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France gets insurance so Parker, others to play in EuroBasket


France is going to have one very good team at FIBA’s EuroBasket, where the 2012 London Olympic qualifying takes place.

And it’s all due to their ability to purchase insurance.

Due to the NBA lockout guys with NBA contracts no longer have insurance when they play international competitions. If countries don’t get the insurance, key guys don’t play. In the case of Spain (with about six guys) the cost was rumored to be more than $6 million due to having to insure existing NBA deals (and the Gasol brother are not cheap). The French insurance was not inexpensive but was a little less than that.

The French have a number of players in the NBA — Tony Parker, the point guard of the Spurs, plus Ronny Turiaf, Nicolas Batum and maybe Joakim Noah (depends on a medial report). Mickael Pietrus is out due to failing to pass the physical.

EuroBasket will have two guaranteed spots in the London Olympics (only England as host and the USA as World Championship winners have qualified) plus they will send multiple teams to the qualifying tournament in London just before the games.

NBA Commissioner David Stern and the head of FIBA met this week, and if you don’t think insurance came up you probably think the tooth fairy still pays to collect rotting teeth.

Report: No criminal charges to be filed against Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes
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The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).

However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.

Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.

Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.

Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.

If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Knicks will be better. Slightly.

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I like the Knicks’ offseason moves. Well, not blowing the meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge before it ever started — you say the right things and take him to a nice dinner because that is the kind of elite player you need to try to land. Take the meeting.

However, bringing in Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo were smart pickups, and I like the Kristaps Porzingis draft pick more than many (although we need a couple of years to see how good he will really be). Combine that with a healthy Carmelo Anthony and…

The Knicks suck less. They aren’t good, but they aren’t embarrassing. And that is step one, as I discuss with Jenna Corrado in this latest PBT Extra.