Luol Deng to suit up for Great Britain

With no NBA games on the horizon, Luol Deng has secured permission to represent Great Britain and will join their team at the European Basketball Championships starting August 31 at Lithuania.
Luol Deng will ply his trade with Great Britain at the European Basketball Championships in Lithuania.
Luol Deng will ply his trade with Great Britain at the European Basketball Championships in Lithuania.

Luol Deng has been cleared to play for Britain in the European Basketball Championships after resolving a dispute over insurance.

Deng, a forward for the NBA's Chicago Bulls, said on his website Wednesday that "significant liability issues" have been overcome to allow him to play in the tournament. The championships run from August 31 to September 18 in Lithuania.

He wrote: "playing for GB is always important to me so I'm really glad we could resolve this. It has been a long process but a great team effort."

Chris Spice, the British Basketball performance director, said: "We are excited to have him on the court again this year."

Britain also hope to secure the services of Ben Gordon, a guard with the Detroit Pistons in the NBA, for the tournament.

Britain has been granted a place in the 2012 Olympics as the host nation.

Deng will be joining his teammate, Joakim Noah, in playing for a national team. The French Basketball Federation said on Tuesday that Noah would be joining their team after receiving treatment on his injured right ankle.

In other news, Bruce Pearl, who recently parted company with the University of Tennessee, was scheduled to meet Wednesday with the Texas Legends, an NBA D-League team looking for a new coach. The team planned a news conference with Pearl and Donnie Nelson, the Dallas Mavericks general manager, who is a co-owner of the D-League team, after the two meet.

Pearl was dismissed by Tennessee in March after the school learnt the coach had possibly committed another recruiting violation after his admission six months earlier of lying to National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) investigators.

Nancy Lieberman led the Legends to the play-offs in her only season as coach. She is now the team's assistant general manager.

And though the NBA is still in a lockout and the 2011/12 season is in doubt, teams are still making moves.

Detroit have hired Lawrence Frank as their new head coach, the Pistons said in a statement Wednesday.

Frank, 40, a former New Jersey Nets coach, who spent last season as an assistant with the Boston Celtics, replaces John Kuester, who was dismissed in June after two losing seasons where the Pistons finished well out of play-off contention.

Published: August 4, 2011 04:00 AM


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