Scariolo: “Ricky Rubio has asked us for time to reflect to make final decisions”


The national basketball coach, Sergio Scariolo, confessed this Thursday that the Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio asked him for “a time of reflection to make a final decision”, which is why he was not included in the list of 22 players for the Valencia Pre-Olympic. 2 to 7 July, at the same time that he highlighted “the strength and commitment” of Lorenzo Brown after a season with “significant wear and tear.”

“Ricky (Rubio) has asked us for a time of reflection, he has to make definitive decisions about his career and his life, it is fair to respect him, with all the affection and fluid communication we have received this. We have not been happy, but we respect it” , assessed the coach from the Iberia Space where he announced the call for the Valencia Pre-Olympic regarding the absence of the point guard.

The El Masnou player returned to Barça in February of this year, after resigning from the last World Cup due to mental health and stopping competing in the NBA. However, his professional future is up in the air, especially after also stepping aside for next month’s Valencia tournament, with a ticket to the Paris Games at stake.

Scariolo celebrated the return of Lorenzo Brown to the list, after almost two years of absence. The Spanish-nationalized American was key in achieving the 2022 Eurobasket, although he was not in last year’s World Cup or in the qualification sales for the 2025 European Championship. “He is playing with his team, he has games to play, let’s knock on wood to Don’t let anything happen to him,” the coach hoped.

“I know his strength and commitment, but he has had significant wear and tear this season, and he still has it left. He is an experienced player, accustomed to having an important role in important teams, and who has a capacity for contagion towards others at the level of quality and commitment. I expect a valid and important contribution. The question is whether after such a heavy and hard season he will be able to reset quickly,” he revealed.


He also expects a relevant role from Juancho Hernangómez with the national team, with “greater contribution with respect to his club, where he plays very little.” “He has played some acceptable games, within the complementary role. He shows signs of adaptation, but he has to confirm it in the national team. He is eager, with enthusiasm and aware that he has learned things this year that help a player to have minutes and the team to win,” highlighted the Italian coach, who insisted that the list of 22 players “is for the entire summer and no new players should enter.”

Another concern for Scariolo is the physical level that players who finished “their activity a long time ago” in the NBA can show, although he trusts that “they can arrive in acceptable shape.” “They will lack a lot of competition rhythm. They are not the best conditions, but there are NBA rules that impose a maximum of days of concentration, the blanket is short,” he said.

“They tell me that they are going to arrive physically well, they are working individually, although with a very precarious basketball rhythm, especially Usman (Garuba), who finished much earlier, but they are not going to arrive worse than the group of 22,” he added. Scariolo, who is not concerned that for some hypothetical Games some players arrive with their future in the air. “Some are capable of separating the future from the ability to focus and work. And I have had very distracted players, who were not capable of going to training,” he said.

Spain will face Lebanon and Angola in the initial group of the Pre-Olympic in Valencia, with Finland, Poland and the Bahamas making up Group B. And the rival that generates the most tension in Scariolo is “the first.” “It is logical to say that there are rivals with talent and important names, but until there are official lists it is difficult to make predictions. It is too early to express ourselves in detail about the rivals,” he said.

Finally, the coach praised Luka Doncic’s “always spectacular commitment” to the Slovenian team, since it could go to the Olympic Qualifiers after the NBA Finals. “He has a lot of merit. A player has to have a lot of character and self-confidence to keep that commitment intact, despite all the centrifugal forces that exist in a player of that level,” he praised.

“As for the final, I think that for many reasons everyone would like to see him triumph, because it would be a sign of quality and importance of European basketball. And they are never enough considering the way things are seen in the NBA, it would be very positive. Boston is a great team, but the chemistry between Luka and Irving is turning out to be very good and better than we could have expected,” analyzed Scariolo.