London Olympics bid are on the line all over the globe this summer — at Eurobasket in Lithuania, at the Americas tournament in Argentina, plus events in Africa and other spots around the globe.
And the NBA lockout could impact all of it.
Among the things that went away with the NBA lockout was the medical insurance that players have. Which means if the issue is not resolved quickly (it will not be) and those players want to play for their countries this summer, either they or their country have to purchase some expensive insurance. FIBA explained the situation on their Web site.
French Basketball Federation (FFBB) President Jean-Pierre Siutat was at the EuroBasket Women in Lodz, Poland, on Thursday night and was asked by FIBA about the lockout.
“The only difference between a lockout and a no lockout situation is that we have to pay more insurance,” he said.
“We are aware of the situation with the players, now we have to wait for them to say yes. We are currently trying to raise the necessary funds to cover the additional costs and are thus trying to find somebody who can help us in France – the government or some alternative sponsor. Considering that we have six players from the NBA, we’re talking about a substantial amount of money.”
The insurance would cover earnings lost due to an injury, which could get mighty expensive. So the insurance isn’t cheap.
But a team like France is not the same without its NBA players. Same with Spain (the Gasol brothers, to name a couple of many), Argentina (Manu Ginobili and others) and the list goes on and on.
If NBA players have to skip out because of insurance, it could impact which countries earn berths in the 2012 London Games. (The USA already qualified by winning the FIBA World Championships last year in Turkey.)