Monday, May 28th, 2012 at 11:15 am  |  19 responses

British Basketball Says Bulls Pressuring Luol Deng to Withdraw from Olympics

The folks in charge of the British national hoops team aren’t very happy with the Chicago Bulls, citing alleged attempts to convince forward Luol Deng to sit out the Olympic Games this summer in London. Reports the Chicago Tribune: “The seemingly annual dance to secure Luol Deng’s insurance for international competition took a mildly confrontational turn on Saturday. Chris Spice, performance director for British Basketball, accused the Bulls of pressuring Deng to withdraw from his Olympic commitment because of his wrist injury. Spice’s statement also decried the NBA’s lack of support. NBA and Bulls officials declined to respond. ‘Luol Deng is hugely committed to the British Basketball program and he has maintained this stance despite recent pressure for him not to play after injuring his wrist during the highly-demanding shortened NBA season,’ Spice’s statement said. ‘We admire and support his stance. Luol is a true professional and manages his body extremely well as shown by the high amount of minutes he was able to play for his club after sustaining the injury in January.’ The collective bargaining agreement prohibits the Bulls from preventing Deng to play. Deng, who will make $13.3 million next season, met with team officials last week and reiterated his plan to play in the Olympics. That will postpone any decision on surgery to repair the torn ligament in his left wrist until August. Bulls officials reiterated to Deng their hope he will not miss training camp next season. Spice released his statement after The Telegraph reported insurance could cost more than $400,000. Spice expressed confidence Britain will secure insurance for Deng.”

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  • kris

    The thing is if he was playing for TEAM USA the Bulls would only encourage him, his family fled to GB and he started balling here in Brixton, I’m sure American tourists will think the whole country is London filled with old monuments and royals everywhere.. Brixton is one of the roughest places going not somewhere you want to be on your own at night, he came out of here and into NBA stardom. The game is popular here and Luol is another piece of that popularity which will be so important once the olympics start, I look forward to seeing him suit up and helping this sport gain some serious ground.

  • ab40

    and the first pick in the 2013 draft goes to… the chicago bulls.
    Tough break Bulls but this guy has been the face of British Basketball for the last 6 or 7 years and for him to pull back now would be propostorous and would send the sport backwards at least 5 years in Brittain.

  • markorsomething

    who gives a shiiii Britain isn’t going to win anyway. Much love to Lu though.

  • loaf

    We need him, even if GB doesn’t do nothing in the olympics, deng is the face of british basketball

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    chris spice from brittain, ha

  • http://www.nba.com Shadojoker

    Bulls > Britain as a Bulls fan..but representing your country is always greater than any professional experience!!!

  • Jerome

    As cool as the Dream Team was, I wish it never played international ball. Now we have this nonsense to go along with the “I only play if I get payed” garbage. I know how much money is made by Olympic organizers, but representing your country > anything you do professionally. Do you Deng.

  • http://slamonlin.com jumpman22

    It’s up to the athlete- to present his country or not. Besides that,I watched they playing at the Europe Championship.They played, well, shockingly bad, to me. Means nothing to GB, means not much to Deng.

  • ab40

    they missed pops mensah bonsuh and ben gordon. They’ll fight to make the second round and probably finish somewhere between the 7th and 10th place

  • Sean

    This is an outright lie. I gather Mr. Spice is about as competant as the rest of the individuals in the England Basketball organisation (not at all if that needs any disambiguation!)

  • Tom

    Team GB will feature Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Byron Mullins. Chris Finch, an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets, is head coach of Great Britain. Four of the six teams in each preliminary round group at the Olympics advance to the quarter-finals. Great Britain will advance to the quarter-finals, where they would be one win away from having a shot at a medal. This team will turn a few heads in London, with Deng’s work both on and off the court continuing to help basketball grow in a country which has over recent years seen as many hoops put up in playgrounds as it has soccer goals.

  • jgfh

    British basketball team has 8 dunks in one game
    2 player go for 4 each!!!

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Dude is Sudanese. Sudan > Britain.

  • Loaf

    Ben Gordon hasnt commited………. Pops and Bryon are good additions along with Joel Freeland and Matt Bryan. But we will still get spanked by pretty much every other team out there

  • Brickshooting J

    Every NBA team tries to avoid that their players go play with their national team except if that’s team USA. I don’t know if it’s a form of nationalism or it’s because they don’t trust other countries’ methods of training (see Darko Milicic injuring his Achilles tendon while training with Serbia). Probably a mixture of both.

  • http://slam FLIGHT 9

    I hope DEng plays and don’t come back for chicago.

  • allen3

    beside the fact that the bulls should ashamed of trying to stop somebody to play for his country.
    The bulls should consider deng in britain as a way to sell bulls jersey to the briton.
    We all saw the benefits the rockets get in china because of Yao ming

  • Dingo Rob

    It’s very bias no doubt, I think you might be right with national pride but if I was an owner I’d want them to play for US for experience but I would also see it adding value to my commodity, the player.

  • http://abcnews.com charliewinning

    Most of these comments are stupid. The Bulls have millions invested in Deng. He is already injured. If he plays and gets injured further, it affects their business. It’s really that simple. No NBA team openly advocates for their players to play in international competitions. The country has NOTHING to do with it, not even if it’s the U.S. I don’t blame the teams either.