Vincent Collet Rumors
Vincent Collet: “With Patrick Beesley (ed.note: the French national team GM) we anticipated a number of things. I had contacted the NBA players in the weeks leading up to this announcement. All the players I was able to contact were very excited to be able to play in this window. Unfortunately, the NBA refused to release players for this window and so we built a team accordingly. Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, Vincent Poirier, Frank Ntilikina, and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot were contented. All were enthusiastic. I called them today to explain the situation. Most have already answered me. I am also disappointed, I think it was a good opportunity, both to strengthen our team but also to work for the future, knowing that we did not have a meeting in the past summer. We have to take note”.
France announced on Tuesday a star-studded squad for their FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign in China, one that has giant center Rudy Gobert, veteran forward Nic Batum and combo-guard Nando de Colo. While including several of the players that featured in big tournaments like the 2016 Olympics or FIBA EuroBasket 2017, coach Vincent Collet has also named two key men from Les Bleus’ European Qualifiers campaign, Andrew Albicy and Paul Lacombe.
Evan Fournier was arguably the most notable absence of France in the Olympic Games. The Orlando Magic player gave an interview to French L’Equipe “breaking” his silence regarding his exclusion from his national team’s roster and expressing an obvious resentment on the whole matter. “I hated not being in the Olympic Games,” he said. “I had suspected that I won’t make the cut a week before I was informed about it. I was reading interviews where only Rudy (Gobert) was mentioned among the players who didn’t play in the OQT but would go to Rio. In the end, I received a voicemail by Vincent Collet that briefly explained the reasons I was left out.”