England is guaranteed a spot in the London Olympics basketball tournament next summer. It’s the perks of hosting the games. (The USA is the only other nation to have already qualified, by virtue of winning the World Championships last summer.)
But there is still work to do this summer. The Bulls Luol Deng has already played with England, and this summer they wanted to integrate Ben Gordon into the team. This summer was prep for next summer.
But the lockout and the insurance issues it creates could kill that,reports Yahoo Europe.
British Basketball’s performance director Chris Spice is currently working hard to negotiate an insurance package for his star names as the fall-out from the ongoing NBA lockout continues….
“On the face of it there are no obstacles for Luol and Ben playing but our concern is making sure that all players are covered and that cover is affordable for British Basketball. We’re trying to find the best deal possible to get both of our guys to play. We are working to get insurance within the realms of our budget,” Spice said.
Deng has $71 million remaining on his deal with the Bulls, Gordon has $55 million remaining in his deal with the Pistons. That’s a lot of money to insure, and it doesn’t come cheaply. Other countries, such as France and Argentina, have been able to find insurance. But England, which has less money in its basketball program, is finding it a challenge.
We’re expected to know one way or the other by Friday.
The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson completed his staff Wednesday, naming Jay Triano associate head coach and Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren assistant coaches.
Triano spent the last four seasons as assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, including Watson’s final season as a player in 2013-14. The first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history when he directed Toronto, he also is the coach of Canada’s national team.
Corbin was Sacramento’s interim head coach for 28 games in 2014-15. He played the Suns in 1987-89.
Bjorkgren remains with the Suns after spending last season as assistant coach/player development coordinator. He also was head coach of the Suns’ NBA Summer League team the past two years.
The Suns also named Marlon Garnett assistant coach/player development coordinator, and Scott Duncan and Jason Fraser player development coaches.
The Los Angeles Clippers still have Paul Pierce under contract. Not many minutes for him, but he has a roster spot.
Pierce probably wants come back but is thinking it all over, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Pierce has been debating this with himself for a while now.
Pierce saw a dramatic drop off in production and how much he was used last season by Rivers. Pierce averaged a career-low 6.1 points per game on an also career low 48.9 true shooting percentage. His PER of 8.2 was also a career low. You get the idea. By the end of the season Pierce was mostly an afterthought for Doc Rivers (although he did start one game after Blake Griffin was out and the Clippers’ playoff dreams were toast).
Pierce would be more mentor than a key player on the court, but he would be on probably the third best team in the West, a team that capable of making a deep playoff run. Does he want to do that for one more season? You know Doc would welcome him.