Monday, April 16, 2007
Nocioni iffy about playing for Argentine national squad
Sergio HERNANDEZ, coach of Argentina’s national team, visited with the Bulls’ Andres NOCIONI after Friday’s game against Charlotte. The forward said he is not being pressured to play for his native country this summer in the Olympic qualifying tournament. Even though Argentina is the defending Olympic champion, it still must qualify for the 2008 Beijing games.
"No, he came here just for talk, just to visit the players," NOCIONI said. "He wants to talk about how the preparation for the tournament is going to be, that’s it. There is nothing special."
HERNANDEZ timed the visit so he could also meet with Charlotte forward Walter HERRMANN, who has said he’s not going to play for Argentina this summer. NOCIONI is still undecided, but considering he is coming off a foot injury and will be a restricted free agent this summer, his participation seems unlikely. The FIBA Americas Championship will be held in Las Vegas from Aug. 22-Sept. 2.
"I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the national team," NOCIONI said. "Right now, I’ve told the Argentina media I’m going to wait because I don’t know what’s going to happen with my foot. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the contract with the Chicago Bulls. Right now, I’m thinking about the playoffs. I want to be at a high level in the playoffs, and that’s it." NOCIONI, who had 2 points in 14 minutes Friday, volunteered to pay for his coach’s dinner.
"Nice restaurant. Nice wine," NOCIONI said. "It’s my coach. We need to keep him happy."
Courtesy of www.fiba.com