Some international news...
Expect pressure to increase on Jamaal Magloire to join Team Canada for the Americas Cup in Las Vegas. Samuel Dalembert, born in Haiti, has become a Canadian citizen so he can play in the Olympic qualifying event and Canada's coach said he would like to have the Nets' new big man join the team.
In spite of his long record of helping Canadian charities and Canadian patriotism, Magloire has not played on a Canadian national team in a decade. "You never know how things will go," said Leo Rautins, the Team Canada coach, when asked about Canada's two other NBA players, Magloire and Steve Nash. But he is not giving up hope trying to convince Magloire. The team practices near Magloire's hometown of Toronto, where he just finished up the Caribana festival.
If Canada finishes in the top three in the Vegas tournament, it's on to Beijing. Team USA remains the favorite, but Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico and now Canada must be considered as contenders as well.
Any suggestion that Christian Drejer, the Nets' 2004 pick, would ever wear a New Jersey--or Brooklyn--uniform faded Monday when the 6'-10" Danish point forward was traded to Lottomatica Roma and signed a new three year deal that would keep him in Europe til he was 28. It's not know if his new contract, like his old one with Virtus Bologna, has NBA opt-outs, permitting him to leave the Italian league for the Nets or any other NBA team.
Drejer, who failed miserably in a Nets' 2005 summer league tryout but has played reasonably well in Italy the last two years, will make 600,000 Euros (net) in Rome. He will have tough shoes to fill being asked to replace Dejan Bodiroga, once Europe's best player, who retired last month.
In an interview with his new team, Drejer said he wasn't giving up all hope of playing in the NBA...or playing with his hero, Jason Kidd. But he sounded like it was only a remote possibility.
"I want to play at the highest possible level, like all of the rest, and therefore if the occasion arose, I would accept it. But European basketball, and Italian basketball, in particular, intrigues me a lot," said Drejer. "It would not disappoint me to have my whole career here."
As for Kidd, Drejer said, "Yes, I admire him a lot, even if we never play together, indeed if I never play in NBA".
Even though Drejer won't be wearing an NBA uniform this season, he will play against NBA competition. His new team plays the Raptors October 7 in Rome. In the meantime, he will playing for the Danish national team in FIBA Europe qualifying action.