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Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. national team brought its injury bug east.
Indiana forward Danny Granger dislocated a finger on his right hand Tuesday as the Americans scrimmaged during the opening day of their training camp in New York.
With his ring and middle fingers taped together and a splint over the ring finger, Granger said he wasn’t sure of his status, having never before injured his shooting hand.
“As soon as I did it, I thought it was broken,” he said. “It will be a little disappointing if I couldn’t play. If I can’t, we still have a good team.”
The Americans lost All-Star forward David Lee on a similar play during their camp in Las Vegas. Twin centers Brook and Robin Lopez also withdrew for health reasons and Amare Stoudemire had to sit out because his contract couldn’t be insured, leaving an undersized U.S. team.
Granger missed some practice time in the previous camp with a knee injury, but returned to play well enough to earn a trip along with 14 other players to the second training session.
“He’s 6-8, he’s a scorer, he knows how to play,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. “He’s got a great chance to be on this team, but like everyone else you’ve got to be healthy. But I don’t think this is an injury that is a factor at all.”
Granger faces competition for a spot at his position from the likes of Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala _ who combined for a sensational alley-oop dunk by Iguodala during the scrimmage _ plus Rudy Gay, so more missed practice time could jeopardize his chances of making the roster for the world championships that begin Aug. 28 in Turkey.
“I just hope he’s not hurt, because whenever the final decisions are made, we never want a decision to be made because of hurt, somebody being hurt,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “That’s not a good way of making a decision.”
That decision probably won’t come until shortly before the tournament begins Aug. 28. Colangelo repeated Tuesday his belief that the Americans could bring more than 12 players, perhaps even all 15 left on the roster, when they leave for Europe next week.
Part of the reason behind that will be the difficulty in seeing enough basketball this week in New York.
The Americans have to fit in practice time along with a number of commitments to Nike and other sponsors. Even their workout Thursday will be odd, coming at Radio City Music Hall before a musical performance.
Colangelo even canceled the team’s trip to Springfield, Mass. on Friday for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony to lighten the itinerary.
“It’s a challenging week,” Colangelo said. “We talked about that at our first team meeting this morning and that it’s going to be hard to stay focused because of all the distractions this week, but we’re doing the best we can. We’re giving them a lot of time off, but when they’re here they have to work. And this group is a great group. They work hard.”
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