It could be the end for GB court king Deng
LUOL DENG raised doubts over whether he will play for Great Britain again after helping the team to victory over China.
Team GB won 90-58 to record their second ever Olympic win – the only other coming the last time London hosted the Games in 1948.
It was an emotional night all round for the team, with coach Chris Finch confirming he will step down while veterans Robert Archibald and Nate Reinking retired.
But the biggest blow would come if Deng was lost to the British team.
Deng played at London 2012 against the wishes of his Chicago Bulls paymasters, who wanted him to have surgery on a wrist injury.
While 27-year-old Deng won that battle in order to live his Olympic dream, he indicated he might give priority to his NBA career in the future.
“I can’t sit here and say I’m going to play for GB,” said Deng.
“It depends on the situation, what’s going on. I love playing for GB and hopefully I’ll play for them again in the future.”
Deng has insisted his wrist was fine throughout and he turned in a string of excellent performances for Britain, averaging 15.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.
“Did I look like I needed surgery?” said Deng.
“I’m fine right now, I feel great. If the Olympics is next month, I’m playing again.
“I’m enjoying it and it’s something nobody will ever take away from me.
“I’m always going to remember this moment, walking out for the opening ceremonies and playing with guys I played with my whole life.
“Seeing my parents out there and (youth coach) Jimmy (Rogers), I can’t explain it. If I missed the Olympics, I’d always think about that.”
Britain’s victory over China came after four defeats.
But Deng insisted: “I thought we played well. We competed hard and I think we’ll get better from there.”