MANNHEIM (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men) - If Germany are thrilled that Chris Kaman has linked up with the national team for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the Los Angeles Clippers center appears to be even more excited.
The American, who recently received his German passport (his great grandparents were German), flew to Europe this week and was on the bench during Wednesday night’s friendly against Canada in Hamburg.
"It is all very close,” he said of the national team environment.
“You do everything together, quite unlike in the NBA. I like that! The teammates are cool and very friendly. Even the buildings here look like in the U.S., so everything’s good."
Kaman says his immediate impression is that Germany coach Dirk Bauermann has a very committed group that is determined to succeed at next week’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Three places for the Beijing Games are available and Germany will take on Cape Verde and New Zealand before squaring off against Greece, Brazil or Lebanon in the quarter-finals.
"Everyone works hard and is extremely focused,” the 2.13m center said. “That’s a perfect fit for me.”
Kaman is expected to play for Germany when they take on Canada on Friday night in Mannheim.