Ben Gordon has revealed he chose not to play for Great Britain this summer due to the birth of his first son, and added he felt that with the ongoing NBA lockout the risk of injury was too high.
Many fans were left disappointed after his no-show this year, and have questioned his commitment to the GB programme. However, explaining to US sports and pop culture website Grantland.com why he didn’t play for GB this summer he said:
“There is always next summer when the Olympics are in London. I really had my mind set that I would play this summer, but with the birth of my first son, to me, it wasn’t best suited for my family and I didn’t want to rush the situation and have it be an inconvenience. It would probably be smart to wait until next year. On top of that, all the stuff that’s going on with the lockout, there were too many bad signs so I didn’t want to force it and end up regretting it.
When the NBA announced the lockout, they sent a letter out that said staff members form the team are not allowed to have contact, et cetera, et cetera. Number nine on the letter pretty much says any serious injury you might acquire while the lockout is going on can void your contract. So right now, my risk tolerance is pretty low. There’s no need to put myself in that type of risk right now. It’s not like the Olympics are this summer. I just pretty much weighed my options until the very last minute and then just went with my gut feeling. With my son, traveling certain countries at this young age, I didn’t want to put him through that right now.”
British Basketball fully expect Gordon to be involved with the programme next year, with performance director Chris Spice having said he is “key to performing at our peak at London 2012”.