Thunder news: Steven Adams wants to play for New Zealand this summer at FIBA World Cup
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Thunder’s Steven Adams wants to play for New Zealand this summer at FIBA World Cup

Steven Adams

Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams “would love to” play for New Zealand this summer in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The 2019 FIBA World Cup will qualify seven teams directly for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with the remaining four-plus host teams to be determined through four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in 2020, per FIBA Basketball.

Adams was born and raised in New Zealand. The Thunder center says it would be an honor to play for his home country:

Adams and the Thunder are currently in the 2019 playoffs. OKC trails the Portland Trail Blazers 1-0 in the first round.

There were a lot of critics around the league who questioned the Thunder giving Adams a four-year, $100 million extension in 2016. The 25-year-old has shut those pundits up, as Adams has turned himself into one of the best centers in the NBA.

In 80 regular-season games in 2018-19, Adams averaged 13.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest while shooting 59.5 percent from the field. The 7-footer recorded 29 double-doubles for the Thunder, who are the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

Obviously, Adam’s main focus right now is on trying to defeat the Blazers and go on a deep postseason run with OKC. After the playoffs end, though, Adams will look to play for New Zealand and make his home country proud.