New Zealand Rumors
As New Zealand’s national program prepares to lock horns with the Australian Boomers in a two-game Olympic qualification series, Steven Adams’ agency has addressed his status for the pivotal FIBA Oceania Championships. “Due to scheduling conflicts over the coming months and Steven’s focus on being ready for the start of the 2015-16 regular season, Steven would not have been able to join the national team until very late in their tour,” explained Adams’ management, Wasserman Media Group. “Because he does not think it is the right thing to join the team so late in the process he will not be participating with the New Zealand national team in the Oceania series.
Steven Adams was an expected absentee as the Tall Blacks’ trialists gathered in Auckland to start the build-up to the Oceania Olympic basketball qualifier against Australia. But coach Paul Henare remains optimistic the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) centre will be there for the home-and-away series in August, when the winners get direct entry to Rio next year. “He wants to play – there’s no doubt about that,” Henare said on Wednesday. “It all comes down to what his management and the OKC management think is best for him.”
Josh Pace ’05, a key member of Syracuse’s 2003 NCAA Championship squad, has decided to retire from professional basketball at the conclusion of the current American Basketball Association (ABA) season. A 6-5 guard-forward, Pace has played professionally all around the world since earning his undergraduate degree from Syracuse in 2005. Pace was not selected in the 2005 NBA Draft but did earn an invitation to play in the NBA Summer League for the Utah Jazz. He did not earn an NBA contract but it 2006 signed with the Nelson Giants of the New Zealand National Basketball League (NBL). He averaged 19.1 points and 6.6 rebounds and was named an NBL All-Star. The following season, Pace was named the league’s MVP after helping the Giants to the NBL championship.
Is Andre Iguodala on your list for this season, for what happened this summer? (Iguodala poked fun at New Zealand traditional pregame dance – the haka – during the FIBA World Cup, Adams seemingly took offense on Twitter, saying “@andre, show some respect for my culture.”) Steven Adams: Oh, he’s alright. He’s all good. I just read (Iguodala’s comments) in the morning and it kinda got to me. It wasn’t like anything bad or anything. It was just misinformed, I guess. I knew he meant it not to downplay New Zealand. I just thought differently about it. Hopefully he come down to New Zealand. He’s still a good dude.