Jose Manuel Calderon will debut today in Sports Carousel (String SER). You will also participate in BE Sporty.
How about New York?
Very well. Starting the third year, as who says …
I imagine that he will have a lot of trouble with the season so close.
Yes and no. With the preseason started, everything is already a bit rolled.
Today it opens on Carrusel Deportivo. Wants?
Yes, the truth is yes. It is a new project, something that I already tried in the summer in the National Team matches. We had been talking for a while and, in the end, we are going to collaborate. I will be there every week. Let’s see how it goes. I really like trying new things and learning.
What will your job be? Just basketball?
Above all, NBA and Euroleague. But it is clear that we will end up talking about other things.
Speaking of Pau Gasol, could he have lasted another year?
That is a question for him. Probably yes, but I don’t know. He took some time to think about it and if he decided to retire, it was the best option.
Gasol spoke to Jasikevicius about the void left when he leaves professional sports. How did you deal with it?
That depends on how you have prepared and Pau is. It does not take you by surprise, it is not a ‘oops, I don’t have a team, what do I do’. You prepare yourself, you educate yourself, you begin to learn other things … It is normal that after 20 years of doing the same you will miss it, but it would happen to anyone. In my case I did not feel a void. I faced it as a new challenge, a possibility to spend time with my loved ones. If you are not prepared, the void is bigger and it is more difficult to forget basketball.
Without Pau, the golden juniors are put to an end. What made them so special?
We grew up together, because we knew each other since we were little and, in the end, that did a lot. We were not only a talented team, we had ambition. You must know how your teammates are, because not everyone reacts the same to a victory, a loss, a bad play … We always put the team ahead. That made us different.
Are they an unrepeatable generation or do you trust that another like yours will emerge?
I wish. I see it complicated, and it is not because of a talent issue, but because of how difficult it is to get six or seven players from the same year. Will there be a team that does it very well? I have no doubts, but it is difficult to reach 15 years at the highest level because the teams rotate. We were able to be together since we were little. That will be difficult to match. The success thing? Teams will surely come that will win a lot of medals because we have very good basketball.
The NBA starts shortly, who do you see as a favorite?
It is very early, but the champion (Milwaukee Bucks) must be put there, although it is difficult to win again. And the logical thing is that Brooklyn becomes a better team in this second year. He is the big favorite on paper, but as we have seen so many times, it has to be shown on the track.
Speaking of the Nets, how will Irving and vaccines end?
There are some rules that New York and San Francisco have put in place and they are what they are. We cannot force anyone. He is free to do what he sees fit and that must always be respected. Kyrie and his team are involved and they must see what the best formula is. You have to wait to see what happens, what decision they make and respect it.
Is it an exaggeration to worry about so few players with reluctance to the vaccine or is it normal after the pandemic?
You have to look at it differently: 96% are vaccinated. There are not many sectors or countries that reach that number. It is normal that there are people with doubts, reticent because of their way of thinking, of being … I put it on because I thought I should do it for me and for everyone, but it is something personal.
Spain has two new representatives: Garuba and Aldama, any advice?
Have patience. This is not a sprint, everything takes a lot of turns. Houston is a team that is rebuilding and Garuba will probably have minutes, but there may be games that he does not play. They should know that it is not for them. That it is not personal, that many times they are tests and that they must work with enthusiasm. The opportunity is going to come to them.