The NBA, FIBA World Cup, Oh, and the Clippers

For almost 65 years, some of the top basketball players in the world have participated in the FIBA World Cup, held quadrennially among men’s national teams of the members of the International Basketball Federation. Since the games of 1994, the NBA has allowed its players to participate, and for this year’s games, Team USA’s coaches, Mike Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo, figured to have the cream of the NBA crop at their disposal. The likes of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, the laughing man Deee-Wight Howard, Stephen Curry, and other marque’ names have all imbibed in the kool-aid and apparently want to play. Many other NBA stars will be wearing the silks of their various other home countries.

Is it just me, or don’t a couple of top stars ALWAYS seem to get hurt in these tournaments? Wasn’t it the in the World Baseball Classic in the spring of 2013 when the

likes of Mark Teixeira and Hanley Ramirez suffered injuries that caused them to miss time from the regular season? Well, the 2014 basketball basketball tournament has yet to begin, and the injuries are piling up already.

Kevin Love, theoretically in the midst of possible trade negotiations, has emerged as a really smart guy, bowing out on his own volition, realizing that now is not the time to risk any kind of injury that could decrease his
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value and/or keep him from being ready to start what could still be a salary drive 2014-2015 season in Minnesota. Then, the World Champion Spurs, armed for 2014-15 with a re-upped Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich still leading them on, told Manu Ginobili that, sorry, you’re too fragile to play. At some point during the just past NBA Playoffs, Ginobili apparently suppered a stress fracture to his right leg, and playing competitive basketball in Spain may not be conducive to the full recovery they’d appreciate.

And now, at a time of general euphoria among Clippers's fans and officials, not to mention the players and coaches, it having now been adjudicated that the sale of the club will proceed, ridding the franchise of any further connection to Donald Sterling, it has been revealed the the team's star number 1A, Blake Griffin, also suffered a significant injury during the playoffs, and
has been ruled out of the tournament.

Griffin’s injury sounds very serious, and ClippersNation must be worried. It is described as a “small fracture in his back”, and that cannot be good. Scant reporting so far indicates that he should make a full recovery, but that it needs time to heal prior to the start of the season.

So, the real question that remains to be answered is which remaining NBA stars who will be playing in the FIBA World Cup will suffer injuries that will prevent them from playing at the start of the coming NBA season? What teams will have their seasons decimated before they ever start?

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