heinnews’s David Hein talked to Spanish national team center Marc Gasol about Spain’s departure from the 2010 World Championship, the improvement of the Memphis Grizzlies, and his younger brother Adria.

heinnews: How positive was it that Spain reached the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Championship without having Pau (Gasol) or Jose (Manuel Calderon)? Can Spain take this as a next step?

Gasol: We’re not going to cry about it. We’re not going to make any excuses. That’s not our style. We never did it and we will not do it now. We’re not going to make excuses. We’re going to be consequent with our actions. And we’re just going to try to improve – whoever is in the team, I know they will help us. You saw the players coming from the bench and were ready to fight. And that’s most important. Everything else whoever can come, is coming. Whoever is not coming we cannot worry about that.

heinnews: Maybe say a few words about Fernando San Emeterio, who had another great game off the bench.
Gasol: I know Fernando very well. I played with him two great years in Girona. He’s a fighter. He’s a smart guy. He knows how to play the game. But this is national team and there are a lot of good players and you have to be ready to step out of your role sometimes.

heinnews: What do you think was lacking in this tournament for Spain?
Gasol: It’s too early to make conclusions. We have to wait a little bit and calm down and cool down for reflections.

heinnews: Moving away from Spain, also at the Worlds were Rudy Gay of the U.S. and Iranian Hamed Haddadi. What does it say that there are three Memphis Grizzlies here in Turkey?
Gasol: That we are growing. We’re growing worldwide and getting more experience internationally and that’s good. International experience helps you go into the year. It lets to get there in better shape and ready to play.

heinnews: What’s it like playing with Hamed?
Gasol: I love it. I love the guy. He’s a great player, very smart. He doesn’t get much playing time in the NBA but he’s pretty talented.

heinnews: Maybe talk about his development and that of Hasheem Thabeet?
Gasol: Both of them have really helped the team a lot. Hasheem on the first hand has some skills that no one else has. He is really athletic, he has to be a little more patient and he’ll be alright. He just has to put in his work. He started really late playing basketball. Hamed is more experienced than Thabeet but sometimes it’s tough because there are three centers and not enough minutes.

heinnews: How much are you looking forward to in Memphis this season?
Gasol: I’m really excited now. I’m obviously disappointed about what happened here (in Turkey), but all my heart and my mind will be on Memphis in a couple days. And we’ll be ready to roll.

heinnews: How is the younger brother Adria doing?
Gasol: He’s doing great. He’s practicing. He’s getting a lot better very fast and growing. He’s getting taller and taller every day. He’s been in Memphis for 10 years now. A really long time. I don’t know if he’s going back or will go to Spain.

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