Triano makes Brits happy

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:06 AM ET

LONDON, England — The NBA coming to London on a permanent basis is more of a long-term project, but the basketball fans here have a more pressing wish.

Later this week, FIBA is expected to rule on whether the Brits will be given an automatic entry into the Olympic basketball competition next summer when the Games come to London.

An automatic berth to the host country, which has been granted in the past, would allow the Brits to forego a very, very tough qualification tournament at the European championships later this year in Lithuania.

The British press weren’t about to allow the opportunity to put a seasoned NBA and international basketball veteran like Jay Triano on the spot over this.

Triano gave the Brits exactly what they were looking for.

“Well I think for the sake of the Olympics, when you are host country, it makes a lot of sense to have a home side you can cheer on,” Triano said. “I think the game of basketball is well known enough internationally that it would survive but I just think every time there is a host country, it brings a different level of excitement to the arena. I know the European teams are very tough and qualification would be difficult, but I don’t think FIBA has ever looked beyond not having the host country participate in the past.”


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