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Andray Blatche..Gilas Pilipinas to GSW?
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Posted by K@libug@n on 2014-08-28 20:10:26

Syracuse, N.Y. While Jim Boeheim and Mike Hopkins help prepare Team USA for its first game in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, another participant with Syracuse roots will be playing in those games.

Andray Blatche, who grew up in Syracuse and played at Henninger High School, will represent the Philippines in Group B of the World Cup. The Philippines plays Croatia Saturday in its first dip into tournament play.

Much has been written and speculated upon with Blatche and his sudden Filipino citizenship. Philippines coach Chot Reyes admitted his organization scoured NBA rosters for suitable big men to anchor the team in international play. Blatche, he said, was the lone NBA center to agree to the zany proposition.

Grantland, in typical Grantland fashion, presented a sprawling, fascinating account of Blatche, his commitment to his new teammates, his aptitude for odd and sometimes controversial behavior, his historical lack of conditioning, and his obvious physical gifts.

I watched Blatche consummate spin moves, sink 3-point shots and beat smaller guys off the dribble a couple summers ago when he came home to provide gear and computers to Syracuse kids in conjunction with his foundation. Blatche did all this while wearing rubber sandals.

He has yet to sign an NBA contract and continues to be paid by a Washington Wizards organization that considered him such a liability, it is paying him to play for other teams. (The NBA's amnesty rule.)

And yet, Blatche because of his 6-11 size, his age (he just turned 28) and his tantalizing physical tools remains an intriguing NBA possibility.

Here are a few highlights from the Grantland story:

Blatche will likely make more than $1 million to play for the Philippines for two months.
Reyes was willing to overlook potential Blatche character flaws because he was "sure about his athletic ability."

Blatche is proving to be coachable and has bonded with Philippines teammates and a 48-year-old, 5-foot-6 ball boy named Bong Tulabot.

Blatche has displaced Marcus Douthit, another Syracuse native, who has owned a home in Manila for three years. Douthit, 34, graduated from Nottingham High School, played at Providence and traveled with the Philippines team to Spain.









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