Rudy Fernandez has changed his mind about Lorenzo Brown's naturalization

2022-08-02 20:26
Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Credit AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Spanish national team captain Rudy Fernandez, who will play his seventh EuroBasket next September, was one of those who stood against the nationalization of Lorenzo Brown.

On July 8, Fernandez, voiced his opinion on the issue. "It doesn't seem right to me. I found out from the press that they had nationalized that player, who had no link with the country," added the Real Madrid player.

"I had the reference of having played with [Nikola] Mirotic and with [Serge] Ibaka", continued Fernandez.

Lorenzo Brown

Lorenzo  Brown
Position: PG, SG
Age: 31
Height: 198 cm
Weight: 90 kg
Birth place: Georgia, United States of America

"They are foreign players, but they have been trained in a Spanish youth academy since they were very young and in that sense they had a special bond with our country," Fernandez explained.

"If (Lorenzo Brown) is there, we have to try to help him as much as possible because in the end he will also help us compete. But there are many Spanish players who have earned to take up the guard positions and in the end, perhaps they will not have the recognition they deserve," the 37-year-old veteran said. 

Four weeks later and on the occasion of Brown's presentation by the Spanish federation, in which the naturalized player spoke highly of him, Fernandez offered another perspective on the matter. 

"Brown is a player who comes to help the national team, we must make that clear and I prefer players who are linked to this national team, even if we are 22, to others who may ignore Sergio Scariolo's call to come this summer," the experienced forward told the press during the team's presentation in Madrid.

"In the end, there are many players who have played in the FIBA windows and now they cannot be here, but speaking with the Federation, I am delighted that Brown is here," he continued.

For Rudy, enthusiasm is fundamental.

"Having young players on the team always comes in handy and enthusiasm has to be intact, whether you are 37 like me or 18 like Juanito (Nunez) who is the youngest", he explained.

For the captain, being able to represent his country "is the greatest thing and I've been lucky enough to be doing it since 2004, to be able to be here again and convey to young guys that you have to give everything."

"Each championship is very difficult. The national team always has to aspire to the maximum, but key players are leaving the national team every year. You can win or lose, but you have to leave everything on the court, it must be the DNA of this team," he added.

Very few expect Spain to be a real contender for the trophy in the EuroBasket, but Fernandez has seen a lot of different versions of the team reach their goals, no matter how much the odds were against them.

"In the 2019 World Cup we weren't favorites either," he remembered.

"Surprises may or may not happen, but we're all prepared. The team is being rebuilt. We must enjoy the moment and have the feeling of having given everything", Rudy Fernandez concluded.

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