Pau Gasol to play for Spain in Olympic qualifying
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Pau Gasol pledged to play for Spain at EuroBasket, an Olympic qualifier in September.
Spain, which lost to the U.S. in the last two Olympic finals, is favored with defending EuroBasket champion France to earn the two Olympic spots available at the tournament, which is co-hosted by four nations. The third-through-sixth-place teams will advance to a global, last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament in 2016.
Gasol, 34, helped Spain to EuroBasket titles in 2009 and 2011. Spain finished third in 2013, without Gasol, and lost to France in the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Gasol was an all-tournament selection at the World Cup, won by the U.S. to clinch an Olympic berth.
Gasol, a five-time NBA All-Star limited by a hamstring injury during the Chicago Bulls’ playoff run this spring, could be joined on the Spain roster by All-Star brother Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies) and Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves) is considered doubtful for EuroBasket due to ankle surgery. Jose Calderon (New York Knicks) ruled out playing in EuroBasket as he recovers from injury.