Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has had an interesting quarantine. Earlier this month, he if he was the GM of the Chicago Bulls, breaking down all the moves he would make to try and get them back into playoff contention.
Now, he's reportedly acquiring a Nigerian passport in order to play for the country's national team, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Sources: Nets‘ Spencer Dinwiddie is acquiring a Nigerian passport to play for the Nigeria national team. Dinwiddie didn’t receive Team USA Olympic invite; now joins Nigeria roster under Mike Bown that includes Al-Farouq Aminu, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu, Ekpe Udoh.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 18, 2020
The Olympics are obviously not happening this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but when USA Basketball announced their 44 finalists for the 2020 roster earlier this year, Dinwiddie was not on the list. It's not clear how the plans to hold the Olympics next summer will affect the Team USA roster, but judging by that exclusion, it's safe to say he was never going to be part of their plans.
Playing international basketball is an incredible experience, but the depth of talent in the U.S. makes it nearly impossible for anyone but the truly elite players. Acquiring a passport to play for another country is common for players who play in domestic leagues overseas, but it is more rare for NBA players.
Now, with the addition of Dinwiddie, the Nigerian national team quietly has a pretty solid roster. Dinwiddie and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie in the backcourt, Magic forward Al-Farouq Aminu on the wing and former top-10 pick Ekpe Udoh down low is a nice foundation. Plus, they have Mike Brown as their new coach.
They'll have a hard time knocking off the top tier teams, but they won't be losing to Team USA by 80-plus anymore like they did in the 2012 Olympics.