HoopsHype Australia rumors

March 23, 2012 Updates

Bogut, who was recently traded by the Milwaukee Bucks to the Golden State Warriors, has a fractured left ankle and has ruled out a return in the current NBA season. The seven-foot centre represented Australia at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics but is unsure if he will add to his Games record. “I wanted to play this (NBA) season, and following that up with missing the Olympics would be really tough,” Bogut told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s one of the greatest things you can be involved with in our sport, but I’ve got to think about this franchise (Golden State) and what they’ve invested in me. “I’ve got to treat the Olympics with the respect it deserves and be fair to the fans in Australia. But if I’m not 110 per cent, I’m not going to play.” West Australian

March 20, 2012 Updates

Kyrie Irving says his heart is still with Australia and his decision not to play for the Boomers at the London Olympics was for his family, and to prolong his career. Speaking before Cleveland Cavaliers' game in New Jersey, Irving told foxsports.com.au, "I'm still an Australian at heart, but it was just a family decision for me, and about my longevity in the game". He added that playing for Australia was very tempting. "It was a decision that was tough one, because you have a chance to create your own legacy, and create something special, and to be a part of something big." FOXSports.com

March 17, 2012 Updates
March 6, 2012 Updates

Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving won't play for Australia in the London Olympics this summer. Irving was born in Australia in 1992, while his father was playing professional basketball in Melbourne. He holds dual U.S. and Australian citizenship, making him eligible to play for either country under FIBA rules. Irving said Monday night, after Cleveland lost to Utah 109-100, that he will remain with Team USA. He hopes to make the Olympic team in 2016 and play again for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. ESPN.com

Irving said he received confirmation that Krzyzewski will coach Team USA in four years in the Rio Olympics. Irving played for Krzyzewski at Duke last season before becoming the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. "It was the right decision," said Irving, who has represented the United States in junior competition. "I found out Coach K would be coaching in 2016. It made my decision so much easier to play for my coach again. That was the deciding factor." ESPN.com

January 24, 2012 Updates

There might be some pressure on Irving of another kind later this year. Irving, who was born in Australia, must make a decision on whether he wants to play for the Australian Olympic team in London or hold out for a possible Team USA bid in the future. The catch is if Irving joins Australia this year he might not ever be able to play for the U.S. in an Olympics. James said he doesn’t know enough about the situation to offer Irving any advice. But Irving, who played at Duke under Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski, said he will seek out Krzyzewski for advice. “Most likely I’ll talk to him in the next month or so," Irving said in an interview with FOX Sports Florida. “Right now, it’s preliminary talks (Irving is having with Australia). I’m keeping my options open." FOXSports Florida

Because Irving played for Team USA in the 2010 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship, he would need to get a waiver from FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, to be eligible for Australia. “It’s a bit complicated, if I do decide to do it," said Irving, who said he isn’t leaning any particular way now. While Irving isn’t under consideration for Team USA for the 2012 Olympics in London, he would be a strong candidate for the 2014 World Championships and 2016 Olympics. But USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said he doesn’t plan to try to persuade Irving to stick with the U.S. “He’s a terrific young prospect," Colangelo said by phone. “He has to do what’s in his best interests. He certainly would be in our mix going forward (if Irving waits for Team USA consideration). I would never try to sway him if he wanted to to play (for Australia) and he thought it was in his best interests." FOXSports Florida

January 19, 2012 Updates

Irving was born in Australia while his father, Drederick, was playing there professionally. Irving has dual citizenship, creating quite a dilemma for the 19-year-old. His choice of country to represent in the OIympics could have a long-term impact on his international playing career. If he plays for the Aussies, Irving would not be eligible to play for the Americans. However, suiting up for Australia is all he can do presently. "That's probably my only choice right now," he said earlier this week. "It will be a long-term decision, and I'm hoping to know in the next month or so. I'll keep you updated." ESPN.com

January 5, 2012 Updates

Melbourne Tigers will make "inquiries" about the availability of star point guard Patty Mills after his axing by Chinese club Xinjiang Flying Tigers but expect him to go back to America and the NBA. There is confusion about Mills' status as a new rule in the Chinese league prevented anyone who signed with it playing elsewhere until the season finishes in March. But Mills was axed for allegedly "faking an injury" and his $1 million contract was terminated, which could yet leave him free to join another club. Melbourne Herald-Sun

"We'll inquire, but knowing Patty I am pretty sure the first stop will be back in the NBA," Gleeson said. "He's going through a little bit with the China team but if Patty says he's injured, he's injured. I trust him fully. "Once you sign in China, they weren't going to release you to play elsewhere. "But they have released him from the contract so I don't know if that entails him having a free licence to play elsewhere." Melbourne Herald-Sun

November 20, 2011 Updates

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Patrick Mills has cut short his stay with the Melbourne Tigers and will play for a Chinese league club during the NBA lockout. The National Basketball League said in a statement late Sunday that Mills had signed a contract to play with Chinese club Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers. The NBL said it allowed Mills to leave because it did not want to hold him back from other international opportunities. ESPN.com

The NBL has lost its most marketable and dynamic player, with NBA star Patty Mills leaving the Melbourne Tigers immediately to take up a contract with a Chinese club. Since linking with the Tigers during the NBA lockout, Mills has sparked an unprecedented interest in the competition while being the catalyst for Melbourne's 6-3 start. Sydney Morning Herald

November 6, 2011 Updates
November 4, 2011 Updates

Meanwhile, NBL team the Sydney Kings have revealed they binned an offer from Khloe's husband to play for the team tonight. LA Lakers star forward Lamar Odom, sidelined by the NBA lockout and tagging along with his wife and sister-in-law, approached Kings club management about appearing on a one-off "import" basis - but was knocked back in favour of local players. "We thought the offer was more sideshow than substance," Kings spokesman David Wolf said. "We invited him to the game and there's always room in The Kingdome for the Kardashian entourage ... but to sideline a local player wasn't going to work." Daily Telegraph

October 20, 2011 Updates

Basketball Australia, however, said it had no firm confirmation of any tour involving NBA superstars. And, one of Australia's leading venue operators, Harvey Lister, said that securing adequate insurance for athletes earning millions of dollars would be a major hurdle to the tour. Brisbane-based Lister, a co-owner in Ogden IFC, which operates 15 major venues in the Asia-Pacific region, said he'd had "some approaches". "It may be that some entrepreneur has found some way of insuring a planeload of NBA superstars," he said. Brisbane Times

Former Sydney Kings owner and one-time basketball supremo Bob Turner who, until recently, had been working with an Australian promoter to bring James out to tour Australia said he'd heard about other "potential tours". "I heard this latest one (rumour) this morning, so who knows?" said Turner. Turner said insuring marquee players like James and Bryant was "pricey" but could be done. "If you play in big enough venues and charge the right prices, you can make it work." Brisbane Times

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