From Ricky to Garuba, the six Spaniards in the NBA




The NBA has dressed long in the ‘Media Day’ with a representation of six Spaniards, with two debutants and two team changes, and with the absence, if Marc does not remedy it, of the Gasols for the first time in 20 years.

The national litter is led by Ricky Rubio, who after shining at the Tokyo 2020 Games, debuts a shirt at the Cleveland Calvaliers. You will not be the only one to change teams, since Juancho Hernangómez will wear the mythical Celtic green in Boston. For their part, Serge Ibaka and Willy Hernangómez will continue with the Clippers and the Pelicans respectively, while Usman Garuba and Santi Aldama will be our rookies in Houston and Memphis.

Ricky Rubio: “I am in the best mental and physical shape of my career”

Ricky Rubio is currently in his “best mental and physical form” of his sports career and that is why he is “confident” of being able to enjoy his “best year” in the Cleveland Cavaliers, his new team in the NBA in which he hopes ” make your peers better.

“I had a good time and I don’t want it to end there, it’s a bit like in 2019 at the World Cup, when I took him to Phoenix, although with the stoppage everything stopped. I feel like I’m in the best mental and physical shape of my career and I want to transfer that to the track. I feel confident to have my best year“Rubio stressed in remarks on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Media Day.

Rubio believes that his role on the court is something that “has more to do” with the coaching staff than with himself and that he considers it vital that they “establish their talent on the court first.” “You can help them take two steps ahead of where they are, it will take time, which will be given in each training session and in every detail, “he stressed.

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Juancho Hernangómez: “I am prepared for the role that the Celtics decide to give me”

For his part, Juancho Hernangómez already wears one of the most representative NBA jerseys, the green one of the Boston Celtics. “I think I can contribute my energy, open the court, rebound, shoot, play without the ball, cut … I think that my position as a basketball player does not fit in any, only in the one that the coach wants. I have played different roles in my career and in the end what matters is winning games, I am there for whatever comes, “said Juancho Hernangómez.

The Madrilenian, who considers his new franchise “a great place” and who did not give the importance to his two transfers in the summer, from Minnesota to Memphis and from here to Massachusetts, said that his “skills can help.” “I can rebound, fight, I just want to compete,” said the international, who will have stiff competition at his position, with star Jayson Tatum, one of “the best in the NBA” along with another key player in Boston like Jaylen Brown.

“I’m ready to take on whatever role the Celtics decide to give me. We all know what the goal is, we want to win games, compete, play for teammates. When you play here and you see Boston won so many championships you want to get it again“Hernangómez continued.

Willy Hernangómez: “New Orleans is my family”

His brother, Willy, will not change of scene this season and will continue in the Pelicans in New Orleans, where he feels as if he is with his “family” and where he predicts “a good year.”

Hernangómez has renewed his contract with Louisiana and his goal is to play more than ‘4’: “My main goal this season has been to try to improve my shooting and my skills when it comes to dribbling the ball. Ultimately, try to do more things in attack to try to play more like ‘4’ this season. It has been good for me to participate in the Games to keep competing and not lose my rhythm, so I am in good shape and ready for whatever comes next.

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“I’m delighted to be back here in New Orleans with the team. I feel like it’s my family. and obviously I’m delighted with the new coach and I think it’s going to be a good year. I will try to help as I always do, trying to bring that energy that is needed, “he added.

Serge Ibaka: “I have something to finish here”

After missing much of last season through injury, Serge Ibaka said he won’t be long before returning to competition with the Clippers. “I feel so much better. I’ve been working all summer and I am very close to returning. I will continue working“said the Hispanic-Congolese.

Ibaka, who has just turned 32, was only able to play 43 games last season due to back problems that eventually led to surgery in June. The center averaged 11.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in the 41 regular season games he played with the Clippers, while in the playoffs he only participated in a testimonial way in 2 games.

“I feel like I have something to finish here. I want to show Clippers fans what they wanted to see from Serge Ibaka. It seems to me that I did not give them that last year so I want to finish that job, “he said.

Garuba: “I am a much better offensive player than you think and I will show it”

New to the NBA after emerging from Real Madrid, the very young Usman Garuba, 19, arrives in the US league eager to show his talent at the Houston Rockets. “I know everyone talks about my weakness in the game being attack, but I consider that I am much better than what they say and when I am on the field it will be seen. In my interior I have no doubt that I am also a good offensive player.“, he told Efe.

“The truth is that I had imagined many options in terms of my future in the NBA,” valued the Spanish international power forward. “There have been a lot of places you can go with a much lower or higher selection,” he added. Garuba, personally, reiterated that he was a “low” selection (number 23 in the draft), but the important thing was that he had made it to the NBA and is “happy” to be in Houston.

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“For me the biggest dream would be, regardless of the titles or individual awards that I can get, achieve a championship with the team that has selected me and for that I will fight, “Garuba stressed.

Santi Aldama: “Playing in the NBA is a dream”

Still getting used to the idea of ​​the jump that has taken him from Loyola University to the NBA, the first Spaniard to do so, Santi Aldama enjoys every moment of the “dream” of being able to play in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies, a franchise with accused Spanish tradition.

Santi Aldama: “I’m looking forward to playing against my idols, and to beat them”

“Playing in the NBA is a dream. And Doing it in a place where some of your idols like Pau or Marc have played is something very special for me. Everybody here tells me about them and how great they were both on the court and off it, “says Aldama.

“I feel good and the teammates are making the transition easier. I have things to adjust during this season as a rookie, but the team is helping me a lot in that aspect, “he said.

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