By Stefan Djordjevic/ email@example.com
A lot of players decided to skip the 2019 FIBA World Cup for Team USA but the Raptors assistant and Spain boss Sergio Scariolo still puts them at the top: “Knowing the NBA work from inside, having three important players out for any other teams is way more important than for the US team. There is just a lot of talent, a lot of great players. People in Europe sometimes don’t really realize how deep is the NBA world, in terms of great players, not only the first five or six. I think it’s always better to focus on who is playing than who is not”, Scariolo told fiba.basketball.
Spain will also have a fair share of absentees but the coach noted that they started off the right way: “We are in a different challenge, a new one, with many guys who never played or never had an important role with the national team, but we are excited about the challenge. Most of the guys who played the windows are among the 16 in this group, so the training camp is going well. We just started, we cannot say much, but we have good vibes about the togetherness, the desire to compete together, no selfishness and that’s what we ask of them. This is the basement to build a fort.”
While working with the senior team, Scariolo also keeps an eye on the younger generations which have had great success this year: “This year has been a good year so far, but the results aren’t our main concern. Our main concern is to develop players and try to get them ready for the first team.”
His son Alessandro is also a part of the U18 Spanish team which has made it to the EuroBasket Final: “These kids, I can tell you from a father’s standpoint, these kids made a lot of sacrifices to get here. They study, they practice three hours per day, they play with the national team, so it’s nice to see now that they are rewarded, making it at this level and having a chance to fight for a medal”, he said while making a quick trip to Greece in order to attend the semifinals and finals of the FIBA Europe U18 championship.