FIBA hopes to lure NBA stars to WCup qualifiers

FIBA hopes to lure NBA stars to WCup qualifiers
November 15, 2012, 12:57 pm
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Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, top, of Argentina, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


GENEVA (AP) Basketball's governing body says it will try to lure NBA stars to play in some World Cup qualifiers by creating a format with more matches in their home countries.

The path to the revamped 2019 World Cup includes round-robin qualifying groups played in six-game windows in a 14-month span.

FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann tells The Associated Press that NBA players will decide how much time they commit to national team duty.

Baumann says World Cup qualifiers in June and September 2018 should attract top players.

He says the governing body has good relations with the NBA and kept the league informed ``since Day 1'' of plans to improve the existing calendar.

Baumann says NBA franchise owners ``were making it relatively clear'' their stars were playing too much summer basketball.