HoopsHype World Championship rumors
Imagine USA Basketball and other top basketball nations trying to qualify for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball without access to their best players. That's exactly what will happen when national teams begin playing home-and-home qualifying games in 2017 for the 2019 World Cup. National basketball federations knew FIBA was moving toward a FIFA-style qualifying system used for soccer's World Cup, but it wasn't revealed until recently that some of the six FIBA World Cup qualifying windows will coincide with NBA training camps, regular-season play and possibly the postseason. USA Today Sports
That all but eliminates NBA players – and likely college players – from playing World Cup qualifiers during some of the windows. "We'll take it step-by-step and do the best we can," USA Basketball executive director and CEO Jim Tooley said. "A lot of countries have questions. We're all trying to figure this out." USA Today Sports
In soccer, pro leagues around the world take a break for World Cup qualifying. It's called the international break, where England's Premier League stops play so its national team can play, say Spain, in a qualifier. Spain's La Liga takes a break, too, so the two nations can play a home-and-home series in the span of a week and have access to their top players. The NBA does not plan on taking such a break to allow its players to participate, but FIBA will try to convince other pro leagues to take a break during qualifying windows which fall during the season. USA Today Sports
Using college players in November and February seems unlikely. Even if it were possible to schedule a qualifying game where a player from Kansas would be available, how willing would Jayhawks coach Bill Self be to let a player participate in one of those games when he's trying to win a conference and national championship? D-League players and Americans playing overseas might be the best option for some games. "We have to look at everything," Tooley said. USA Today Sports
Emiliano Carchia: Andray Blatche closer to representing the Philippines at the 2014 FIBA World Cup He express his intention to become citizen of the country. Twitter @sportando
Motiejunas predicts Lithuania will be a tough opponent. "The team is going to do its best in Spain. I hope that Lithuanian basketball will write another beautiful page in the country's history," he said. For the time being though Motiejunas is focused on having a great season with the Rockets, who are fifth in the NBA's Western Conference with 40 wins and 19 losses. After struggling in his rookie season, Motiejunas is proving this year that he can be a solid back-up. "Last year was a bit difficult because I didn't spend a lot of time on the court," he recalled. "But I had no choice but to keep working hard in order to convince the coach to give me the opportunity to show what I can do. "Things have been going well for the team and myself and I hope that it will last." FIBA.com
Having bounced back from an injury plagued 2012-13 season, Ginobili said he’s open to competing for his native country at this summer’s FIBA World Cup this summer in Spain. Provided, of course, his body holds up. “Nothing changed,” he said. “I never said I wasn’t going to play (again), I never confirmed I was going to play. It’s a matter of time, how my body feels. But yeah, I really couldn’t say I couldn’t play because I still feel part of that team. So the thing I said is that if my body is like last year, it’s going to be hard. “It’s very hard (to let that go). I’ve always enjoyed playing with my teammates and representing my country. If not, I would have (retired) maybe three years ago, even before the last Olympics. It’s something I really enjoy doing.” San Antonio Express-News
There’s also one more open case about Mirotic and that has to do with his FIBA World Cup participation. Spanish national team coach Juan Antonio Orenga traveled to New Orleans and it seems that he prefers to include Serge Ibaka to the team, whose season with OKC is impressive. EuroHoops.net
Colangelo was referring to Greece's 101-95 triumph over the USA in the Semi-Finals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan. "We lost our only game, our only blemish on our record of 62-1," Colangelo said. "From that point on, we've been undefeated. We've learned. "We've shown the respect that I referred to, and I think that people have shown respect us for what we've accomplished. "The good news is that our pipeline is full. The young players all aspire to represent their country, so, so far, so good. "It's been great but the important thing is to keep it going." FIBA.com
"I was very unhappy back in 2004 when the USA finished third at the Olympics, not so much for finishing third but how they looked, how they acted," Colangelo said. "To me, there is a way to conduct yourself both on and off the floor. "So that all had to change. "I'm proud to be an American, I’m proud to represent the USA on the international stage, I love the game. I have a passion for the game. So for me, it's giving back to the game that I love so much." FIBA.com
"We're going to have a solid, strong roster," he said. "It's way too early to assume who's going to be there. "I've been told that (James) Harden and (Russell) Westbrook want to participate. "Derrick Rose may be somewhat ready to come back at that time." Rose is recovering from a serious knee injury. "But we've got a lot of good, young players - Paul George, Damian Lillard," Colangelo said. "(LaMarcus) Aldridge will be a part of our roster this year. FIBA.com
Harden was in Barcelona before the Olympics when the USA played Argentina and Spain in friendly games. "What else is more beautiful than Spain?" he said. "It's a beautiful place. I love it there." FIBA.com
Harden won the Olympic title in 2012 but has yet to feature at a World Cup. "It's always beautiful to compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup and represent my country," the Houston Rockets star said. Having the chance to go to Bilbao, where the USA will compete in Group B with New Zealand, Turkey, Ukraine, the Dominican Republic and Finland, makes Harden want to be with the United States squad even more. FIBA.com
Joakim Noah: I won't play the World Championship in Spain. I'm very happy for what my teammates did at the last Eurobasket, espcially Tony [Parker]. I don't know how I could help them. It's hard to play all year long, do that kind of sacrifice. Lance!
Tony Parker on his chances to play the World Championship: To be honest with you, there's not many chances that I will play the World Championship. We'll see how I am at the end of the season, how I feel. Lance!
That’s another aspect of Aldridge that’s evolved – that he is thinking of his career in the long view, picturing how he will adjust. He said he plans to play for Team USA in the World Cup this summer and would also like to play in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, which will be held shortly after his 31st birthday. Oregonian
Having already donned the gold strip of his country at junior and senior level, the Lake Ginninderra College student's rise to NBA prospect prompted fears he might walk away from Australia. However, he put those concerns to bed on Friday, declaring himself available for the Boomers in this year's world championship in September in Spain. "I've made it clear to my agent that he's got to put that into any contract I sign with a team that I will be available for those world champs,'' he said. Canberra Times
Derrick Rose not only said he wasn’t depressed about his latest injury setback, but he wanted to know who even said he was. He didn’t say anything about disliking the Bulls’ rebuilding plans going forward, which was suggested in anonymous reports a few months back. He didn’t seem upset about the Luol Deng trade, said he wasn’t really even thinking about the possibility of a return this season because he’s so focused on his rehabilitation and isn’t even able to run yet. He said he feels terrific, but he hardly sounded like someone who planned to play any basketball before the USA camp this summer. “For sure, if my leg is feeling healthy I’m all in,” Rose said about the USA Basketball invite for this summer’s pre World Cup tournament. ”Of course I want to play for that team. Playing for that team, I think, helped the year I won MVP, just getting in a groove. I’m excited if I am able to play in it. Bulls.com
“I haven’t even had a chance to think about it, to tell you truth,” Rose said about holding open the possibility of a return this season or in the playoffs. “I’m just worrying about my next stage in this process and that’s running. Right now I’m not. I’m on the Alter G (anti gravity treadmill) right now, running on that and hopefully I’ll be running without it pretty soon. “I haven’t even asked; we haven’t even talked about it (a return schedule),” said Rose. “I just come every day, six days a week and try to do all my work and see how far it’s going to take me when I step back on the court.” Bulls.com
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