Italy Rumors

Marco Belinelli confirmed that he will play at Eurobasket for the Italian National Team. “I can’t wait to play for the Italian National Team this summer. We have Eurobasket. I want to be an important player for my national team. The fact that the four Italian NBAers will play doesn’t mean that we will win for sure. We will try to build a solid group on and off the court. We’ll do our best to bring Italy back to the highest levels” Belinelli said on Radio 24.
Interviewed by Davide Chinellato of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Danilo Gallinari confirmed once again that he will play for the Italian National Team at Eurobasket during the summer. The goal for the Italian National is to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio (at least for the pre-Olympic tournament). “Our goal is to qualify for Rio 2016” Il Gallo said. “A medal at Eurobasket would be amazing and I think it will be possible even if we are in the strongest group (the Group B in Berlin with Germany, Turkey, Serbia, Spain and Iceland). I feel I am a leader of the National Team. We know each other since we are very children. I hope the other three Italians in the NBA will be in the roster as well” added the Nuggets forward who hopes to have Melvin Hunt as head coach for next season too. “Our goal next season will be to make the playoffs. I hope Melvin Hunt will be our coach next season. He knows basketball very well, also European basketball, something that can make the difference in the NBA. He is a very positive person and he is great in motivating the players. I think he has the qualities to succeed as head coach” continued Gallinari
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Re: Sergio Llull whose NBA rights are held by the Houston Rockets – Here is what I’m told. Would Lull, a starting guard for one of the best teams overseas, take a back seat to play in the NBA? Maybe, but probably not. Would he risk 25+ minutes per game in Europe to become a backup to James Harden or whatever PG the Rockets land next season? No, probably not. Are Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez – both former NBAers – in Llull’s ear that the NBA is a waste of time? Yea, for sure. Are the Rockets seriously considering bringing over BOTH Llull and Italian scorer Alessandro Gentile while Kostas Papanikolaou isn’t even playing in the playoffs (and 3 minutes in 5 games isn’t really playing)? No, probably not.
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Marco Belinelli: “My goal is to play Eurobasket. But I am 29 and I have to see how I physically feel after the season. I will make a final decision after the NBA Playoffs. Coach Pianigiani knows how I am, I am gritting my teeth. For the other Italians in the NBA who end the season without playoffs (Bargnani and Gallinari) will be easier to rest, recover and be back in shape. I will talk with the other Italians in the NBA. We want to bring Italy back to highest levels” said Belinelli to Riccardo Pratesi of La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Olimpia Milano captain Alessandro Gentile said he will decide his future after the season. The Houston Rockets want to bring him to the NBA from next season. Gentile was selected by the Rockets in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. “I will decide after the Serie A playoffs whether to go to the NBA from next season or not. It looks like everyone has decided for me. But I am the only one to decide. I am very pleased that the Rockets are so interested in me. They treat me like a player that will go playing with them.