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Jonas Jerebko: Joe Dumars and Arnie Kander advised against playing for Sweden this summer

Jonas Jerebko confirmed the report that he won’t play for Sweden’s national team this summer. David Mayo of MLive:

Still, Jerebko said that through discussions with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander, it was determined he should spend most of this summer doing targeted training at the practice facility in Auburn Hills.

“With me having no time to work on my game – it’s been a long season and I went straight from rehab into the season, basically, and had no time to recover on my Achilles’ – Arnie said that I need a summer off to just work on my game and get stronger,” Jerebko said. “He’s the expert on that stuff. I haven’t been able to work my leg in a while. So we just came to a decision that that’s the best thing to do.”

I’m a little disappointed to read that. I hope the Pistons didn’t pressure Jerebko to sit out if he wanted to play and felt he could’ve without compromising his Achilles’ tendon. Until now, all news about his recovery had been positive.

A player competing for his country can be a great honor, and I don’t think it’s right for NBA teams to restrict that unnecessarily. I’m sure the scrutiny here would be higher if Jerebko were American, but I expect this issue to die quickly.

Unless signs emerge that the Pistons went too far in prohibiting Jerebko from playing, I’ll drop the issue. I just hope it was truly Jerebko’s call.


  • Apr 10, 201212:29 pm
    by domnick


    hmmm on the other hand… its not safe to play for your country and what happens next when the player gets hurt and can’t even help his NBA Team?
    just like what happened to Yao Ming… he played Olympics and now got retired… yeah he is a hero in China.. but can’t be 100% in NBA with a chance to win championship….

    • Apr 10, 20125:23 pm
      by tarsier


      Yeah except that JJ would be a much bigger boon to Sweden’s team than to the Pistons. I mean, I like the guy and all, but in the NBA, he is at best a 6th man on a good team.

      • Apr 11, 201212:36 am
        by domnick


        well 6th man or not.. the only concern is…. i dont want to waste a chance in making him grow on his game.. it is clear that he has a huge upside and he can still expand his game…
        commiting to national team will only halt that.. and he needs time with Detroit too… so step down first and come back to national team later… the national team program doesnt die right away anyway…

  • Apr 10, 20122:48 pm
    by Obie


    JJ is a well paid employee of the Pistons. It’s absurd to think they don’t have a voice in his decision to play international ball over the summer. They pay him millions. They have a right to protect their investment.

  • Apr 10, 20123:09 pm
    by Mel Crosby


    Yeah I agree Obie, plus it’s not like he never played for his country in the past. JJ’s goal has always been the NBA. I totally believe JJ is for this as well. He wants to prove himself in the NBA he’s already done that in Sweden. After next season he’ll do his thang in Sweden too.

  • Apr 10, 20126:47 pm
    by Max


    I’m happy that JJ will be focused on his career in the NBA this summer.

  • Apr 11, 201212:01 pm
    by steve battle creek, mi


    The Mavs did this with Dirk a few years ago as well.   This is not uncommon as he is being paid by the NBA team, so if they ask i think as an employee he should follow their direction.  Also are we really questioning Arnie Kander??  If arnie says this is the way to go, i would follow his directions.

  • Apr 11, 20122:12 pm
    by Jacob G


    There was a 3 year window which Gores gave Joe D (to at least make the playoffs, but more reasonably to make some noise in the playoffs).  This coincides with the contracts that were awarded this offseason, Lawrence Frank’s contract, as well as future expiring contracts (BG, CV).
    To that end, there was no chance for JJ to undergo any player development this offseason like he had after his rookie year; in fact, the year of recovery may have even reversed some of that development.  It is a very different team this year compared to his rookie year, but it seems to me that his game has stayed the same, maybe even regressed.  If the next 3 years are going to be a litmus test for this team model and Joe D as its architect, then it is important to get our young players to develop as much as possible.  JJ only just turned 24 and has plenty of upside and opportunities for improvement but in too many ways he is the same player he was when the Pistons drafted him almost 3 years ago.  Everyone wants to right this ship, but now that there is a finite time for doing so, it is imperative that everyone (top to bottom) do their fair share.  For JJ that will mean passing on this Olympics, but does passing on a rainy Olympics in London really matter when you can go to Rio at 28, coming off a long playoff run?
    Lastly, playing in the Olympics for Sweden does not offer the learning experience playing for team USA or Spain would.  What JJ (far and away their best player- unless Noah…) would gain in intangibles, does not compare favorably to what he could gain during a targeted offseason training regiment tailored by the Kander.

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