Pau Gasol impressed with Spain's talent
What’s your outlook on the tournament?
We are the defending champions and we want to win again. We have a great team, deep, balanced, excited to win. We're going to have to beat many great teams if we want to finish at the top.
Does Spain have the best talent?
If not the best, because there are very good teams here, for sure one of the best ones. We have a lot of talent in every position with a lot of NBA players in our team and some future NBA players too.
Who do you see as the teams to beat?
Lithuania, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, France. There are many very talented teams. Some of them are very experienced with very high-quality players. Others have very promising players and are very talented too, hungry to win. All the teams play a very different way so each one presents different challenges.
What’s it like playing with your brother, Marc?
It's very special to have the opportunity to play with him. He has become a very important player in the NBA and now not only he is talented and dominant but has a lot of experience.
Because of your familiarity with your brother, Marc, how do you complement each other’s games?
We know what to expect from each other when we're out there together. We are both capable of shooting the mid-range jumper and playing close to the basket.
What presence has Serge Ibaka provided?
He is a very talented and powerful player. He gives us a lot of presence, special on the defensive end. He has improved his game so much and works very hard every day. I am very happy to have him in the team, he's doing an amazing job and improves his game daily.
What’s your opinion on the system in which players who aren’t born in certain countries are allowed to play for them because of family connections or maintaining residences there?
It is what it is, It's been always like this in Europe and that's how it works around the world. Obviously I see it more as a positive when we can add a player like Serge to our team.
E-mail the Lakers blog at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Pau Gasol tries to score near Polands' Adam Hrycaniuk, right, and Piotr Szczotka, left, during the preliminary round match, Group A, between Spain and Poland at the EuroBasket 2011 in Panevezys, Lithuania. Credit: Georgi Licovski / EPA