London International Basketball Invitational Day 1

Joel Freeland vs France

Tony Parker was unstoppable for France as he led them to an 80-58 victory over Great Britain on the first day of the London International Basketball Invitational.

Parker finished with 23 points in three quarters to lead the French side, who looked rattled early before cruising out to a comfortable victory. Joel Freeland led GB with 16 points, Nate Reinking had 11 and Mike Lenzly added 9.

Head coach Chris Finch, felt there were both positive and negatives to take from the game:

“At moments we played well, but at moments we played like a young team trying to find itself which we pretty much are out there. I thought are effort was really good, we just came apart at the wrong time. The key for us is to learn quickly and get ready for tomorrow.”

Dan Clark was pleased with the performance, but recognised there is still room for improvement:

“I thought the first half was a lot better than the second but there’s certainly good things to take from tonight and we’re coming together well. The younger players are learning how to fit in with the team and having Joel back helped as we know how he plays.

“We need to get better, there’s still things to work on but it’s early.”

Tony Parker looked unstoppable for France early on, using his quickness to exploit match-ups, however, hot shooting from Nate Reinking kept GB up as they led 6-5 just under midway through the first period.

It wasn’t long before GB’s young guys saw some action, as Andrew Lawrence and Devon Van Oostrum checked in. They connected immediately as Devon found Lawrence wide open for a baseline three. Tony Parker once again responded, making a lovely dish down low to Noah for the dunk, reducing the deficit to four as GB led 13-9.

A Noah putback off a missed Tony Parker free throw gave France their first lead of the game, 16-15, but Andrew Lawrence made a nice move to the basket down the other end, scoring on a layup to put GB back up 17-16 with two minutes left.

France refused to relent though, piling on the pressure to finish the first quarter up 20-18 behind 10 points from Tony Parker.

Both teams couldn’t buy a basket for the first two minutes of the second period, before Noah drew a foul inside to head to the line. He missed them both, as Freeland hit a tough shot in the lane to tie the game up at 20 with 7 minutes remaining. Both teams continued to struggle, failing to score for a further minute and a half, before Dan Clark hit an elbow jumpshot to regain the lead for GB 22-20 with 5 minutes to play in the half. France couldn’t convert at the other end, as Nate Reinking gave GB a four point cushion with a jumpshot of his own.

Batum responded, going on a 4-0 run of his own to tie the game at 24. France had all the momentum as Batum got a mid-court alley oop and threw it down reverse to electrify the crowd.  The game remained close, before another huge Batum dunk put France up 32-27 with two minutes remaining in the half.

France went into the halftime break with 34-29 lead on GB, as Batum took his tally to 8 points, as GB were led by 9 points from veteran Nate Reinking and 6 from big man Dan Clark.

Freeland started the scoring in the second half as he hit a short jumper off an offensive rebound, but France immediately responded hitting a baseline three. The teams continued to trade baskets,  but France began to pull away, leading 41-33 with seven minutes left in the third. Tony Parker led the third quarter onslaught with 13 points, as France held a 60-48 led on GB heading into the final period.

It looked to be more of the same in the final period as Albicy came out hot, scoring 4 straight points. However, Freeland and Ryan Richards checked in making their presence felt, as the deficit was reduced instantly, with France leading just 64-56 with 6 minutes left to play. France, with Tony Parker watching from the bench, refused to get rattled, going on a run of their own at they took a 72-56 lead with 3 minutes left to play.

Lenzly hit two foul shots as Freeland went to the bench for the rest of the night. Diaw scored on a surprisingly athletic play at the other end before an Andrew Lawrence turnover led to another France score. France cruised the rest of the way for the final result.

Full box score can be found here.

Other Results

Australia 71 – 43 China
Australia were led by 15 points from Peter Crawford, 14 from David Barlow whilst Aj Ogilvy has 11. Damian Martin had 1 point but 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Bo Zhang has 13 points to lead China, with Jianlian Yi adding 7 (check out his fast break dunk here). Full box score can be found here.|

Croatia 83-71 Serbia
Croatia led by 17 points from Krunoslav Simon, Dontaye Draper with 12, Ante Tomic 11 and Marko Tomas 10. Milos Teodosic had 18 points for Serbia, being joined in double figures by Nenad Kristic (10) and Milan Macvan (10). Full box score can be found here.

Find a tournament schedule for the whole week here.

Notes

    • There are no less than 9 NBA players appearing in the tournament-Great Britain has Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Australia has Patty Mills (Portland Trailblazers), China has Jianlian Yi (Washington Wizards),  whilst France has, wait for it, Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), Nicolas Batum (Portland Trailblazers), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards), Boris Diaw (Charlotte Bobcats), Ronny Turiaf (New York Knicks)
    • Olympic basketball arena is amazing, but as I heard no numerous occasions throughout the day, such a shame it is only temporary. The ODA said in a press conference on Monday they were worried about it become a ‘white elephant’, as they look to the handball arena to provide the legacy for basketball.
    • The France-GB game was by far the best of the day. GB had their moments, and I think kept it closer than many expected, but ultimately the third quarter, where Tony Parker took over sealed the victory. Parker looked unstoppable.
    • France’s Nicolas Batum had the top three plays of the day all by himself, including catching a mid-court alley oop reverse, a huge one hander down the lane (caught Sullivan a little bit) and another alley oop.
    • Australia’s NBA guy Patty Mills registered a DNP, whilst China’s, Yi struggled. Luol was unfortunately absent (will be joining GB for the weekend) whilst France’s guys looked in good form.
    • GB starters: Ogo Adegboye, Nate Reinking, Drew Sullivan, Dan Clark, Joel Freeland. Kyle Johnson and Laurence Ekperigin sat out.
    • GB went for extended periods playing Lenzly and Nate Reinking in the backcourt with no “true” point guard.
    • Joel Freeland was our best player. Great performance by him, and didn’t look out of place going up against the French NBA guys at all.
    • Celeb watch: British comedian Jimmy Carr was in the audience (picture).
    • The fact none of these games are being broadcast/televised until the weekend is an absolute farce.
    • No-one has surprised more this summer than Andrew Lawrence. Was once again solid today. Made a few mistakes, which is to be expected, but going up against Tony Parker, he more than held his own.
    • You can find a short little video recap of the GB vs France game in the BBC’s report.
    • You can listen to Chris Finch and Drew Sullivan’s thoughts on the game against France here.
    • There has been a lot of criticism of Luol Deng for not joining the team until the weekend, with people questioning his commitment. I find that outrageous. GB wouldn’t be where they are today without him. The level of commitment he has shown to his adopted home country (which he didn’t have to represent), giving up his summer every year for the past few years to represent us should not be sniffed at. Not sure how many other NBA stars you’d find be willing to do the same.

Image Credit: Mansoor Ahmed Photography

  • coach z

    gb has no chance lol

    • Mac

      Isn’t national pride just great

      • coach z

        sorry mac but im actually not from the UK….OUCH!! even make things worse…..Im from the United States….POW!!! so gotta stay loyal to my redeem team……….Unitil team GB basketball beat us which I hugely doubt….then y’all have no chance in the olympics lol

  • Tyler

    France is loaded, but shooters are lacking.

  • Tyler

    Btw this streaming or on radio online?

  • D

    Someone take the microphone away from Darren Fletcher

  • dpeti

    I remember watching the American telecast of the USA Dream Team playing Croatia in the Olympics. I had also recorded the same game but with the English commentary.

    You would have thought you were watching two completely different games!!

    The American commentary was so much better and more technically informative compared to the English commentators who obviously had done little research about the game.

    My point is, as is the case with this GB/France game on Radio 5, we desperately need to find commentators who can give a much more in depth analysis of what is happening on court.

    Commentators like Roy Birch and others try hard I am sure, but at times it is much better to watch the game with the sound turned off.

    • Zach

      Acknowledge the complaints about the ‘quality’ of the BBC Radio 5 coverage but very happy to see basketball getting on the Beeb! Not the easiest sport to cover on the radio – and ability/experience of broadcasting live sport is necessary (Fab started to grate after a while by trying to use too many words!)

      With this and the red button coverage of the Test events and both Men and Women’s Eurobasket in the run-up to the Olympics, we need to support this coverage to make sure it sticks about after 2012.

      • dpeti

        Absolutely agree with you Zach. Coverage is far more important than commentary.

        I would still like the broadcaster, BBC, Eurosport, etc., to try and get “colour” commentators who can give an incisive and insightful appreciation as to what actually takes place in the game.

        If one listens to, for example, Bobby Knight (or Dickie V !!) commentating on NCAA Div 1 games it is possible to get a real understanding of the game.

        I guess the broadcaster has to consider both the fans of basketball and those viewers who might be watching their first ever gamne of basketball.

        • i agree tooo on that – – commentating is vital to the fans as a good commentator should analyse both the actual game but also expand the analysis for a viewer that wont understand some terms or fundamentals…..i think Mike Breen is the best at that right now!!!

          but still last night the event was missing a hype man- somebody to keep the crowd going non-stop especially in the 1st game where there wasnt much action….no offense to Eddie but he needed another sidekick

  • lee

    please come back pops we need you!!!!!

  • lee

    Regardless if Deng is there or not they need him even if he comes late to win in Eurobasket, Ben and Pops would have made them contenders but deng could help them win a few games. That being said GB need to show more heart then how they played against france, they are young but this is supposed to be the best team they have ever had, Richards really needs to step up and play like an NBA player when playing against top competition.

    • How did Richards do? I looked at the box score but he didn’t really play much minutes. He only played 8 minutes which was almost dead last in minutes played for GB. He shot twice and got two boards and thats it. Did he actually get minutes when the game was still some what close or was it garbage minutes. Was he really bad on defense or something?

      • Richards played well. He didn’t make his shots but he worked hard and played within himself. He only played in the fourth quarter, but the time he was on also happened to be when GB made their comeback (though that was more down to Freeland to be fair). His effort was there defensively, though he predictably got outmuscled by Diaw a couple of times.

        You’ve got to remember he’s only 20 years old and the highest level of basketball he’s played is the Swiss league!

        • Thanks for the insight. It is good to hear he is making a good effort to play solid defense

  • petedeppishfanclub

    How did Ogo fair against France? Did Parker eat him alive?

    • Pretty much. Parker got him in foul trouble early and GB found it very difficult to stop him from getting to the basket, as you’d expect. I’d say Batum was the best player on the floor though…well, definitely the most exciting, with all those dunks!

      • yeah batum was the best if not then second best after parker of course because batums defense was also killing GB!!! but its hands down batum the most exciting though!!

  • Coach z

    Even with Deng n pops back they won’t stand a chance

    • nobody really has a chance against france but GB actually played good last night as france blew the game open in middle of third so thats not bad— well see how GB plays against lesser teams such as china- australia and croatia this week

      • Baller

        Just so you understand, Australia has been better than France in the past. They are also currently ranked higher. Usually competes for medal places in the Olympics. Check Sam’s link, info is on there on rankings!

        • The rankings are bollocks. Aren’t we ranked below Cape Verde?

          France haven’t done well in the past because they haven’t had a full-strength team. This year they do, and it looks like it’s going to make a difference.

          • coach z

            Dude, india ranked higher than y’all…LMFAO!!! wth?!?!?!?

            • Yeah, exactly. You’ve just backed up my argument there.

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  • buzzsaw

    HIphop. Richards is not a true power forward. That’s the truth. I’ve seen him play. He looks like Dirk Nowitski in his rookie NBA season. Shoot, turn, fake, shoot. At 6 11″….well. It takes a while I didn’t see the game (none of us did, save Sam and Stuart and some other lucky guys). But I sure would like to know how we did on rebounds, blocks, steals and hustle plays. Those aspects are what keeps you in games and give you a chance… Assuming talent is in the same stratosphere, that is.

    • Yeah I noticed that he loves his jumper and trying to take people off the dribble more than working in the post. You can check the stats on http://www.fiba.com GB got out rebounded by 12 and shot 6 of 22 from 3point range. It is the usual with what kills this team. They don’t play defense and rely to much on jumpers and 3 point shots. I mean I haven’t watched to many of GB’s games but from looking at the stats for the under 20 team and watching the two warm ups that was posted here on hoopsfix, it is pretty evident why this team loses games

    • the team got out rebounded by 17 and shot 4 of 22 from three. France shot 52.3 % from the field while GB only shot 32.8.

    • Rebounding was good, Freeland was killing it on the glass. He was GB’s best player, easily. The hustle and effort was also there from everyone, they were definitely playing hard.

      GB didn’t force many turnovers but they at least kept their own turnovers down. It was a better performance than the scoreline suggested and I think they would have been in the game at the end if Deng was there.

      • How can you say rebounding was good when they got out rebounded by 17 and gave up 10 offensive boards?

        • Good point! I don’t think that ‘who got more rebounds’ is a good way of measuring rebounding as GB missed more shots than France so France had more defensive rebound opportunities, but it’s true that France got a higher proportion of available rebounds under their own basket, so they were clearly the better rebounding team.

          The comment was just based on my own perception from watching the game (before looking at the stats) which was that the GB players were rebounding well considering the physical dominance of players like Noah and Diaw. And also that GB’s rebounding was much better than in their previous game against Nigeria.

  • I’ve posted my observations in the forum – they’re too long for a comment here!

    http://www.hoopsfix.com/community/british-basketball-talk/2264-olympic-test-event.html#post8408

  • the first game was pretty weak- the second game was definetly a lot better as they were better teams and the 3rd game was the best……but besides the actual games itself- the entertainment provided was very WEAK/minimal …..the only kind of entertainment was a group of 4 dudes dancing with mops and doing the same routine twice…

    when i was in cyprus last year i went to their friendly basketball tournament that had russia,greece, cyprus and croatia again and I have to say that Cyprus actually entertained us better as they always had some kind of dance or show during timeouts and halftimes!!!! DISSAPOINTED IN THE EVENTS EFFORTS!!

  • I don’t get the negativity. Where you all there? We played really well for three quarters, but were up against quality NBA players who knew how to finish us off. With Deng and Pops, it would have been tight. Totally agree with Sam, playing chunks of the game with no point guard was bizarre.

    • *were

    • i thought GB played good as the score is a bit deceptive if you havent watched the full game. they managed to keep it tight and without their top3 players!! the crowd was really into it and the game was actually exciting from both teams — – france are going into eurobasket to win it!!!

    • I think Lenzly can play the point, he did fine there yesterday. None of our “true points” really have the experience/quality to make an impact at Eurobasket so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using Lenzly at that spot.

      • Both of France’s big runs came with a Lenzly and Reinking backcourt. I didn’t think it worked so well.

  • I think GB did well without Deng. France are the 3rd or 4th best team in the world. Such a shame Deng sat out as I’d love to see what they could have done with him. Batum is a beast. I never realized he is that good.

  • northwards

    GB had every chance to keep it within 10; having watched last night, even though Ben Gordon has messed us around, i would welcome him for 2012…he would make all the difference, plus Nate will be another year older and questionable wherther he will be around. we did good for the 1st 25 mins; Luol will help a lot of course. we missed Pops on the boards thought Freeland was quality; Arch looked off the pace; would have liked to see more of Devon.

  • DVO had signs that he is quality, but he reminds me of a guy that looked good first and tried to force the issue. You don’t always need the spectacular play. A simple pass is good if it leads to a score.

  • juan

    if they lost by 22 to france, they going to lse by 30 to serbia
    britain is and always has been a joke in basketball
    it is a disgrace they get an olympic spot when a top team in europe may miss out..
    no tv broadcastin,g no streaming, no live score////please go back to division B and stick to cricket and drinking tea

    • You talk like Serbia is amazing. They should get an Olympic spot as 1) They are the host country 2) They have a certain NBA star called Luol Deng who could beat Serbia on his own.

      We missed two of our best stars last night against a team with 5 NBA stars.

  • juan

    the fact you all think france are so great becaause of nba players shows you know nothing about european basketball…france has no shooters, never had and that is why they will always get beaten in quarters, whether by spain, lithuania, serbia, russia, greece, croatia, slovenia , italy etc

    • buzzsaw

      Calm yourself, Juan. The “top teams” in Europe just have to suck it up. Ever heard of home court? Happens all the time. GB is paying BILLIONS to stage your entertainment. Get over it. Host Rules!

    • Yeah because Spain has no NBA stars! Oh and Tony Parker can’t shoot. I hate the guy, but even I have to admit he is one of the best players in Europe and is pretty good from the field – 0.493. Every team you mentioned there is average with the exception of Spain (Gasol, Fernandez, Calderon) and Lithuania (national sport).

      • Baller

        Serbia are a great national team, but I don’t feel like there is much respect from anyone else in Europe, as is always the case. I am lost as to why there is so much hate towards GB basketball, we are in essence a new team. We have had some success, and luck, in the recent years building up to the Olympics.

        Serbia just lost to Croatia, a lower ranked team. We lost to France by ONLY 22. Missing Luol Deng and Ben Gordon…..are you telling me that their defensive and offensive talents won’t affect the 22 point difference.

        In my opinion, the fact that it was ONLY 22 was a success, even more so when your playing a guy like tony parker who could probably fund every players salary without it making a dent in his.

        The real interest here should be the Australian demolition of China, two closely ranked teams.

        Look at the French players, and where they play, then question if the French win was that devastating. I think not.

        • Baller

          and if anyone in this test tournament should be feared, it should be the Aussies. They have had the biggest win so far, beating China by a near 30. Aus ranked 9th, China 10th, 2nd and 3rd in this tournament.

        • dpeti

          Unfortunately you fail to take into account the possibiliy that France were never really troubled by GB. I did not see the game, but from experience I know that if a team wins by “only 10 points” it may well have been the case that that team was never in any trouble and could have won by a wider margin if it wanted to.

          But, as I said, I did not see the game.

  • juan

    being english you probably never watched a eurobasket before…parker has rarely done anything spectacular there,..i doubt he would in euroleague..i lvoe nba but you have to understand it is entertainment, there is no defence…i would like to see kobe score 81 in the euroleague…30 points would surprise me………….apart from spain and lithuania they are average?? this coming from a brit? really? serbia with spain was t a team that could have stopped us b team alst year , but they were cheated by referees favouring turkey..look at the historym, leagues and players of the countries you called average…im sorry gordon may have an english passport but he did not grow up bball wise in uk…deng at least kind of did……all these great euro players played in teams of their country so grew up in that countries bball ‘school’…..you obviously know nothing about fiba if you think rakings count, serbia are below italy right now but are twice as good….learn about euro bball before talking..its not the nba highlights you watch once a week on youtube its a sport

    • buzzsaw

      So much hate. Juan is seeing red. So much red, that his vision is slightly obscured. Obscured enough to imply that European basketball is superior to the NBA – where Mutombo, Duncan, O’Neal, Olajuwon, Wade and Kobe – “don’t play defense” Hmmm. Calm yourself, my friend. You can make the point that GB basketball is yet to arrive, without succumbing to foolish hyperbole. If it helps you, the BIGGEST single knock against Euro players coming to the States (where I live) is their lack of defense. Every single one. (although I would personally give Kirilenko a bit of a pass there).

      • dpeti

        Have to be careful when trying to compare NBA with European basketball as they are somewhat different in playing styles. If I remember correctly Barcelona beat LA Lakers not too long ago.

        Also have to realise that European clubs do not have to play a thousand games in a season and several each week , often some distance apart. (Well, not thousands perhaps!!)

        It is possible to enjoy both styles of play, although I personally much prefer NCAA Division 1. For me, that is true basketball. (Please feel free to differ!!!!!)

  • juan

    in europe serbia is by far the most respected bball country…you obviously dont know what your talking about..look at how much they have won and all the players they created….only lithuania get anywhere near that………

  • juan

    russia would be gb with deng by 30 points, im sorry…its the truth…the only british player who really makes a difference at euro level is pops, he is a great player with energy and defensive impact…and athleticism…deng looks great in nba becasue of no defence ..in europe he is good but wont make a difference when britain playing powerhouses …whether spain, serbia or lithuania etc

    • Ben

      Joel Freeland is one of the best players in your beloved Euroleague on an average team!! Care to retract your statement?

  • juan

    russia would be gb with deng by 30 points, im sorry…its the truth…the only british player who really makes a difference at euro level is pops, he is a great player with energy and defensive impact…and athleticism…deng looks great in nba becasue of no defence ..in europe he is good but wont make a difference when britain playing powerhouses …whether spain, serbia or lithuania etc
    what is bad is that after olympics basketball will return to being 10th sport in uk, there will still be no league and no following, thats why its a waste of space..of course host should play but in this case im not sure…….i am in britain for a year, basketball is classsed as ‘other sport’ with badmington , below snooker and darts..it is the world second sport

  • Serbia are sooooo good you didn’t even qualify for the Olympics in 2008!! Talking sh*t against Kobe just shows you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • juan

    i am not from serbia…as my name suggests……they won world champions ships…in 2002 in the usa against nba players and in 1998……when britain ws still playing netball hahaha go play cricket let real men play basketball..go back to division b english friends

    • dpeti

      Juan, ¿Cuál es el mejor equipo, Serbia o España?. ¿Crees que España va a ganar? !!!!!!!!

  • juan

    and as jugoslaiva won 8 eurobaskets and other tournaments…as serbia montenegro 4 eurobaskets..if your trying to say britain is more of basketball nation and you are somehow better when your league is like a wheelchair league and in all 1 of our eurobasket appearances you have a 0-3 record..i have nothing else to say

    • andy

      ” I have nothing else to say”

      We wish.

  • juan

    and for your information kobe is my favourite player…im just saying due to the different style of euro ball he would not score 81 in one game…neither would the god of basketball mj

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  • Baller

    Don’t believe I once said Serbia wasn’t a powerhouse, but that isn’t really my focus here to be honest. We are looking at GB right and this tournament. I haven’t mentioned anything outside of it.

    Ok, so the NBA plays no defence, yet the USA “B” team won. Is that not a contradiction in your argument? Or was their offence just way too much…please don’t mistake no defence for a lack of help side defence, as certain rules in the NBA do not allow for such. I have no qualms with USA basketball, because it is undoubtedly the best in the world…who are not in this tournament, so do you mind if we get back on track.

    It excited me knowing you, Juan, seem to fear us already, taking the time out of your day to criticise a country that is simply trying to create a mark for itself in a sport it has yet to find it’s way in.

    You epitomise what we like to call a “wander”, stuck on his own self high, looking for an outlet to compensate for something. You are nothing but a burden to mankind everywhere. Criticism and constructive criticism are too different things, why don’t you figure out how to help a nation, instead of trying to make people hate you?

  • juan

    ok man you are right im scared of a team that lost to france by 22 at home…im sorry to have insulted you, i didnt want to..good luck for the eurobasket…jsut remember to respect countires who made the history of the game, not just your anglo saxon yankee cousin who are of course still the best

  • Baller

    Did I at any point disrespect any countries? I

  • Juan is the definitive hater. Team GB will get it going once we have Deng and Ben Gordon. I’m guessing Juan is from Spain. A country that due to winning in sport the last couple of years have grown quite cocky. Believe me if Spain didn’t have the Gasol bros the shooters wouldn’t have any space to do jack sh*t.

  • juan

    yeh i am spanish, but even i do say spain has less historuy and traditions in the posrt compared to ex-jugoslavia, ex-ussr, italy, greece…..really? have you not heard of rudi fernandez, juan carlos navarro? jose calderon? etc? have you not realized gordon only wants to play in 2012, and that after that, when the great event is over, neither he or deng will want to play and you will be relegated? these guys are not some amazing patriotics, deng maybe but gordon is some yankee whoese not good enough for usa but wants olympics…i want to see team gb in 2013!! with superstars archibald and lenzly……unless your country stop being snob about this sport and gives it space it deserves, you will never progress…naturalizing palyers for just one event is not goint to change that..

  • juan

    eh i am spanish, but even i do say spain has less historuy and traditions in the posrt compared to ex-jugoslavia, ex-ussr, italy, greece…..really? have you not heard of rudi fernandez, juan carlos navarro? jose calderon? etc? have you not realized gordon only wants to play in 2012, and that after that, when the great event is over, neither he or deng will want to play and you will be relegated? these guys are not some amazing patriotics, deng maybe but gordon is some yankee whoese not good enough for usa but wants olympics…i want to see team gb in 2013!! with superstars archibald and lenzly……unless your country stop being snob about this sport and gives it space it deserves, you will never progress…naturalizing palyers for just one event is not goint to change that..

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  • tom

    Juanker

  • Tom that made me laugh, but Juan if you put an NBA star in there it gives your program some legitimacy and also makes the younger kids look on saying I want to do that and helps basketball in the UK. I agree they have to build on current talent, but I think they are doing this as well.

  • Tom (not the one that posted earlier)

    Juan, Coach Z

    You might want to consider the following before you post:

    1) I dont think anyone here expects a medal..
    2) I think a lot of people here are happy that we are developing and steadily improving after using the Olympics as a spur. Getting exposure to better teams is a good thing.
    3) A lot of the people who go on here are big hoops fans, and more than aware if obvious things are stated about the game in general, and if comments about the game in GB are actually made by people who have the benefit of practical experience. You arent saying anything new about European basketball. I’m a big Teodosic fan. I watched him play in Athens this year. I’ve seen plenty of European, NBA, and NCAA games and FIBA worlds and Eurobasket games, and I think a lot of the people you are posting to have too.

    4) People are aware that the USA has a very good record in international basketball. Similarly re: the traditional European powers mentioned.

    5) I dont think anyone here is making outlandish claims about Great Britain being a basketball power. It isnt one of our major sports in terms of viewer interest, but seems to be gaining popularity again. We are getting better steadily, and no one needs to be offended by that.

    4) Juan: GB have played Spain and Serbia already, in a Eurobasket- without Deng.
    We lost to Spain by 8 points, and Serbia by 18 points. You state that Russia would beat us with Deng by 30. Are Russia 22 points better than Spain and 12 points better than Serbia?

  • Tom (not the one that posted earlier)

    Obviously my final point should probably be labelled 6) not 4)

    • buzzsaw

      A voice of reason. Thank goodness. Now, let’s enjoy Day 2….

  • dpeti

    Lots of comment pro and con GB/NBA/European basketball, BUT, my one big worry is, after the Olympics have finished and however well or badly GB fare, will there still be a GB organization in 2013.

    Or, are we all in reality, wasting “our” time?

    What will be THE decision in July 2012 of GB Administration to FIBA?

  • coach z

    Gotta agree with Juan on this note….Understand that GB is in a rebuilding process but lets get real here. They are not contenders. They are not a physical team, they have a lot of inexperienced players on the squad who play out of position….No frontcourt presence…Pops is probably the only player who would play his heart out but he is not that skilled at the 4 position…Can’t shoot the 15 footer, No legit 5 on the team, no legit 4 either….can’t play under pressure. Theyre not mentally tough. And using NBA players as excuses….thts what the brits do…use excuses and fail to realize to believe in matching the competitor’s level of toughness and hardwork. Ask yourself, apart frm Luol, how many GB players stay after practice to work on their weaknesses? how much time do they dedicate watching film over and over again? when y’all gon stop making excuses and actually put in more hardwork to getting better as a team…only exception is probably Luol….Being an NBA player has nothing to do with talent….Talent comes from hard work and determination which I dont see english players do….And wheres the sense of nation pride on the team? How many of the players are actually british? how many actually grasp the fact of really playing for their nation….I’m reading the names on rosters n i see african, spanish, carribean names on there so I’m assuming they were not all born in the uk….thats all key…when u have sense of pride for your own country, you dont forget how much it means to your nation and to play this poor against an average french team is pathetic…..UK, get mentally tougher…be cocky…talk a lil trash, have sum toughness in you that will get you respected…

    • Mac

      ‘Ask yourself, apart frm Luol, how many GB players stay after practice to work on their weaknesses? how much time do they dedicate watching film over and over again?’

      Sorry I don’t think any of us realised that you have access to all their practices and spend time with them in their hotels.

      ‘How many of the players are actually british? how many actually grasp the fact of really playing for their nation….I’m reading the names on rosters n i see african, spanish, carribean names on there so I’m assuming they were not all born in the uk’

      Coming from the man who’s country was founded upon foreigners with a rather eclectic mixture of names.

      ‘be cocky…talk a lil trash, have sum toughness in you that will get you respected’

      Honestly, all this trash-talking just makes you sound like a knob who sits on his chair and criticises others without any real knowledge of the situation.

      • Coach z

        Ok so now Mac is an expert…Mac has a camp in new jersey that invited British kids over…Mac has played D1 ball, worked out at the actual NBA pre draft camp, Mac is now also a D1 coach who spends a lot of time running clinics for inner city kids, Mac also runs strength and conditional programs every summer for high school, college and NBA. Mac honestly listen to yourself n let’s get real. Ou may not like what I said but you know it’s fact. See I’ve actually done all this and have 1st hand footage of basketball. I’ve actually spent time playing here in the bbl in the uk for two seasons then went to play in the French superleague. Anybody that has been involved in basketball for a looking time and with an impressive resume like mine can tell teams weaknesses and their mentality. Mac, watched a few of their practices and they work their behind off but I’ve never seen one of their single players stay behind for an extra hr to work on their weakness…and you say a lil bit of cockyness makes u look like a knob… Well tell that to Lebron Kobe durant melo cuz that’s how they got to the league by 1st of playing in the streets and u gotta be tough playing in the streets…dudes will talk so much trash to make you have a bad game. They’ll foul you but that makes you tougher. But obviously you made a clear example that you are one of those together with team gb are concerned with image. You have never seen high level of basketball before. My D1 program has sent 13 kids to the NBA in the past 4 years and I don’t believe you’ve seen 1st hand on how hard they have to work to get there. You don’t know how the system works y dude so once you stop watching too much NBA tv and and accomplish at least 1 of what I’ve done then make a reasonable comment and stop being so defensive..y’all suck and ranked 56th in the world and where are we ranked in the world? 1……. Our toughness and cockiness got there. I guess that’s why a lot of folks round the globe hate on our American sports.

        • Mac has a point though man. You don’t know what these players do in there off time just like he most likely doesn’t know. Me also being an American and seeing some of the comments you are posting makes me kind of ashamed to admit we have folks like you in our country.

          You commented on all the foreign last names on the team but like Mac stated America is a huge melting pot just like GB and you supposedly being from America shouldn’t be surprised to see so many different ethnic groups on the team.

          I will admit a lot of NBA players grew up playing street ball which a lot of times makes you a tougher player. But street ball can also breed bad habits which can be hard to break. Basketball isn’t as big a sport in GB as it is in America. It s still growing and once they get more people interested in the sport the better they will get. It’s like Americans and football aka soccer to us. We aren’t as great at it as other countries because we have other sports that our country deems more relevant but our country has gotten better at the sport with time because it is slowly peaking the interest of the youth and getting more attention here.

        • JohnB

          “and with an impressive resume like mine can tell teams weaknesses and their mentality”

          Wow, fantastic !!!!!!!

          • coach z

            Hey i’m just speaking my mind and to be honest I dont see the drive and hunger in them…hiphopjunkie, I’m from DC and u know we a tough crowd, if u have a bad game and u looking weak…we gon stay on your case..but u know that bruh…….When I see a team as weak as GB then looking back at comments like “If Luol or Pops were playing this….or that….” they actually think theyll actually have a legit shot at any intl events…. U could be ashamed all u want bruh but I ain’t from no burbs who tell people what they wanna hear…I tell it how it is and GB need a whoooooooooooole lotta work to be even contenders…….Lets get real people

            @JohnB:
            U damn right thats fantastic….Get your resume game up my dude. I know u mad son….

            • I feel you about being 100 with what you say no matter what. But some of the stuff you said made no damn sense. Like asking why they have so many folks with foreign last names on GB’s team and telling the guy Mac that the players aren’t practicing hard. When most of us don’t know what these players do when they are not on the court.

              I’m from the DMV also and I don’t have a clue about growing up in the burbs but I have been to plenty places outside of our country that believe us Americans are all loud mouth idiots. Now I’m smart enough to know you can’t make people change there mind but why open your mouth and confirm there stereotypical nonsense.

              I agree with you 100% about some of the fans being delusional about the outcome of these games if Deng or Pops played. I don’t think either guy could’ve helped this team win against France

              • Coach z

                You should know better than being concerned bout what other nations say about us… Especially UK!!!! I’m not afraid to express my mind and I know for a fact most would retaliate out of jealousy. Not everybody but most. Now the reason I say that they have so many foreign names on the squad is how many of them are actually proud to be British? Most people in the uk are mostly made up of foreigners and they moan and groan about the uk! How many of them know the national anthem? The Winston Churchill era, the monarchy era….how many of them understand British values…..my main point is they has no sense of patriotism dude….patriotism takes you a long way. And watching GB play in recent games I can tell that they were unprepared…they shouldve known from scouting reports that France is an athletic squad that can get up and down the court…they could’ve matched the frenchs aggressiveness by putting a body on their bigs and boxing out everytime a shot goes up….even the guards too…they should also know France would jump up at a pump fake and take it hard to the hole on them everytime to get the foul or the and one so they can concert frm the free throw line. They couldn’t get back on d when France was in transition and they let the bigs score inside on them anyhow…what does thAt tell you? Gb are not defensive orientated plus they live on jumpshots. They’re not physical so how many players on the team actually take the time to work on those weaknesses? That’s what the team captain drew Sullivan need to preach to his squad but obviously there Is no sense of leadership in team gb

                • You know whats funny my man people can say the same thing about Americans also. I mean yeah most of us know the national anthem but that doesn’t mean we are truly patriotic. I know a lot of people that have and had problems with the way our government is and was also. You can say that about damn near anywhere my man.

                  Yeah they are soft on defense and shoot to many “J’s”. I stated that on an early post. I haven’t watched too many of there games but the few I seen pretty much confirms both our points on that front. I think they can get better as a team though. The coach and vet players are gonna have to preach and emphasize that side of the ball and hopefully the players that make the cut are built for that style of play.

  • Charlie Blackman

    When pops, deng and BG are there its gna b peak for the other teams!

  • northwards

    not there tonight, but we seem to be having problems scoring – pure and simple…23 at the half for GB;

  • C. D

    thats what happens when you select on height…those big boys only good under the basket….

  • london thing

    wow i have read lots of views about day 1 of this event , both points are true points from Juan n every 1 else. I am British and have played basketball here since 1997 and i can be real and say basketball in this country has gone backwards. GB thing is great for the moment but it will soon pass us all by. The powers that be has never given basketball or any american sport in this united kingdom a chance. They are still trying to win a world cup in football and rugby and the ashes in cricket for them to be worried about basketball. This country is old fashioned in embracing new sports i have seen it all my life here, the English way is boring when it comes to sports, because they are lazy and don’t like to work hard. I tried to support team GB i have friends that i played with who are now playing in this GB team not going into names but 1 has been there since team GB began and he is still there now. I know what is going on in some of the senior players mind and i can tell you its not good.
    All i can say is i wish team GB all the best but every 1 on here knows basketball in great britain is going no were fast. I mean for look at the MLS they are trying really hard to push the sport of football in the U.S.A they have beaten Spain at football drew with England and there women’s team r world champions while the men’s and women’s football team r just pants and we all know it. So my point is till great britain can fix up on the national sport of football basketball is way of there list of sports to get right

  • london thing

    1 last thing my point about the MLS is that at least they have tried to bring in English talent and name brand football players into there league IE players like David Beckham Thierry Henry and many more what has the BBL ever done i have never seen and ex NBA player every step into the BBL and play basketball OK Denis Rodman wow after he was kicked out the big brother house he said while am here i may as well get a run with a team and played like 2 games and pissed off back to the U.S

    Let me give all you guys some joke about the sport of basketball in this country do you know that at the Loul Deng camp he runs has 3 age groups that are split up into 3 leagues. Now this part your going to find funny because i sure found it funny my self.
    Ages 16 – 18 group is called the NBA
    Ages 14 – 16 group is called NCAA
    And Ages 11 – 14 group is called the BBL
    Now why i think its funny is its trying to say to young kinds in this country that the BBL is for kids really young and not so gifted kids. Now if your 11 but r really to good for your age group you are moved up to the NCAA all it shows me and am sure the kids that attend the camp is the BBL is shit and not for you aim high

  • JohnB
  • Buzzsaw

    WHY is Andrew Sullivan on this team? Why?

  • Why is there soooo much hate on this article, GB did well against France to lose by 22 its true within Deng, Gordon and Pops thats a great score 3 of our best players!

    When people ay that GB has no true PF ave clearly never seen Joel Freeland he is one of the top players in Europe playing in Spain an is a previous NBA draft pick by the Portland Trailblazers, I would also say that Joel is potentially a better PF than Pops just Pops is more athletic if he had Pops back we could even shift Joel to C and have a Frontcourt of Deng, Pops and Freeland our main weakness is the Guard positions.

    Hopefully Devon will be able to continue his development and be the future of the Guard position for GB.

    Althout Ogo is a great PG he is no way near the level that he will need to defend at Eurobasket such as Rubio, Navarro, Parker, etc.

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