Besides Delfino, the Argentinean squad includes Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola, San Antonio Spurs Manu Ginobili and Philadelphia 76ers Andres Nocioni. With the help of these players Argentina will form one of the most lethal squad in the tournament and will look to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
The Argentinean basketball federation has been very active in pursuing its NBA nationals and recently announced that it will cover all the insurance costs for these players. The FIBA Americas Championship will take place in Argentina’s capital Mar del Plata. The event will last for 12 days and will feature 10 teams divided in two groups.
The insurance issue has been one of the major thorn in the teams acquiring their national players this year, because of the NBA lockout. During the lockout, the league does not provide insurance to its players. Since the cost of the insurance is too high, it not possible for most of the national federations to cover those charges.
Team USA will not take part in this tournament, as they have already qualified for the London Olympics after taking home World Championship that took place last year in Turkey. This also lifts the burden from U.S Basketball Federation, as they wouldn’t have to prepare a squad for the tournament in the middle of the lockout. Otherwise, it would have been a difficult task for them to gather the players, who are more interested in playing overseas at the moment.
Although, the Americans will not have to pull together a squad for the FIBA Americas, but the Federation is still worried about the Olympics. If the lockout stretches further and wipes out the whole next season, it can also affect the Olympics selection for team USA. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, NBA stars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant and many more were the part of the U.S national team and promised the Federation that they will return for the next Olympics. However, after lockout things have changed.
There absence at the FIBA Americas though will make the tournament open and teams like Brazil and Argentina, possessing a bevy of NBA stars, will definitely have an edge.