Great Britain’s NBA duo of Luol Deng and Ben Gordon find out later this week (Friday) if they will play in Lithuania next month at Eurobasket.
Deng (Chicago Bulls) and Gordon (Detroit Pistons) face being sidelined due to the NBA lockout and British Basketball having to fund the insurance costs.
Performance Director for British Basketball, Chris Spice is working hard to negotiate an insurance package that will cover both Deng and Gordon as Eurobasket approaches.
“It is a case of good news on one hand and bad news on the other,” Spice told Sportsbeat. ” On the face of it there are no obstacles for Luol (Deng) and Ben (Gordon) playing but our concern is making sure all players are covered and that cover is affordable for British Basketball.”
Spice says though that they are looking into every possible direction to ensure the NBA stars’ safety, should the players get injured: “We trying to find the best deal possible to get both of our guys to play. We are working to get insurance within the realms of our budget.”
Ben Gordon has yet to play for Great Britain, as a number of GB fans are starting to doubt the Detroit Pistons guard’s dedication to the national side. Spice insists that he will be part of the GB set-up, despite the insurance problems.
“Integrating Ben (Gordon) was key this year, so next year there would be no surprises for him or us, so that only adds to the frustration,” Spice pointed-out.
Head coach Chris Finch wants the decision on whether British Basketball can cover Deng and Gordon to be resolved by Friday, so that he can begin his preparations properly, as Great Britain play their first lot of warm-ups next week against Netherlands and Nigeria in Cobham, Surrey.
Finch has stated that he wants his team settled and ready before their first warm-up game on the 7th August against Netherlands. Great Britain are also involved in the Olympic Test Event, which takes place at the Olympic Basketball Arena from the 16th-21st August.
Deng and Gordon are not with the national team at this time, as GB are starting their second week of training camp.