Serge Ibaka was born in Congo and lives in the United States where he plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he played pro hoops in Spain for several years and can bring much-needed toughness and defense to the Spanish national team. Consequently, they’ve made him a citizen:
Ibaka must swear loyalty to the Spanish crown and constitution to complete the nationalization process before he can team with Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol and brother Marc of the Memphis Grizzlies in a formidable frontcourt for Spain.
“Pau is possibly the most talented center with the best fundamentals in the (NBA),” Ibaka said. “It will be a dream to play with him.”
Spain has Ricky Rubio and Rudy Fernandez in the back court so this is a very potent team. Of course you could see this as a way of taking a job away from a hard-working Spaniard. But a better way of looking at it is that skills are complementary. A higher-performing team featuring Ibaka’s talents will be good for all Ibaka’s coworkers, the other players, the coaches, etc. as well as for Spanish hoops fans.