With Basketball24/7 reporting that Kelenna Azubuike is back on the radar for the Great Britain team it could be a case of moving from famine to feast for Coach Finch at the off-guard position, if Ben Gordon also reports for national team duty next summer.
Before we get too carried away it has to be said that securing Buikes and Gordon in the short-term remains a very big “if”. British Basketball have already failed once to secure Azubuike a passport and it was reported that his interest in playing for Britain had cooled as he looked to sort out his NBA future.
With Azubuike’s three-year $9 million deal with Golden State Warriors now in the bag those contract worries are over but what will British Basketball offer to the Home Office regarding his passport application that they didn’t last time?
Gordon will only commit to GB once he has wrapped up a long-term club deal and with his contract talks likely to drag on and on you’d have to say that the chances of Big Ben appearing in a British jersey in Poland are also remote. That leaves Nate Reinking to remain as the starter at the 2 spot in Warsaw.
Reinking has made the position his own since the inception of the Great Britain team in 2006 and played over 30 minutes a game in the qualifiers this year. Reinking has of course been Finch’s go to man for club and country throughout his coaching career. The man from Ohio usually delivers and his performances in both games against the Czechs in September were absolutely vital in securing qualification.
Lets assume though that everything works out and Azubuike and Gordon do come on board for Eurobasket, would Coach Finch consider dropping his trusted on-court leader?
With the likes of Terrell Myers not showing any interest, Reinking has not faced much competition for the ‘naturalised’ slot on the roster. If the NBA calvary were to arrive will Finch prefer to go for a naturalised point guard, to provide additional competition to Flinder Boyd?
One man who will surely force his way into Finch’s thinking, if he decides to take up British citizenship after 6 years in the BBL, is Scottish Rocks’ Rob Yanders. Seasoned BBL watchers believe Yanders is the MVP of the season so far after leading Rocks into Championship contention. Rocks’ fanchise player is under no pressure from his club to claim his passport but a shot at the GB team would be persuasive.
Lets hope Finch does get to have that ‘selection headache’ with a plethora of options for the back-court.