NBA legend Charles Barkley was at the Nike Western Europe Media Summit in London on Monday, and took some time during the Q & A session on stage to talk about Luol Deng’s decision to play for Great Britain at this summer’s Olympics despite his wrist injury. Going against the Chicago Bulls’ wishes, it has been met with a lot of controversy, but Barkley thinks the fact Deng still refuses to back out is something English people shouldn’t overlook:
“I actually think that is one of the great stories. Obviously you’ve been paying close attention to it here and we’re paying close attention to it in the states. You know, for a guy to get adopted, get asylum or however you want to phrase it in Great Britain, in England, and for him, he wanted to play here so bad for his country, that’s awesome to me. You know, and the thing was, there obviously is some controversy in the United States about that, which I think is silly, I think he should (play). Him and his family wanted to repay England for bringing him out of a tough situation and I just think it’s awesome.
“He’s a terrific player but I just think it embodies what the Olympics are about. For him to do this, I think it’s going to be really special, and I just hope English people appreciate it – because he does not have to play, he doesn’t have to play, but I think it’s so cool that he wants to play.”
Join the 8000+ others who follow Hoopsfix and subscribe.