Ginobili’s in; World Cup could feature more than 50 NBA players


VIDEO: Manu Ginobili Exit Interview

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Tony Parker was happy to remind everyone that he’d be taking the summer off after winning his fourth championship. Tim Duncan made his feelings regarding FIBA known after the 2004 Olympics. But Manu Ginobili couldn’t resist making one more run with his national team.

After The Finals, Ginobili was unsure if he’d take part in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. But he announced over the weekend that he’ll represent his native Argentina one more time, with the blessing of his wife. He’ll join fellow NBA players Pablo Prigioni and Luis Scola to put Argentina¬†in the mix for a medal.

When they’re at their best, no national team plays prettier, Spurs-like basketball than Argentina. And Ginobili’s presence is obviously a big boost to what was one of the top offenses at the 2010 World Championship. The Bucks’ Carlos Delfino has expressed his interest in playing for the 2004 Olympic champs as well, but is coming off two surgeries on his right foot that kept him on the sidelines the entire 2013-14 season.

Though Parker won’t be representing France and injuries will keep Al Horford (Dominican Republic) and Andrew Bogut out, there could be more than 50 current NBA players representing 16 different¬†countries at the Basketball World Cup. That list includes five more Spurs: France’s Boris Diaw, Brazil’s Tiago Splitter, the U.S.’s Kawhi Leonard, and Australians Patty Mills and Aron Baynes.

Diaw and Splitter will meet in Group A, which could have as many 20 NBA players representing Brazil (four possibles), France (seven), Serbia (three) and Spain (six). Spain, the tournament’s host and silver medalist in each of the last two Olympics, is obviously the biggest challenger for the U.S., which will compete in Group C and which has won 36 straight games under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

In January, the U.S. named 28 players to a preliminary roster for the next three summers. They have commitments from Kevin Durant and Kevin Love to play in the Basketball World Cup. They could also have a healthy Derrick Rose and the Finals MVP.

The U.S. will open a five-day training camp in Las Vegas on July 28. They’ll also train in Chicago and New York before making their way to Spain. The Basketball World Cup tips off on Aug. 30 and concludes with the gold medal game on Sept. 14.

In addition to the 50-ish current NBA players, there could be more than 20 former NBA players and several more players whose draft rights are owned by NBA teams.

10 Comments

  1. sean says:

    Spurs for back to back champs!!!

  2. ko0kiE says:

    when does it take place?

  3. Ginobili my favorite player, he uses his basketball IQ. LeBron use his body but when LeBron comes to start beign older ?

    Ginobili is the Best in the NBA, he could be 60 years old and he still one of the best cause his high IQ. (look at Kobe)

    I want to see Lebron on 40 years old.

  4. esboa says:

    50 NBA players in World Cup

    shouldn’t you say: at 50 non-USA players in NBA, that are obviously better ball-players than a LOT of USA ball-players ….

  5. ben tuyor says:

    Andray Blatche of Brooklyn representing Philippines as naturalize player

  6. Kimmy says:

    I like that international players are becoming more prominent in the NBA. Makes it more like a reflection of our nation. As a descendent, I’m excited that a Cape Verdean is in the draft this year.

  7. TimTom says:

    Yes! Show the world that basketball players are the BEST floppers!

  8. cp10 says:

    GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAGINOBILI!!! :)

  9. janet says:

    I don’t like it. Tim just opted back in so all of the “international’s” on that team should be focusing on recuperating and preparing for another championship run. This can conceivably be their 3rd straight trip to the finals – at an advanced age (basketball wise) – so they shouldn’t rely on “Pop’s” regular season strategy to rest his players. If they all go and play, and complain that they are tired during the upcoming season, then they will deserve to lose.

    • esboa says:

      I hear your concern, but I gather that one tournament (how many games exactly..??) on one location, is nothing like a hectic NBA schedule