Hispanic basketball greats likely end of Olympic road

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As the United States prepares to face the France team in the gold medal match and Slovenia and Australia vie for bronze, this year’s Olympics mark the likely end Olympic trips for basketball greats.

The Spain team lost to the United States team 95-81 in the basketball tournament quarterfinal on August 3. The defeat wiped out Spain and shattered a streak of three consecutive Olympic appearances with a medal, as the team won a silver medal in 2008 and 2012, and a bronze in 2016.

The two oldest statesmen of this Spanish team are brothers Pau and Marc Gasol. At 41 and 36, respectively, it’s likely the two played their last Olympics.

For Pau, in addition to his three Olympic medals, he has also carved an impressive resume throughout his 18-year NBA career. His accomplishments include winning two NBA championships, being named a six-time All-Star, the Rookie of the Year award and forming four All-NBA teams.

Marc, has also carved a beautiful curriculum vitae. In addition to his two Olympic silver medals, Marc was named to three all-star teams, two NBA all-star teams, won the defensive player of the year award and an NBA championship.

His 2019 NBA Championship victory with the Toronto Raptors marked the first time in NBA history that two brothers have each won an NBA championship in their careers.

Marc is expected to return to play his 14th NBA season this coming season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, Pau plans to continue playing for FC Barcelona, ​​with whom he signed in February after trying to return to the NBA.

The two brothers can claim the status of two of Spain’s most decorated basketball players.

The same can be said for Argentina’s Luis Scola, who lost to Australia in the quarter-finals of the 97-59 tournament. Although his NBA career did not last that long (10 seasons) and his NBA accolades are not as numerous as the Gasol brothers, he has established himself as one of the most important basketball players. of the Olympic Games and the Argentine national team.

Her greatest achievement was scoring 25 points and 11 rebounds in the gold medal match against Italy at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Her performance saw Argentina become the first and, in To date, the only Hispanic nation to win an Olympic gold medal in basketball.

He also won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Since leaving the NBA in 2017, Scola, now 41, has played internationally in China and Italy, continuing to play solid basketball even at his relatively old age.

The successes achieved by the Gasol and Scola brothers in international competition, the Olympics and the NBA are all impressive on their own.

When the Paris 2024 Olympics take place, any of the three are unlikely to participate, given their age and the influx of a new generation of talented and skilled international basketball players.

Nonetheless, if all three decide to withdraw from Olympic and international competition as planned, they will become three of the most influential and important basketball personalities in the Spanish-speaking world.


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