It could be the end for GB court king Deng

BAS­KET­BALL

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY AUG 9 -

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.

Ex­cel­lent

“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.”

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