The NBA reminded the teams that they should not stop their players from playing in international competitions. This reminder came shortly after Manu Ginobili said that the Spurs were doing just that.
The NBA had sent out a memo on May 2, 2007 to all the clubs that said as per the agreement the NBA had with FIBA, NBA teams had to allow their players to play in major national team competition provided sufficient insurance was obtained.
These major national team competitions include Olympics, world championships, continental championships and other qualifying tournaments.
Earlier Ginobili had said the he would not be playing for Argentina in the regional Olympic qualifying game in Las Vegas because the Spurs had requested him to skip the game and coach Gregg Popovich had given reasonable arguments to that effect. Argentina is the defending Olympic champion.
Popovich knows that ultimately it is player who has to make the decision about not playing in national team competitions and games. Popovich agrees that he and the team had advised him not to play the qualifier because they had a huge investment in him.
Walter Herrmann from Argentina will also not be playing in the FIBA Americas tournament. Herrmann said that it was requested by the Charlotte Bobcats as he got injured in September 2006 after playing in the world championships.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said that the players would feel a lot more comfortable about playing for their national teams if they had the support of their NBA clubs.
At the moment, Colangelo is waiting for Memphis forward Mike Miller to accept his invitation to play but Miller is taking time to respond as he wants to be sure that everyone one in his team is supportive of his decision.
NBA teams are not allowed to ban players from playing in international competitions and the league does not want the teams from stopping the players if they want to play.