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Insurance could keep Deng, Gordon off English national team

Aug 2, 2011, 3:49 PM EDT

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England is guaranteed a spot in the London Olympics basketball tournament next summer. It’s the perks of hosting the games. (The USA is the only other nation to have already qualified, by virtue of winning the World Championships last summer.)

But there is still work to do this summer. The Bulls Luol Deng has already played with England, and this summer they wanted to integrate Ben Gordon into the team. This summer was prep for next summer.

But the lockout and the insurance issues it creates could kill that,reports Yahoo Europe.

British Basketball’s performance director Chris Spice is currently working hard to negotiate an insurance package for his star names as the fall-out from the ongoing NBA lockout continues….

“On the face of it there are no obstacles for Luol and Ben playing but our concern is making sure that all players are covered and that cover is affordable for British Basketball. We’re trying to find the best deal possible to get both of our guys to play. We are working to get insurance within the realms of our budget,” Spice said.

Deng has $71 million remaining on his deal with the Bulls, Gordon has $55 million remaining in his deal with the Pistons. That’s a lot of money to insure, and it doesn’t come cheaply. Other countries, such as France and Argentina, have been able to find insurance. But England, which has less money in its basketball program, is finding it a challenge.

We’re expected to know one way or the other by Friday.

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