Lakers’ big man Ivica Zubac was one of the nearly couple dozen NBA players who decided to play in the September FIBA World Qualifiers. His Croatian team has a few of them with them including Dario Saric of the Sixers and Bojan Bogdanovic of the Pacers.
Just don’t think the Lakers were happy about it.
Teams are never entirely comfortable with their players suiting up for national teams, in large part due to the injury risk (remember Dante Exum blew out his ACL in international competition). Especially right now, they would rather have the player working out at their facility.
Nobody likes the new FIBA World Cup qualifying system, which has changed to a soccer-style where the majority of games during the NBA season (the same other major world leagues such as Spain and Italy). The difference is in soccer, there are international breaks so players go to their teams for these games, while the NBA and other leagues were not adding those stoppages. The result hurt the USA — which is being represented by G-League players primarily through the process — but America has the depth to overcome that. For smaller countries with a much smaller talent pool, the blows of not having their best players are felt more sharply.
Croatia is in that mix, and on the bubble for making it to China for the 2019 World Cup right now. Croatia is 3-4 so far heading into an almost must-win game against Poland Monday. Despite all that talent, Croatia fell to Lithuania 84-83 over the weekend.
Zubac is helping averaging 14.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for Croatia.
PHOENIX (AP) — The City Council has postponed a vote on a proposed $230 million renovation of the Talking Stick Resort Arena that would keep the Suns in downtown Phoenix.
The council agreed unanimously Wednesday to postpone a decision until Jan. 23 so residents can attend five public meetings to be held around Phoenix to discuss the project.
Suns owner Robert Sarver reportedly threatened to move the franchise to Seattle or Las Vegas if not given enough public funding.
Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley says the organization looks forward to the public discussions and to answering any questions about the proposed renovation.
The deal would revamp the nearly 30-year-old arena, the oldest in the NBA that is not currently being renovated.
The Suns agreed to a 40-year lease in 1992, but the deal included a provision for the team to opt out at 30 years.
Crunch time of a close NBA game is awesome.
It’s exponentially better when nobody calls timeout.
The Celtics and Wizards finished with a flourish tonight, Boston coming out ahead in a frenetic final minute. The last minute included two Kyrie Irving 3-pointers (one tightly contested, one extremely deep) and a sharp drive by John Wall (who had just returned to the game from an injury).
After a flow-killing foul in the final few seconds, the Celtics won, 130-25.
More games should be like this.
The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.
After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.
The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.
Several Hornets were certainly relieved.
Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.
Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.
In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.
Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.
(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)