|End of an era. Jorge Garbajosa, a distinguished member of Spain's golden generation, will never play with the national team again|
Jorge Garbajosa, one of the greatest Spaniards ever to play basketball, has retired from the national team.
The 33-year-old power forward played for Spain for more than a decade, with the Sydney Olympics his first major senior team tournament.
Among the many highlights of his career were gold-medal wins at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and EuroBasket 2009.
Garbajosa announced his decision at a Spanish Basketball Federation press conference in Madrid early Tuesday afternoon.
"This is the day that I never wanted to experience," he said.
"I want to thank the coaches, the players, and especially (Spanish Basketball Federation, FEB, president Jose Luis) Saez. To all the media for your treatment, to my wife, my family, my friends that I have denied many summers to them and they have not minded, on the contrary they have supported me.
"It´s a very hard day. It´s what I must do. I retire from the national team but not from the FEB. I will continue in basketball."
Garbajosa has not had the easiest of years.
After suffering the disappointment of a sixth-place finish at last year's FIBA World Championship in Turkey, he returned for his second year at Real Madrid in the hope of winning titles but was instead put on the transfer list in the middle of the season by former coach Ettore Messina.
Garbajosa later joined his old club, Unicaja Malaga.
While there are countless games that his fans and teammates will remember in which Garbajosa provided clutch shots and came up with important rebounds, including a game-high 20 points in the gold-medal game win over Greece five years ago at the World Championship, his signature moment came off the court in 2007.
Told not to play at the EuroBasket in Spain by his NBA club, the Toronto Raptors, Garbajosa dug in his heels and with the help of the FEB got the insurance he needed to be able to suit up and help Spain capture the silver medal.
Garbajosa's absence means that Spain will be without one of their most important players in Lithuania when they try to defend the EuroBasket gold medal they won in Poland two years ago.