Wanted: Blatche & McGee, by the Philippines nat'l team

Wanted: Blatche & McGee, by the Philippines nat'l team
January 30, 2014, 1:15 pm
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This report sounds like something cooked up by The Onion and yet all indications are it's true: Philippines, as in the country, wants to naturalize Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee so the ex-Wizards can play for the national team in the 2014 World Cup.

You're already chuckling if not LOLing after reading that sentence so there is no point in making any jokes about how the Philippines must have missed everything about the 2008-2012 era in Washington except for the final six games of every season. Too easy. Instead, let's go straight to the details.

Spain hosts the 2014 World Cup this summer and the Philippines squad qualified out of the Asian tournament. Other than maybe former Providence College guard and Los Angeles Lakers draft pick Marcus Douthit, the roster lacks NBA-level talent. That's where Blatche and McGee come in. The report from Philstar.com:

"Gilas Pilipinas has got an extra month of training period for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and is now looking at NBA players Javale McGee and Andray Blatche to be put in a pool of naturalized players for use in its long-term program.

"The PBA board of governors, in a meeting Thursday, granted national coach Chot Reyes’ request for the league to compress further more its schedule in the current season so as to give the Nationals added window time to prepare not only for the World Cup but also the succeeding Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.

"In Congress, Deputy Speaker Robbie Puno filed two separate bills seeking the naturalization of McGee and Blatche...

“We’re in discussion with Javale. However, he’s just found out that he needs to undergo a procedure for his shin injury. With that development, it’s prudent also to choose a backup. Blatche agreed to undergo the naturalization process. He wants to play for the Philippines,” said Reyes."

McGee, now with the Denver Nuggets, has been working on becoming a naturalized citizen of the Philippines for some time. The Blatche angle seems new, but sincere based on reports out of Brooklyn Nets practice on Thursday with Blatche claiming to be half Filipino.

Brooklyn teammate Joe Johnson's response to that claim neatly sums up the reaction to Blatche's claim for the rest of us.

So, here we are, a basketball team in the world wants Blatche and McGee on the same team - in 2014. If Dennis Rodman can turn into an unofficial international diplomat, I guess anything is possible.

And for those asking, there are no indications that Nick Young will be joining them though as colleague J.P. Finley commented upon the news, perhaps the "P" in Swaggy P stands for Philippines. At this point, anything is possible.