Martin Devlin: It's time for Basketball NZ to shut the door on Steven Adams

Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thursday, 20 June 2019, 12:09PM

Basketball New Zealand need to tell Steven Adams to get lost.

Time to stop this charade once and for all. Adams is never going to play for New Zealand because he doesn't want to. That's the truth.

For whatever reasons, best known only to him, It just doesn't suit.

And that's fine, that's his prerogative. But for BBNZ it's equally important they end this farce and do it ASAP. For their own credibility's sake this latest snub from Adams has to also be his last.

Now I'm not here to debate the many and very worthy reasons why Steven can never convince himself to play. But what I will say is that by continuing to pander to his ego BBNZ are doing nothing but discredit their own sport and devalue the singlet that so many still strive so hard to wear.

Adams needs to understand that representing your country is a privilege not a right.

You don't get to pick and choose, you get picked and you get chosen.

His arrogance it appears knows no bounds. And yes I realise that this will be a very unpopular view, that Adams is a scared cow of NZ sport beyond criticism etc etc, but someone here needs to spell out the truth and I'm happy that it be me.

Just because you earn millions of $$, just because you play in the NBA, just because you have 100s of 1000s of sycophantic soc-med followers does not excuse arrogance and bad manners. Adams is clearly so self-important these days he refuses to even talk to BBNZ.

In fact he never has. His utterances, a whole 2 lines worth this time, are made via his management team. I wonder how many people know that no-one from the national association here is even allowed to have his number - he really is that important.

"I'll look at maybe being available for the Olympics" read Steven's magnanimous statement.

Thing is without him we probably won't qualify anyway, not that he doesn't know that.

And forget all this rubbish about needing to protect himself from injury or whatever.

If that's the case why then are far more important players, franchise players, like Giannis, Simmons and Doncic all turning out for their countries of birth?

All it would take is for Steven Adams is to show some common courtesy, pick up the phone for 2 minutes and talk to NZ Basketball. But he refuses to. And he has always refused to.

Which, as I said right at the start of this, is fine.

And it's just as fine for BBNZ to stand their ground and publicly say that NO ONE PLAYER is bigger than the game, not even one who stands 2.13m and weighs 113kg.

Rather than let him pick & choose if or when he may deign to represent his country it's high time we shut the door and focused purely on picking and choosing only those who actually want to.