In Spain the naturalization of Lorenzo Brown has not been received well at all. The AssoGiocatori strongly criticized the Federation’s decision, which also came under many attacks from fans.
Now also siding against this choice are some very representative players such as Rudy Fernandez and Alex Abrines, which makes the climate in the Spanish locker room quite incandescent. Don Sergio Scariolo will have to work hard at the work of appeasement.
Rudy, as captain, spoke to the microphones of Antena3 and was very critical about it, specifying that Brown has no connection with Spain unlike Mirotic and Ibaka, players who naturalized several years ago.
I have already told Jorge Garbajosa and as captain I should have been asked. I don’t like this choice and I had to learn from the newspapers about the naturalization of this player who has no connection with our country, although then the president explained to me the reasons. I have played together with Mirotic and Ibaka, they are foreigners but they were trained in our youth sectors from a young age and have a very strong bond with Spain. If Brown is with us at the European Championships we will have to do everything we can to help him integrate because the goal is to compete at the highest level. However, there are so many Spanish players who earned the call-up during the qualifiers and in the end they will not get the recognition they deserve that will benefit this player instead.
Same tone used by Alex Abrines in an interview with the Diario de Mallorca.
It should be an opportunity for athletes who have participated in all the qualifying windows. I think it is a lack of respect for our talents, I have nothing against Brown however this choice seems to me a missed opportunity for our young people.
In short, a red carpet reception is not in sight for Brown, although certainly all the Spanish players, as professionals, will still do everything to make him integrate and try to win the European Championships. But who knows, maybe the many criticisms won’t push Sergio Scariolo to leave him out, in view of the fact that Serge Ibaka has also made himself available to fill the only slot available for naturalized players.