Pacers' Hibbert looks down court during Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference Final basketball playoff series against the Heat in Indianapolis

Roy Hibbert’s chance of joining USA Basketball appears to be a long shot

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We brought you the news of Roy Hibbert working behind the scenes to cut through a tremendous amount of red tape in an effort that, if successful, would give him the opportunity to play for Team USA in international basketball competition.

The problem is that Hibbert once played for Jamaica, and although he was born in the U.S. and has dual citizenship with both countries, FIBA has strict rules in place that make it difficult, though not impossible, for a player to switch teams.

There is a rule in place that would appear to give Hibbert a glimmer of hope in this process, though chances are viewed as slim that he would meet the criteria necessary to allow him to be a part of USA Basketball.

From Marc Stein of

The little-known rule states that a player who has represented one country after the age of 17 may “exceptionally request” that FIBA allow him to play for another country’s national team if that national team is “of the player’s country of origin” and if the request is deemed to be “in the interest of the development of basketball in that country.”

However …

While Hibbert satisfies half of those requirements, having been born a New Yorker, I’m told USAB’s pessimism stems from the fact that it would be a gargantuan stretch to convince FIBA that adding the Indiana Pacers’ All-Star center to Mike Krzyzewski’s roster would have even a sliver of impact on the state of the game in this country.

And that’s the issue.

Hibbert’s addition would be big, both literally and figuratively, for Team USA moving forward, as a dominant inside presence is really all that’s missing from a team stacked at every other position.

But there’s no impact at all to the game of basketball in the U.S. whether Hibbert does or does not play, and that sticking point is what will likely keep him from ever joining the roster.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.