Gustavo Ayon Says No to Pan Am Games, Yes to Olympic Trials
Gustavo Ayon Says No to Pan Am Games, Yes to Olympic Trials
Before his trip to Mexico, PanamericanWorld sat down with Gustavo Ayon, one of today’s finest Mexican sportsmen, who is 30 years old and has been labeled a living legend.
The “Titan of Nayarit” is very happy, since he only needed one year in order to become a star with Real Madrid Basketball team and have his name written on the pages of the white team, after he won the Super Cup, King’s Cup, Euro League and Endesa League in the same season.
“I’m very pleased with the results achieved by the team (Real Madrid) because, in spite of the situations I’ve lived during the season, I’ve been up to the level, especially in the most important moments, in the games of great significance to the team. I’m happy for the four titles obtained and the role y played to reach them. All in all, it was a very good season. Now I’m going to take a vacation and keep on sharpening my skills”, Ayon said.
The former NBA player faced hard times at the beginning of the season and many people questioned Real Madrid’s decision of hiring him, but he’s presently described as an indispensable player.
“The truth is that it was a hard season, I was in low spirits at the beginning, there were some setbacks and I had some emotional problems, but thanks God everything worked fine. I think that the change from the NBA had a negative impact on my performance at the beginning. Furthermore, I had previously come to the city, but this time round the circumstances were different: I was signed up by one of the best clubs of the world. It was complicated, but at the end it was a motivation to keep on working hard. I still have one year of contract with Real Madrid and I only think about improving my results.”
Gustavo also told PanamericanWorld the reason why he decided not to accompany the Mexican team to the Pan American Games, which are going to take place in Toronto on July 21 - 25.
“The reason why I won’t participate in this edition of the Pan American Games is very simple. I’ve had a long season and played 82 high-level games. Spending ten months and half away from home and my family has made me decide not to go to Toronto. I would be very irresponsible if I do that to my son; therefore, this is a no-debate situation. Besides, I believe that people naturally need both mental and physical rest; I can’t play in this condition because that would be disrespectful to my teammates.”
He also shed light on a polemic triggered by a Mexican newspaper as it pointed out that he wasn’t going to Toronto because some of his caprices had not been fulfilled.
“I have never conditioned my presence in the team. I’ve always stood for good treatment to be given to all players, not just me. We’re not asking for luxury, but necessary things and a good project so they can be happy and think about playing; that’s how we’re going to improve our performance wherever we go. What they say about the two plane tickets is false; I sincerely don’t where they heard that. Thanks to my work and my career I can afford them, especially if they are for my son. I don’t need any federation member or any other people to do it. My friends know that that’s not me and I would never do it because I wouldn’t like being pointed out because of that.”
Many people want to know if the best Mexican basketball player of the season is going to compete with the team in the Olympic trials, to be held at Mexico City’s Sports Palace on August 31 – September 12, and this was his answer.
“I’ll play at the Olympic trials. I’m looking forward to representing Mexico in this important tournament that is going to take place in our country. I’m excited to think that we can make history again by qualifying to the Olympic Games. I know that I said that I wouldn’t return to the team, but I want everybody to know that the reason why I had made that decision was related to my position against two people that were only interested in their personal benefit instead of the team’s. I wasn’t willing to applaud their wrong management. Things are different now and this is the opportunity to come back.”
On the team
Regarding to the return of Sergio Valdeolmillos to the national team, the player praised the work done by the Spanish coach and expressed his nonconformity related to the interruption of a successful process.
“Sergio being back with the team is not to be seen as a return. It’s the continuity to right things that have been done, which Carlos Padilla and Juan Manuel Gonzalez tried to destroy. Fortunately, Alfredo Castillo is a coherent person and he did everything to bring Sergio back, who doesn’t see personal interests in the team and he does think about this sport. That’s what he has expressed during our talks. It wasn’t easy, but he did a good work. Happily, despite the terrible decisions made by the chairman of the COM and the president of the LNBP, there are people interested in making good things for basketball and proudly representing Mexico. I believe that Sergio has done an extraordinary work and he deserves to be respected, as well as each player.
Before traveling back to Mexico, Gustavo Ayon aired his expectations on upcoming tournaments to be attended by the team.
“Outstanding players are not going to participate in the Pan American Games. That’s the case of Jorge Gutierrez and Paco Cruz, who have work obligations; Orlando Mendez has a problem with his hand and Lorenzo Mata is not totally recovered from the knee operation, but he’ll do his best to go to Toronto. Even so, I believe that the players that will be competing in this event are going to have great results, just as they always have. I think it’s a good opportunity for Sergio to see different people that are also talented and proudly represent our country, but everybody has to know that having interrupted the work for nearly a year is going to have consequences due to the short training time. As for the Olympic trials, I’m confident that it’ll be a good tournament for us and you can be sure that we’ll do our best so those situations don’t affect our results”, Ayon underlined.
On Friday, Alfredo Castillo, head of Conade, gave Gustavo Ayon the official welcome to the Mexican basketball team and put on the map the list of players that are going to attend 2015 Toronto Pan American Games, which includes Hector Hernandez, David Meza, Adrian Zamora, Israel Gutierrez and Marco Ramos, among others.