In his third and final dairy entry for SLAM Online about the FIBA Americas tournament, Nuggets player Gary Forbes had some interesting things to say. Forbes played for Panama, who was 1-5 at the time of Forbes’ third diary entry, and Forbes believes that the team’s lack of resources were a major cause for their lack of success:
I have to be honest with you guys. Team Panama is struggling on the court due to behind the scenes issues. Our team is the only team not backed by our government and probably the only team without any sponsors. Our president, who I will not name, has put the team in a lose/lose situation in my eyes. Our practice facilities are subpar, practicing on 9-foot baskets, as your regulation baskets are 10 feet. Panama has a facility, “Roberto Duran” Coliseum, which we can’t use because it is a government owned facility. There are two federations in Panama and basically we are a private club team. Crazy, huh?
Panama also only has one coach and no assistants, and many of the players were forced to tape themselves up because of Panama’s lack of a proper training staff. Forbes says that he had “no idea” what the conditions would be like when he signed up to play for team Panama.
Hopefully, Forbes’ honesty will help to improve the national team’s resource situation. In the meantime, I’m sure Forbes is missing the full training and coaching staff, chartered flights, and 10-foot practice rims of the NBA.