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Magloire, Nachbar Will Be Target of National Pressure

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If they're still with the team next summer, two Nets are going to be feeling pressure from their native countries to spend a lot of time in Toronto and possibly Beijing...rather than focus on their expiring contracts.

Jamal Magloire and Boki Nachbar are viewed as potentially key players for Canada and Slovenia and both of those countries' national teams will be participating in a 12-nation pre-Olympic tournment. There'll be added pressure on Magloire for two reasons: 1) the tournament is likely to be in Toronto, his native city, and 2) he has repeatedly turned down Team Canada over the past decade even though he is generally regarded as the second best player to ever come out of Canada after Steve Nash. Nachbar had wavered on whether he would play for Slovenia in the just concluded Eurobasket 07 tournament in Madrid but has indicated he would play in the Olympics...if Slovenia made it.

Canada, by finishing fifth in the Americas Tournament, and Slovenia, by finishing seventh in Eurobasket both qualified for the pre-Olympic tournament next June. Twelve teams in the tournament will be fighting for three spots, in hoping to join the dozen teams that already qualified for the Olympics, which begin August 8, in Beijing.

The teams in the pre-Olympic tournament will be: Cameroon and Cape Verde from the Africa Zone; Puerto Rico, Canada, and Brazil from the Americas Zone; Lebanon and South Korea from the Asia Zone; New Zealand from the Oceania Zone; and Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, Greece from the European Zone. Serbia, which didn't win a game in the qualifying round of Eurobasket, will not be represented for the first time in decades, denying Nenad Krstic and Mile Ilic from playing in Beijing. Team USA, of course, has already qualified, guaranteeing Jason Kidd will be in red, while and blue in Beijing.