Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis expects ‘s NBA stars to be available for the 2019 World Cup.A Skype session with ‘s NBA stars has left Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis confident they will be wearing green and gold at next year’s basketball World Cup.
Nine n are in the world’s best league this season, with the likes of Ben Simmons, Joe Ingles and Aron Baynes all playing major roles for their teams.
Flagging a pre-Cup training camp in next August, Lemanis said the latest message from the contingent in America was that they “want to play and will do what they can to play”.
“We met in July this year before that fourth (qualification) window and had a meeting, some of the NBA guys skyped in and there was certainly a commitment from them that if they’re available they’re playing,” he told AAP.
“They all want to play and we’ve set a schedule when they need to be in by.”
Jonah Bolden joined countryman and reigning NBA rookie of the year Simmons at Philadelphia on a four-year deal this season, Baynes (Boston) and Dante Exum (Utah) both signed multi-year deals in the off-season while Ryan Broekhoff joined Dallas.
Ingles (Utah), Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker (both Milwaukee) and Patty Mills (San Antonio) are all established within their set-ups.
Boomers assistant and three-time NBA champion Luc Longley will continue his role as intermediary, flying to the United States in February to meet with players before the World Cup in China in August.
Lemanis expects the greatest barrier to participation, aside from injury, to be the pull back from NBA clubs.
But the coach is hopeful his men will be holding the chips.
“Everyone is at different stages of their career, some in strong positions to say ‘I’m going to play’ while others might have clubs putting pressure on them not to play (or they’ll lose their contract),” he said.
“We want them to have good NBA careers and not get in the way of that either, just keep having the conversation and working on it.
“But the reality is our guys all play legitimate roles, they’re not at the end of the bench and now Ryan’s broken in and over time will work his way in too.”
The Boomers’ next assignment will be against Iran and Qatar in Melbourne late next month, before the final qualification round in February.