Tag: Americas tournament

Matt Bonner

Matt Bonner isn’t Canadian enough, apparently


Matt Bonner wants to be Canadian. And not in the “put a maple leaf on your bag as you travel through Europe so you don’t have to try and explain American politics” kind of way.

He played for the Raptors, lives in Toronto in the off-season, his wife and daughter are Canadian, and he wants to play for the Canadian national basketball team.

And he can’t, which is frustrating him and others according to IFPress.com (via Project Spurs).

Leo Rautins, the head coach of the Canadian men’s basketball team, gets so frustrated talking about Matt Bonner that he’s almost at a loss for words….

The fact Bonner, a former member of the Toronto Raptors and current forward with the San Antonio Spurs, has been unsuccessful in procuring his Canadian citizenship, despite getting the ball rolling back in 2008, upsets Rautins to no end.

“It’s very frustrating,” the head coach said on Tuesday, after a Team Canada practice at Ryerson University. “I see a lot of Canadians who are less Canadian than Matt Bonner. His daughter’s Canadian. His wife’s Canadian. His grandfather’s Canadian. He’s got a home here. When he’s not playing for the San Antonio Spurs, he’s here (in Toronto).”

The main stumbling block seems to be the fact that Bonner, a native of Concord, N.H., spends most of the year in the United States. But he has no choice. He plays for San Antonio. Rautins said Canada Basketball has tried to make that point to the federal immigration ministry, but to no avail.

Canada will take place in the Americas tournament in Argentina starting Aug. 30 and the country hopes to have him able to play by then. At that tournament, two of the 10 teams competing will earn an Olympics berth. Teams that finish third, fourth and fifth will get invites to the Olympic qualifying tournament next year, a second chance to play their way in to the games. If not this summer, Canada would love to have Bonner available for that tournament.

All they have to do is convince some bureaucrats.

Manu Ginobili working out but not back on court yet

Memphis Grizzles v San Antionio Spurs - Game Two
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At the end of July, Manu Ginobili will join his fellow Argentinians on the national team, which will host and compete in the FIBA Americas tournament (where London Olympic berths will be on the line).

But for now, he is staying off the court on doctor’s orders, he told Mike Monroe of the Express-News. Ginobili played through a small fracture in his elbow during the playoffs (remember that brace?) that he has been letting heal this summer.

I’ve been told not to play hoops for a month, month and a half, two months — not to put pressure on the arm.

I notice now that the pain is almost gone. The last time I did the MRI, probably around May 16 (or) May 20, they told me that the bone edema that I had was controlling itself, but I still needed a little time to go.

The little fracture is almost healed, but I needed more time to get completely healed. I am not playing basketball now, but lifting carefully. Running, well, I don’t need my elbow to run. Soon, I will start shooting free throws, with a break for a little bit, and see how it goes.

Argentina should have one of the best teams in the Americas tournament with Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Carlos Delfino. All playing on their home soil, it has to make them a favorite. If they get to play — the lockout could cause serious insurance issues for NBA players trying to play in summer FIBA tournaments world wide. (The USA does not need to compete for an Olympics berth there, they sewed one up by winning the FIBA World Championships in Turkey last summer.)