Boris Diaw has taken a 180-degree turn and announced he is now able to play for France after previously ruling himself out of this summer's EuroBasket 2009 qualifying games.
The France captain has the blessing of his club, the Phoenix Suns, although it's unclear what kind of insurance, if any at all, France will be required to take out on Diaw so he can play.
"Yes I can confirm it," Diaw said in L'Equipe, when asked if he is now available for France.
"The only thing that I don't know yet is whether I have been included on the list of 14 players for insurance (a list released by the NBA for players that need insurance because they are injury prone. He was on the list last summer).
"But I am happy to be able to play. Before it was not a consideration because I could not have been able to rest in order to start the campaign well. But after the team's (early play-off elimination) ...things happened at the club and it was more a time of reflection to be able to re-charge."
Diaw will have a very different NBA season coming up as his coach, Mike D'Antoni, left to grab the helm of the New York Knicks.
Diaw stressed that he was unhappy that his former national team coach, Claude Bergeaud, had been made a scapegoat for France's eighth-place finish that prevented them from taking part in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
While the France Basketball Federation reviewed last summer's performances, Bergeaud stepped down from his post in the belief that he would not be retained.
"I was sad to see Claude Bergeaud depart from the national team," Diaw said.
"I thought he deserved to remain with the group and to have the opportunity to bounce back.
"He has achieved two of the best results of all time with the national team after the fifth place finish at the (2006) World Championship and the bronze medal at the EuroBasket (2005).
"He has turned the page and so have we.
"I have no regrets. I am happy to have played in all the tournaments but disappointed to have lost games and finished eighth in the EuroBasket and missed out on the Olympics, but zero regrets."
France will take on Turkey, Ukraine and Belgium in EuroBasket Division A games.
extreme wrote:08/08/2008 Bulgaria - Belgium Bulgaria Friendly
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