Suns News

Scola Receives Visit From Fellow Argentine

Scola won gold with Argentina in the 2004 Olympics.
(Getty Images)
Posted: December 10, 2012

In 2002, the world of basketball changed.

At the 2002 FIBA World Championships in Indianapolis, for the first time in history, a team comprised of NBA players was beaten by another country. That team was Argentina, and its power forward was none other than Suns big man, Luis Scola.

Fast forward a decade later and Scola is still representing Argentina in international play. During the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Scola and Co. finished fourth overall in the competition.

Since that moment in 2002, Argentina has produced a bevy of NBA players, as well as stellar international results. Argentina captured the 2004 Olympic gold medal in Athens, the bronze in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the gold in the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship.

The generation of players that Scola is a member of is known as the “Golden Generation” of Argentine Basketball. Other members of the “Golden Generation” include the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, Houston’s Carlos Delfino, former Bulls forward Andres Nocioni and former Spurs center Fabricio Oberto.

Recently, Argentina head coach Julio Lamas visited Scola and spent a few days with him in Phoenix. The two caught up about how things are progressing for Scola with his new team, as well as planning for international play this summer.

“He just checks in on us and tries to see how we’re playing here and how we're doing,” Scola said. “We just try to find time in the schedule, get together and see what the plan for the summer is and how we’re feeling physically and mentally.”

The visits are a way of devising a plan so the Argentines can improve their chances of playing better over the summer. Also, by visiting Ginobili in San Antonio, Delfino in Houston and Knicks point guard Pablo Prigioni in New York, Lamas learns even more about his players’ tendencies and abilities with their respective NBA teams.

After visiting his NBA stars, Lamas will travel to Europe and South America to see his other national team players. The trip also teaches Lamas what’s going on throughout the world of basketball.

With the “Golden Generation” of Argentines all 30 years old or older, Lamas will need to prepare for life after them. Scola, who will be 36 years old during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, will likely be making his last international appearance for Argentina during that competition.

At least, that’s Scola’s goal.

“We’re facing some challenges,” Scola said. “Some of the guys aren’t going to be with us anymore, some guys are getting older and their roles might change because they won’t be as effective. We’re going to try to put together the best team that we can.”

Any questions or comments for Stefan Swiat? Click here to send him your comments by e-mail.