NBA, FIBA negotiating reduced international play for NBA stars

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The Club vs. Country debate. You’ll see it this summer first in South Africa, when some major world power soccer club will lose a star player to injury next season when that player gets hurt playing for his country in the World Cup. Is it fair to the club teams that pay these guys millions to have them injured playing for free in an international tournament?

Mark Cuban and a lot of NBA owners feel the same way about the upcoming FIBA World Championships in Turkey. Injuries and just being physically worn down is a concern to owners.

So the two sides are trying to work something out, according to Sports Illustrated:

League sources said the NBA is negotiating with FIBA for new guidelines that will limit the time players spend with national teams over the summer. While no firm agreement has been established, the NBA and FIBA have discussed limiting NBA players to a maximum of four weeks with national teams — to be spent training and playing exhibition friendlies — in addition to time spent at the summer tournament. The sources said a limit of some kind will be enforced at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey, which runs Aug. 28-Sept. 12.

It’s a delicate line. Players want to win for their country, and national team coaches — just like their NBA counterparts — get hired and fired based on wins. Should be interesting to see what kind of balance they can strike.

Whatever it is, we promise you the debate will continue.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.