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Boban Marjanovic says he wants to play for Serbia at EuroBasket but it’s in Spurs’ hands

Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul v Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade - Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16

Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul v Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade - Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16

Aykut Akici

The Spurs were clear in the letter they sent to the Serbian national team about their new signing, 7'3" center Boban Marjanovic.

“After a physical exam, which included a MRI, San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanović has been diagnosed significant bony edema in his left ankle... As a result of these findings and in the best interest of his future health, Spurs officials have informed Marjanović and the Serbian Basketball Federation that, under the agreement between FIBA and the NBA, Marjanović will not be allowed to participate with the Serbian National Team in Eurobasket 2015.”

That doesn’t mean Marjanovic and the Serbians are happy about it. Both Marjanovic’s agent and the Serbian national team tried to get Gregg Popovich to change his mind, saying their pre-camp physical did not show an edema. Good luck with that.

Marjanovic explained the situation in an interview with the Serbian paper Blic, translated by Project Spurs.

“I’m so sorry for everything that happened, I had a great desire and motivation to play for the national team,” Marjanovic told Blic. “With impatience I waited start preparing the national team and work with the screen Djordjevic, but nothing is in my hands. From the first days of preparation there was a great atmosphere in the team, it’s a fantastic group of guys that I am convinced that it will be able to achieve the desired goal and placed on the Olympics.”

EuroBasket takes place this summer with the top two teams getting into the Olympics, and a few more qualifying for the Olympics play-in tournament next summer (in 2016, right before the Olympics). The USA has already qualified for the 12-team Olympic tournament in Rio. Host Brazil will get a spot if they pay FIBA some back dues/money over the next couple days, if not they have to play their way in. Because FIBA.

If Serbia can make it to the games in Rio — they did not qualify for the 2012 games in London — then Marjanovic can play. Maybe. It is Popovich and the Spurs.