(WSCR) Torn ligament in his wrist or not, Luol Deng has made it known that he wants – and feels obligated – to play for Great Britain during the 2012 Olympics in London.
The Bulls, however, would seemingly rather have Deng rest and take the necessary measures to heal his wrist properly. While some in London understand the Bulls stance on the subject, the general feeling is that Great Britain needs Deng’s services.
“The simple fact is that he’s so integral to this team, to this organization, even though he didn’t play in the first years that the GB team was formed,” Ian Whittle of The Times of London told The Mully and Hanley Show. “Luol couldn’t played that first year, but he turned up to town. He recruited guys and said, ‘Look, I’m going to play. You come along and play. This is going to be genuinely world-caliber program.’ He’s been good to his word. He’s played every year he could. I don’t think it’s enough for him to turn up, carry a flag, wave towels on the bench. From a purely selfish point of view, we need him, while understanding the complex issues of the Bulls needing him also and paying him a very large salary.”
LISTEN: Ian Whittle on The Mully and Hanley Show
Deng, a native of Sedan, moved to Egypt when Sedan broke out in a civil war before Great Britain welcomed his family in. In 2006, Deng became a British citizen. As a result, the small forward feels as if he owes this to Great Britain.
“It’s a phenomenally complex issue,” Whittle said. “I can be as patriotic as I want and wear the red, white and blue of GB and say, ‘He should come and play, he owes us a debt.’ He’s spoken about owning this country a debt, but the simple fact is that sport is big business. He knows that, we know that and the GB coach Chris Finch knows that. Ultimately, the Chicago Bulls pay his salary. Great Britain doesn’t, anymore. It really is a tough situation and I don’t think there is a simple answer to it.”