As the Olympics have come to an end and the US National Team earned the gold, France the silver and Australia the bronze, it is time to reflect. Spain fell to Team USA in the quarter finals. We could be ahead of the end of an era for ‘La Familia’, the national team that marked a generation.
Before you read this article, we highly recommend you to watch the documentary named ‘La Familia’ available on Amazon Prime Video, which is very similar to ‘The Last Dance’ of the mythical Michael Jordan´s Chicago Bulls. It has five chapters and tells the most iconic moments of a national team that will go down in history of the Spanish sport.
La Familia´s role in Tokyo 2020:
The squad coached by Sergio Scariolo ended second in Group C after losing to Luka Doncic´s Slovenia. That defeat forced Spain to play the next round against the US, which began the Olympics with a loss against France. They are not invencible, but they are the best team. That game ended with a ‘small ball’, which proved that the center´s role is secondary.
Marc Gasol did not stand out in these Olympics, which has turned into a bitter farewell from the national team for the youngest of the Gasol Brothers. The role por Pau Gasol as a veteran and leader of the second unit guys was very useful to transmit personality and inculcate some of the ‘Mamba Mentality’ that he learned from Kobe at the Lakers. Another retirement that does not make justice to the magnificent trajectory of two brothers that have made history in the Spanish basketball.
But it is not all about bad news for ‘La Familia’, as we must also point out Ricky Rubio´s brilliant performance, who managed to scored 38 points against the US. That feat allowed him to make it to the All-Team of the Olympics along with Patty Mills, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant and Rudy Gobert. After the high level he has recently shown, he will now return to the NBA but this time to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as he was traded halfway the competition.
Also the experience and quality by Rudy Fernández, Víctor Clavel, Sergio Llull or ‘Chacho’ Rodríguez have led this national team to face the US and overcome other opponents like Campazzo and Scola´s Argentina. This seniority must be added to the youth and ambition by players like Usman Garuba, who has been recently drafted by the Houston Rockets or Willy Hernángomez, who got three blocks on a great defensive performance.
Not everyone believes that the end of an era has come for this team. Spanish Basketball Federation president Jorge Garbajosa says that this is a transition time but that this cycle never ends: “The cycle has never stop evolving and continues doing so”.
Do you agree with Garbajosa or you think that we are ahead of an end of era for ‘La Familia’?
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.