Tag: Ian Mahinmi

France vs. Belgium - Basketball International

Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi to miss World Cup for France, out 2-3 months with shoulder injury

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France was already having a tough time of it this World Cup. The defending EuroBasket champions are without Tony Parker, Joakim Noah and a host of other key players from that tournament are taking this one off for France.

Now another blow: Center Ian Mahinmi has an injured shoulder and is out for the World Cup. Worse news for the Pacers is he could be out 2-3 months, which likely means most of training camp and likely into the start of the season.

Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports got confirmation of the news from the man himself.

“Yes, [the news is true],” Mahinmi wrote to VigilantSports.com early Friday. “I will be back in Indy sometime this week for (further) exam on my shoulder…”

Mahinmi felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder and then had an MRI later that afternoon, which revealed the injury was severe enough to keep him out of the FIBA World Cup, according to the French Federation of Basketball.

The Pacers have been some of the biggest supporters of their guys going out in international basketball, with former Team USA member and now Pacers president Larry Bird leading the way. But the Pacers have now lost Paul George (likely for the season) and now Mahinmi.

It’s already going to be a rough season for the Pacers. This doesn’t help matters any.

Mahinmi is a key rotation big man, coming in behind Roy Hibbert so the Pacers could use him. He’s had shoulder problems in the past, including at the end of last season. With this he’s not going to miss many if any games that matter, but it’s just another setback. But one the Pacers don’t need.

FIBA World Cup preview: USA, Spain, then who else can medal?

Pau Gasol, Kevin Love

The world’s 24 top international basketball teams are not flying to Spain just for the gambas al ajillo tapas or to play for national pride, there is a prize when the FIBA World Cup tips off on Saturday:

A berth in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Win and your in, come in second to 24th and you need to go to qualifying tournaments next season.

Plus, you can win a medal. Gold, silver or bronze. And who doesn’t like getting a medal?

So who can win medals? Here’s a breakdown:

Gold/Silver medal contenders:

If the gold medal game is not the USA vs. Spain it will be an upset. These are the world’s two best teams and with Spain playing in front of their home fans it’s hard to imagine them getting beat. That final game likely will be close, but it’s far too early to predict an outcome. Only that the meeting is destined.

USA: The USA senior national team last lost a game in 2006 (at this World Cup) and has won everything since: gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics plus the 2010 World Cup. Despite late defections and other guys staying home, Team USA is still loaded and deeper than any team in the tournament — Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden will lead a USA squad that will use high pressure defense, three point shooting, transition scoring and superior athleticism to overwhelm teams.

Spain: They are the runners up the last two Olympics and they bring a lot of depth — Mark Gasol, Pau Gaol and Serge Ibaka form a formidable front line with Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon, Juan Carlos Navarro, Felipe Reyes and Rudy Fernandez in the backcourt. Every guy on their roster plays NBA or high-level international ball, plus is experienced on the international stage. These guys have been playing with each other for years and have a real comfort level in what they do. They were right with Team USA in the London Olympics gold medal game until Marc Gasol got in foul trouble… you think that happens on their home court?

Bronze medal contenders:

Everyone else is competing for third, here are the teams that could win it.

France: They are the defending EuroBasket champions and they bring some NBA talent to the roster — Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw, Ian Mahinmi, Rudy Gobert, plus you all remember Mickael Gelabale. However, they are without Tony Parker and Joakim Noah, two big pieces that keep them from being a dark horse gold contender. However they are still talented, still have plenty of shooting and versatility, and if Batum and Diaw can lead them they can get the bronze.

Brazil: They are loaded along the front line — Tiago Splitter, Nene, Anderson Varejao, — and are counting on guys like Leandro Barbosa and experienced internationals like Marcelinho Huertas to do enough in the backcourt. They will defend and score inside, if they get enough shooting and play on the wing they can certainly medal. But that’s a real big question.

Greece: They are in a transition from the older generation (led by the now gone Vassilis Spanoulis) to younger players, but they have some talent — NBA players Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Nick Calathes (Grizzlies), Kostas Papanikolaou (Rockets). They have real athleticism but do they have enough steady shooting to get the job done? If they knock down shots they are a medal threat. But we’re going to watch to see Antetokounmpo anyway.

Argentina: This is the last serious go around for Argentina’s golden generation, but they will have to do it without Manu Ginobili (a stress fracture that is not fully recovered). Still they have Luis Scola, Pablo Prigioni, Andres Nocioni, and even Walter Herrmann. Argentina will need to integrate good play from their younger stars and they will need to get past a very big internal controversy about the handling of money in the Argentinian basketball organization. But they might medal.

Lithuania: The world’s fourth ranked team has the advantage of being on the soft side of the draw — they should win group D handily and while they are not better than the USA only Turkey might really be a threat after that on their side of the bracket. This is a team that could and really should reach the bronze medal game, if they can overcome the loss of starting point guard Mantas Kalnietis (dislocated shoulder). They have real quality up front with Jonas Valanciunas (Raptors) and Donatas Motiejunas (Rockets) but they have solid, smart international players at every other position. Not great at any position, but solid to good at every one. Expect to see them playing for the bronze against one of the teams above.

Former NBA players, stashed NBA draft picks all over World Cup rosters


We know the NBA players that fill out not only Team USA but other World Cup rosters are loaded as well — 45 guys currently on NBA teams will be playing in Spain. Guys like Goran Dragic suits up for Slovenia, or Rudy Gobert, Boris Diaw, Evan Fournier, and Ian Mahinmi will play for France. You get the idea.

But as John Schuhmann notes at NBA.com, a there are also 23 guys who used to be on NBA rosters also are playing in the World Cup.

The biggest names among them are Carlos Arroyo and Renaldo Balkman (both of whom play for Puerto Rico), Rudy Fernandez and Juan Carlos Navarro (Spain), and Andres Nocioni (Argentina).

Schuhmann makes another interesting observation: There are 17 other players drafted by NBA players who have been stashed overseas who will also be on World Cup rosters.

There’s Croatia’s Dario Saric, who the 76ers picked up in the last draft. There is Raul Neto playing for Brazil and maybe someday the Jazz. Bogdan Bogdanovic will be part of a pretty good Serbian team and could someday play for the Suns.

Team USA still has more depth of talent than any other team in the world — but there is talent all over the globe now. The days of the USA cruising to gold are fading. Fast.

Watch Ian Mahinmi airball back-to-back free throws in exhibition game (VIDEO)

France vs. Belgium - Basketball International

With all the changes in the Pacers’ rotation next year,Ian Mahinmi is likely going to have a larger role to play. Maybe the book on how to defend him is out — send him to the free throw line.

Mahinmi is playing for the reigning European champion French team at the World Cup this summer (a team that is not the same without Tony Parker playing) and in a tune-up game against the Philippines Mahinmi airballed back-to-back free throws. Even DeAndre Jordan thinks that’s sad.

Hat tip to The Big Lead and The Score.

Alexis Ajinca and Kevin Seraphin out, Ian Mahinmi in for France in 2014 World Cup

Washington Wizards v Indiana Pacers

Although injured Manu Ginobili wants to play in the 2014 World Cup, the Spurs’ other star guard, Tony Parker has already announced his plans to skip the event.

Parker’s decision leaves France shorthanded, but the French are also losing lots of depth in the frontcourt.

Neither Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca nor Wizards big Kevin Seraphin will participate, either.


Alexis Ajinca announcing shortly before the start of the preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup that he will remain with his pregnant wife, who is due to give birth during the tournament, instead of playing this summer,

On Thursday, France also announced that big man Kevin Seraphin was not being released for the World Cup by his NBA team, the Washington Wizards.

Seraphin has not fully recovered from arthroscopy surgery on his knee.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Seraphin wanted to pass, anyway. By accepting Washington’s qualifying offer, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent after this season. With Trevor Booker headed to the Jazz, Seraphin will have a bigger chance to prove himself and earn a larger multi-year contract.

Why risk that for what amount to exhibition games, especially when you’re already injured?

I certainly wouldn’t begrudge Seraphin for wanting to represent his country regardless of what’s reasonable, but logic dictates he take it easy this summer.

With Ajinca and Seraphin sitting out, Pacers backup center Ian Mahinmi gets his chance. He tweeted (via Google translate):

Very happy to announce that I will make my return to Team France! Looking forward to seeing the guys and don the blue shirt!

It’s pretty astounding France has produced so many NBA centers that the loss of two doesn’t cripple its World Cup chances.