I was born on September 28th, 1981, in Villanueva de la Serena, in the province of Badajoz, in Spain. I have always felt very connected to my town and I visit as often as I can despite leaving home at a very young age.
It is important to me, and my family, to stay close to our roots and remember where we have come from. It is something that we feel proud of and that we would like to convey to our children.
When I was 13, I was invited to play in Vitoria (Spain), in Baskonia’s minor league teams. I remained there until I reached the senior level. The next two seasons I spent between Alicante and Fuenlabrada, finally returning to Vitoria to rejoin the Baskonia team in the ACB League. I spent the next three seasons in Baskonia, winning a King’s Cup (Copa del Rey) and being a finalist in both the ACB and the Euroleague. These were very important years for my development, both as a person and a player, surrounded by great players and excellent teammates. At the same time, I played with the Spanish National Team from the 2002 Indianapolis World Cup until my retirement in 2016. These were unforgettable summers where we competed at the highest level in the Olympic games, World Championships and European Championships. I shared a locker room with some of the all-time best players from Spain, always competing against the best, fighting for the titles and winning many of them.
At the end of the 2003-2004 season, the possibility of playing in the NBA arose and without much thought, I accepted the challenge, not knowing what lie ahead for me. I started in Toronto, where I spent eight years, and which my family and I consider a second home, and afterwards in some of the best teams in the league including: Detroit, Dallas, New York Nicks , Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta, and most recently Cleveland where we won the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference title.
Looking back and thinking about my career, I feel very proud to have represented my country and my people as a basketball player both in the NBA as well as in the Spanish National team, and also very proud to have played with so many great players during this time.