With San Antonio Spurs players Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Nando De Colo set to take part in Eurobasket 2013 in Slovenia this September, the newest Spur may be joining them, only he is waiting permission from his new team.
Recently signed guard Marco Belinelli has announced he wants to play for his home country of Italy at the tournament but according to Il Corriere dello Sport (via Sportando.net), before making a commitment to Team Italy, Marco is waiting permission from the Spurs.
"I spoke with coach Simone Pianigiani three days ago. I gave him my full availability. I want to be at Eurobasket and I told him that. But now it is up to San Antonio. If they give me the permission to play I will be happy to represent Italy in a such important competition."
First thing you have to remember, no NBA team can force their international players to sit out of international play when representing their home country.
Instead, Belinelli is probably referring to "permission" from the Spurs just as Serge Ibaka chose to do with the Oklahoma City Thunder regarding Eurobasket. Ibaka asked the Thunder for permission, but they felt it was best he sit out of the tournament, and so he agreed to listen to their suggestion and won’t be representing Spain in the fall.
The two reasons the Spurs wouldn’t like to see their international players play in the offseason is because of the risk of injury and also fatigue. Manu Ginobili for one, who represents Argentina, has had a history of being injured in international play and the effects carried over into the following season with San Antonio.
The other risk can be fatigue. Belinelli made it to the second round of the playoffs with the Chicago Bulls where the Miami Heat defeated them. Eurobasket will take place from September 4-22 and right after, the Spurs will be beginning their training camp for the 2013-2014 season.
As Belinelli awaits word from the Spurs, it’s clear he wants to start off on the right path with San Antonio choosing to get their suggestion first, before entering international play.
What do you think Spurs fans? Do you want to see Marco play with Italy in Slovenia or rather him sit out and report to Spurs training camp fresh and ready to go?