- NBA The year Usman Garuba saw the other side of basketball: "There have been frustrating moments"
- Basketball Ricky Rubio leaves the concentration of the selection and stops his career to "treat his mental health"
Usman Garuba (Madrid, 2002) is preparing to live his first Basketball World Cup with a lot of motivation, but also with the necessary dose of caution. Not surprisingly, he emphasizes that the level is increasing and that, right now, any rival can knock down anyone. The gold achieved from the last Eurobasket, however, is a clear proof of everything that a Spanish team can give of itself that, despite everything, is not among the great favorites, according to experts. Therefore, dedicating the triumph to a Ricky Rubio who has decided to step aside to take care of his mental health would be a dream. As much as triumphing in style in an NBA that has left him so far a bittersweet trace, but which he does not plan to give up for anything in the world. Shining with the Oklahoma City Thunder, when the championship is just a memory, is also his big goal.
Are the victories achieved in the last World Cup and the last Eurobasket a plus of motivation or do they mean more pressure? In the end, it's always extra motivation. When you face a championship, your big goal is to win it. On a personal level, I always try to give my best, and I'm sure that's also the attitude of the team. We will try to give everything to show our best level and do our best. Seeing the results achieved by the rest of the teams in your group in 2019, is it fair to put Spain as the great favorite to be first in the group or can that be a double-edged sword? It doesn't have to. Forecasts are just that, forecasts. We focus on our day to day and do not stop to listen to what third parties may say. We focus on ourselves and that's the most important thing. On paper, they place Spain only as the sixth favorite team to win the title. Looking at the performance of recent years, does it surprise you? In the end, it is that, forecasts, nothing more, mere probabilities. We do not have to think about it, we can understand it, but what we do is focus on the day to day. In addition, predictions are not always fulfilled and we will give everything to get as high as possible. From your point of view, which selections can be the most prominent? There are many, such as the United States, Canada, France... And, in addition, there are also many others that can give the surprise. Basketball is globalizing, there is a lot of level, anyone can beat anyone and, deep down, it would not be a surprise either. We are ready for everything.What could be the selection that surprises the most in this edition? There are many teams that are very good and that come very reinforced. The other day, for example, they gave the list of South Sudan and in it there are four very interesting players. We must respect them all, we cannot underestimate any of the rivals. We all compete to give the maximum for our country and anything can happen.How has the group fit the loss of Ricky Rubio? It has been something very unexpected, but it has been received with great respect. If someone is not 100% mentally, it is very difficult for them to perform and we all know that personal comes first. We respect your decision and support you to the fullest. We are going to give everything for the team and for him. Although he is not here, he is a person who has been part of the national team for many years and who has always contributed many things to the group. Talking about mental health is not easy. What you decided to do to take this step is a show of courage? What Ricky has done is an act of courage, but above all also of common sense. If a person is not well, he cannot play 100% and you have to respect that. Personally, I am a very understanding person with these things. We are all good teammates, we get along very well with each other and we are very clear that before sport is the personal life of each one. Basketball is something secondary, the important thing, above all, is to be well.Would dedicating the triumph be something special for the group? Sure, a lot. Above all, with his absence, because he is a key player for us. From your personal point of view, how do you rate the two years you have spent in the NBA? Overall, I have the feeling that I still have a lot to prove in the NBA, that I can give a lot more. Really, being there is my dream, I've fought a lot for it and I'm going to keep fighting to keep going. there showing my maximum level. In large part, I also have a certain bittersweet feeling, because I'm very happy to be able to play in the NBA, but I also have the feeling that I can do much better. With a summer like this, did you ever consider returning to Europe? No, with all due respect, at no time did I consider returning to Europe. I am where I have always wanted to be and I have worked hard to achieve it.
- Spanish National Basketball Team
- Ricky Rubio