I love Manu when he plays. I also love when he talks. That's why I made this awkward attempt to translate his recent column. My Spanish is not good, so there must be some horrible mistakes here. But I was trying my best to understand what Manu said. Also, I didn't notice the real translation by Janie Annie, so I made my own. Sorry about that, I feel like an idiot now, but at least I can compare and see what I got right and where I was wrong.
SAN ANTONIO - . All quiet here at home. I would like to be on the road, traveling with the team and playing, and it's no fun at all to go through rehab, but I'm fine. This is another injury, as happened so often before, but I'm taking it with confidence. I follow a gradual program of increasing work without any problem. I want to keep the things going. I expect to be back after the All Star break, i.e. after Feb 16.
I am away from my teammates, but I'm trying to do everything to join them on our annual rodeo road trip. Meanwhile, I keep doing the boring part : ribbon, elliptical, swimming ... And posture exercises, not only for the hamstring, but also to strengthen the glutei, spine and other muscles. I started running in the water, I keep healing and now I can step on the court and catch some ball, so fun stuff gradually comes back.
If everything works, I'll get some needed rest during a very demanding season. I hope everything returns to normal and I will participate in the end of the regular season. I am getting bored a lot during this time, but there are just two or three weeks left. They had a study to see what could be consequences of the injury, a physical trainer and kinesiologist stayed with me, and they will not let me play before the end of rehabilitation. You do not want to rush anything, but make sure that it is properly healed muscle.
My mood is pretty good. Last year there were three injuries, and the third wanted to break every minute. This is the first of the season. If there is only this one, well, I'll take it patiently. Let's be optimistic.
This is a difficult time for the team in general. It is very hard to overcome four injures to major players. There has been improvised staring lineups, new players got hired and rotations adjusted. Two of the four, Danny and Tiago, came back already, and they are very important for our defense, because they understand the system and because they do their job well. Leonard is not back yet, he would return around the same time as me. Green is the best defender on the perimeter, but pretty much everybody at that position got injured. Of course, these injures affected our latest results, we were lacking talent and not winning as much as we used to. And we are not playing as well as we can. You have to go though this difficult time. For now I do not care too much about what other teams are doing or if we are the first, second or fifth in the standings. When we are in the playoffs, we will think a little more. The important thing for now is to improve and get healthy.
I think, here in the U.S. they do not even know that the World Cup draw was made. The best teams got better draws because of their performance in primaries. Spain is a great team. They have size, explosiveness, and talent, and they are totally above the rest. They look like Kevin Durant in Turkey 2010 (FIBA World Cup). Of course, the games can go either way, but they are favorites for this tournament. We'll see how they handle that.
What about Argentina ? This is more complicated. The groups A and B are the strongest, and then they play against each other. All 8 teams from these two groups are strong, and really anything can happen. I don't know what to expect from Philippines and Senegal. But the road ahead is dangerous, because even though Argentina has a good group, after qualifying you will come across the other side: Serbia, France, Brazil, let alone Spain. It will be like winning the first quarter of a game with a minimal margin, not by winning a lot. Any result in the group can be crucial to get a favorable seed for the elimination stage. But nevertheless, I think we can put ourselves in a good position to advance.
Let me clarify: when I speak of Argentina, I would like to be a part of the team. As Julio [Lamas] said, I do not need anyone to convince me. I know what it means to play in a World Cup, I have appreciation for my colleagues and I would like to play in a tournament with them. But I'm just depending on my conditions, both physical and mental, to make the decision.
For now, my wife 's belly is growing swiftly. They are six months now. That's right; the other two grow together fast. One brother may start a sentence, just say two words and another continues on with it . They are the best friends, they always walk together. If one is missing , the other asks why there is no Dante or why no Nico. Occasionally the have some quarrels, like everyone else, but it's amazing how they agree to watch their movies, share many things ... It's a great relationship they have. Everything is impeccable in this regard.