Basketball: Gasol to miss basketball worlds for champs Spain
MADRID — Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol says he will not help Spain defend its title at the world basketball championships because doctors say he needs a rest.
Gasol says "present circumstances advise against my participation" in the championship in Turkey from Aug. 29-Sept. 12.
Gasol and the Lakers face the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals. Game 1 is Thursday night in Los Angeles.
In a statement on his website on Tuesday, Gasol says that in a grueling NBA season in which he's sustained the first two major muscle injuries of his career, "my body is calling for a temporary relief."
Gasol helped Spain win its first world title four years ago in Japan.
This year, Spain is in Group D alongside France, New Zealand, Lithuania, Lebanon and Canada.