Good news for backers of the French or Russian causes at Eurobasket 2011 came out yesterday, as both national federations announced their overcoming of insurance issues related to their top stars. With certain agreements between the NBA and FIBA temporarily suspended in the wake of the player lockout in America, national squads all over the world are being forced to cover insurance costs on NBA players, a prohibitively expensive proposition for some European countries in particular.
Nevertheless, Team Russia coach David Blatt was happy to say on Friday that Andrei Kirilenko will in fact be covered against injury in the tournament and is expected to join the team in training next week.
Les Bleus reported their own financial success early last week, but yesterday had to dampen the enthusiasm a bit in reporting that Joakim Noah is still feeling the effects of an ankle injury suffered in April. Though his status should probably be listed as “uncertain” for the tournament, Noah told France-based L’Equipe that he’d continue rehabbing in the ‘States and could join his team in 2½ weeks or so.
“It’s more comfortable and less frustrating for me to remain [in Chicago] in order to be cared for,” stated Noah, promising that “As soon as my ankle is better, I will return right away.”