Calderon and Rodriguez treasure the times with Spain

25.01.2017 17:31 of Simone Sperduto  article read 393 times
Source: FIBA
Calderon and Rodriguez treasure the times with Spain

Spain's national side is transitioning into a new era and both Jose Calderon and Sergio Rodriguez firmly believe the country will continue to be a leader in the international game.

Los Angeles Lakers playmaker Calderon retired from the national team after last year's Olympics while Philadelphia 76ers point guard Rodriguez is hoping to be with the side at FIBA EuroBasket 2017.

Calderon was emotional after his last game with Spain's national team

"There are a lot of great guys," Calderon said to FIBA.com of the players that he believes will keep Spain a powerhouse. "(Sergio) Llull, (Ricky) Rubio, (Sergio) Rodriguez, (Marc) Gasol - they're really young."

Rodriguez, who made the game-winning free-throws in the waning seconds against Australia to get Spain to the podium in Brazil, agrees.

"Every generation reaches an end and every country has to deal with this at some point," he said to FIBA.com. "It's the logic of time; we can't fight against it or change the way of life.

"Some players have decided to stop playing for the national team but some who are veterans keep playing.

"To be honest, I am not worried about it. Spain has a lot of talent and the young generations of basketball players are very talented. The transition will go well. Very well. I am pretty sure about this."

"But what's most important is that we made the best out of the opportunities we had to win titles and medals. I have had a lot of great times with the national team, I am very happy to wear the La Roja jersey." - Rodriguez

Calderon, 35, is proud to have had an important role with the national side for such a long time, from his days as a teenager with the youth teams to many more years with the senior team.

He and Rodriguez played for the team that captured the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2006 in Japan. More than the victories, Calderon will savor the memories of simply spending time with his teammates because they were all good friends.

"Family," he called them. "Just being around these guys for so many years, since I was 16 years old" is what he will treasure most from his days as a Spain player.

Rodriguez doesn't take his time as a national team player for granted. After 2006, he competed at EuroBasket 2007 but then fell out of the set-up until the 2012 Olympics. He was named to the All-Star Five after helping Spain win the EuroBasket 2015 crown.