Steve Adams named to New Zealand World Champs squad
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams has been named to New Zealand’s provisional squad for the basketball World Cup but is not expected to play because of long-standing feud with Basketball New Zealand.
Adams’ name was included among 25 players New Zealand submitted Thursday to the world governing body FIBA. The list will be trimmed to 12 players for the world tournament which begins in China on Aug. 31.
Adams, who is New Zealand’s only NBA player, hasn’t expressly ruled himself out of the tournament and New Zealand coach Paul Henare says Basketball New Zealand has been in regular contact with his management but not Adams himself.
“Obviously we would love to have him but ultimately that decision comes down to Steve,” Henare said.
In a recent book on his early career, Adams complained of the treatment he received from Basketball New Zealand as a young player. Lingering resentment over that treatment is thought to be behind Adams’ decision not to play for New Zealand so far.
Auckland native Jack Salt, who won the NCAA championship this year with the University of Virginia, is also unavailable.