It’s the season of Olympic qualifying tournaments: Australia is already in, AfroBasket is going on, EuroBasket starts next month, and don’t forget there is FIBA Americas where teams from north and south America try to join the already qualified USA (World Cup winners) and Brazil (host nation) in Rio.
Argentina, which won the gold medal in Greece in 2004 and the bronze in 2008 in China, will again be trying to qualify for the Rio Olympics, but they will have to do it without a couple stars — Manu Ginobili and Carlos Delfino.
From Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Canadians are following closely because they believe they can win the FIBA Tournament and qualify).
Gregg Popovich is smiling somewhere. Ginobili is 38, coming up on likely his last NBA season, but the Spurs will still count on his creative playmaking off the bench. They don’t want him worn down.
Delfino has battled injuries, hasn’t been on an NBA court since 2013, and is currently unsigned. He’s not healthy enough to pitch in much.
Argentina still has Luis Scola, but their “golden generation” that helped change international basketball has started to age out of competition. Which is a little sad, that was a fun team to watch, but father time always wins the race.