The MVP of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, Spain’s Pau Gasol, will be in Turkey after all.
The giant, is indeed, coming – but not as a player.
Similar to 2005, when Gasol skipped the EuroBasket in Serbia and Montenegro due to injury, he will still be in Izmir and later, if Spain advance, in Istanbul – but not dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding and swatting shots.
“I will be in Turkey as a (television) commentator, as a spectator and giving all the support I can,” Gasol has revealed.
Gasol led Spain to their first-ever gold medal at the EuroBasket last year in Poland but decided before playing in the NBA Finals with the Lakers that he needed to take this summer off to rest.
He missed the early part of the 2009-10 NBA season because of injuries.
“It’s clear that as the tournament begins, I will have more will to compete but I am certain I have taken the right decision,” said Gasol, who turned 30 on July 6.
“I have no doubts about that.”
Gasol will also travel to Ethiopia this summer as a UNICEF ambassador.
Last weekend, the seven-footer travelled to South Africa to support Spain and watched them beat the Netherlands in the final of the World Cup.
“I have a very busy summer,” he said.