Update: July 15 1:54 a.m: Nando De Colo will likely play today against Spain while Boris Diaw will be sidelined according to Arnaud Lecomte of L’Equipe.
Update July 14 10:30 a.m: Spain and France are among the few international teams with a legitimate chance at earning at medal — ranking second and 12th, respectively. Les Bleus has struggled as of late but they have plenty of NBA talent and rapport to challenge any team in international play.
Tony Parker headlines the group as his speed and finishing ability ignite the French offense. Kevin Seraphin and Ronny Turiaf bring girth to the roster though losing Joakim Noah, their best defensive big man, was costly. Nando De Colo, Boris Diaw and Nicolas Batum all contribute in a variety of facets offensively.
But due to contractual obligations, Diaw and De Colo, who both signed official contracts with the Spurs this week, are doubtful for Sunday’s tilt against Spain according to BasketACTU.com.
French head coach Vincent Collet spoke to the media about their respective situations.
“We can expect a release of Boris would make me very happy,” Collet said. “I also hope that Nando will be there. I’m not on. Boris was provided by the FFBB when he was a free-agent. But two days since he signed with the Spurs. When the franchise player must sign the insurance. It is that process that takes some time.”
French team director Patrick Beesley clarified their predicament.
“The issue at hand, in function of that, the proposal will be sent to the NBA that we transmit for settlement and validation of the situation,” Beesley said. “From the moment a player is under contract, it is ensured by the NBA in collaboration with the Federation. If it is not under contract is the entire Federation. Where there is no bowl is that it falls on a weekend. So we hope in the night have an answer.”
The problem comes down to insurance. De Colo and Diaw aren’t insured and, thus, won’t risk their bodies without proper support. It’s a sound decision considering it’s only an exhibition. Of course any match against Spain, regardless of ramifications, represents a valuable opportunity to play the best competition in the world.
France has relied on De Colo and Diaw to bolster their starting lineup. De Colo has also played with the ball in his hands more often while Parker slowly returns back to speed.
Their absences, even in an exhibition, aren’t a positive development for a French team that needs to fine tune their play before their first game on July 29 against the United States.