London 2012 - Insurance could cost GB Deng and Gordon

Mon, 01 Aug 14:40:00 2011

Ben Gordon and Luol Deng should know by the end of this week whether they will feature in Great Britain's EuroBasket campaign.

London 2012 - Insurance could cost GB

British Basketball's performance director Chris Spice is currently working hard to negotiate an insurance package for his star names as the fall-out from the ongoing NBA lockout continues.

Basketball's world governing body have struck a deal that allows NBA players to compete for their countries this summer, with Olympic qualifiers taking place around the world.

But any NBA player deciding to play during the lockout does so at their own risk.

And the current cost of insuring Deng, whose ongoing six-year Chicago Bulls contract is valued at $71 million, and Gordon, two seasons into a $55m five-year deal without the Detroit Pistons, could prevent their involvement in the British team. 

"It is a case of good news on one hand and bad news on the other," Spice told press agency Sportsbeat.

"On the face of it there are no obstacles for Luol and Ben playing but our concern is making sure that all players are covered and that cover is affordable for British Basketball.

"We trying to find the best deal possible to get both of our guys to play. We are working to get insurance within the realms of our budget.

"We are in constant contact with the players and their agents and it's a complex issue. 

"From the point of view of preparing the team, we have until this Friday to decide, so it's still a very live issue."

Gordon's debut for Great Britain has been long awaited, initially he planned to play in the 2009 EuroBasket finals but his move from Chicago to Detroit prevented that.

And last season he was prevented from playing in the EuroBasket qualifiers by an untimely ankle injury.

"We've always viewed this summer as a vital part of the preparations for next year's Olympics, not just with the EuroBasket finals but the other matches we have, in particular the London 2012 test event," added Finch.

"Integrating Ben was key this year, so next year there would be no surprises for him or us, so that only adds to our frustration."

British coach Chris Finch wants his summer roster settled before next week's friendlies with the Netherlands and Nigeria and the Olympic test event against a top-quality field in two weeks time.

The team has already gathered at their training camp in Surrey and Finch has learned the lessons of disruption caused when players have been previously introduced into the camp late on.

Basketball's world governing body, Fiba, have urged both NBA owners and players, who meet in New York today, to resolve their issues as a matter of urgency.

NBA commissioner David Stern has proposed a ten-year labour deal that diminishes the players' percentage of basketball-related income, sparking a fury from the National Basketball Players Union 

"As the world governing body for basketball, we strongly hope that the labour dispute will be resolved as soon as possible, and that the NBA season is able to begin as scheduled," said FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann.

"In view of our role to promote basketball worldwide, we support any player wishing to play the game, wherever and whenever. We do so while obviously taking the interests, rights and obligations of all parties into account.

"We are delighted to see that, in spite of widespread doubts related to the lockout, national teams competing in this summer's Olympic qualifiers will be able to count on the participation of most of their NBA stars."

More than the Games / Eurosport

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