JaVale McGee may play for Philippines’ national basketball team
A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives in the Philippines to naturalize the Nuggets center and make him eligible to play for the country’s team. The bill was filed by Antipolo City representative Robbie Puno and cites McGee’s “remarkable track record in the United States’ professional basketball scene.” Apparently they’ve never seen this video.
McGee traveled to the Philippines twice during the lockout and expressed interest in playing for the country. He wrote the following on Twitter in January:
heard from @coachot that d Phil national team is about to be formed. Would love to represent d Phils if given d chance
— Pierre McGee (@JaValeMcGee34) January 7, 2012
It’s nice that McGee feels strongly about the country and that they seem to like him (the country is full of basketball fans — including Manny Pacquiao), but everything about this strikes me as wrong. How can an athlete with no ties to a country end up playing for it? Why are ringers allowed for international athletics competitions? This undermines the purpose of countries competing against each other.
I didn’t like this years ago when Chris Kaman, who apparently has German roots, was playing for Germany. I don’t like it now. FIBA — or whatever organization is in charge — should stop this.