’ playing. The whole country.”