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The Georgia native that's being hailed as a basketball god for Spain

Spain is facing off against France in the EuroBasket finals, which is a common occurrence now for a Spanish side that has won three gold, six silver, and four bronze medals throughout the tournament's history. What's different this time is that they're doing it led by a player who has no ties to Spain in any way.

Lorenzo Brown has never lived in Spain, has no Spanish ancestry, he's never played for a Spanish team, and the only times he's set foot in the country (to this day) has been when he's visited it with one of his European club teams. But now he's playing for Sergio Scariolo's Spain side, and Spaniards are absolutely loving it.

Opposing teams, frustrated that Brown gets to play for Spain

Opposing teams? Not so much. Lorenzo Brown's heroics have been absolutely key for Spain getting to the Eurobasket final. Along the way, Spain has eliminated Lithuania, Finland, and even Dennis Schröder's Germany. Every single time, the media of the defeated countries has debated on the fairness or even legitimacy of Zo Brown's heroics for Spain.

For instance, Lithuanian forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas spoke after his side's elimination to Spain. "I'm not sure how this team would have looked without Lorenzo Brown because they signed him this summer. But it is what it is," Kuzminskas said after Brown lit his team up with 28 points and 8 assists (12 of them in Overtime).

How did Lorenzo Brown end up playing for Spain?

Sergio Scariolo, the Italian coach and Spanish basketball institution was left scrambling for a guard to lead his Spain side when Ricky Rubio suffered a serious ACL injury earlier in the year. Without any quality candidates to take his place, Scariolo thought of a point guard he met in 2018, when he was assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors: Lorenzo Brown.

Brown is somewhat of an unknown in the United States, despite the NBA G-League's MVP in 2018. And the fact the 32-year-old is playing in Europe as opposed to the NBA is seen more as bad luck than anything else. As Scariolo and many of those who have followed his career knows he could make an impact in the league.

How was Lorenzo Brown given his Spanish nationality?

It all came down to the National Sports Council (Consejo Superior de Deportes, in Spanish), an autonomous governmental agency in Spain responsible for the promotion, planning and development of sports activities of any kind. The Spanish Basketball Association, motivated by Scariolo's request put in a request to grant Lorenzo Brown Spanish citizenship.

The governmental agency decided to give Brown to the go-ahead to obtain Spanish citizenship under "exceptional circumstances", and seeing it as beneficial for Spain's basketball program. Zo Brown himself was delighted the process went through and considered it "the opportunity of a lifetime".

Spanish people love Brown and call him their 'Michael Jordan'

Lorenzo Brown has been Spain's MVP in EuroBasket, closely followed by Usman Garuba. He's averaged 15.4 points per game, 2 rebounds, and 7.1 assists. On social media, Spaniards have been loving Brown's play, and want him to take a cultural tour of Spain once the tournament is over so he can become "even more Spanish".

Ibai Llanos, Spain's most popular Youtuber, tweeted "Lorenzo Brown is Michael Jordan". Many of Spain's most popular sports media accounts followed suit with similar claims. The NC State product doesn't speak Spanish, but will likely take classes soon in order to integrate even more into his new country.

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