PARIS (Olympics) – Kim Tillie’s Olympic hopes have been dashed immediately after joining the French squad for training.
The 24-year-old failed to pass his medical.
The French Basketball Federation (FFBB) announced over the weekend that the ASVEL player has left the team and that coach Vincent Collet has been forced to draft in young center Rudy Gobert.
The 2.12m Gobert, who turns 20 on 26 June, had been working out with the French team that was preparing for the U20 European Championship.
He averaged 5.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per at the U20 European Championship in Bilbao, Spain, last summer, where France captured a bronze medal.
Collet has also asked Alexis Ajinca, one of the six alternates for the squad, to join the team.
Ajinca, a 2.15m center, had been in the NBA but signed for Hyeres-Toulon in France’s Pro A during the lockout.
After the end of the NBA labor dispute, Ajinca continued in France but instead signed for Strasbourg, the team coached by Collet.
He averaged 14 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
France are in a quandary with their frontcourt.
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah is still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the NBA play-offs and hasn’t joined the national side, though Collet expects him to be with the team in early July.
Ian Mahinmi, who played a lot for the Dallas Mavericks this season and was named in the preliminary squad, has decided not to join the team although there is a possibility he may end up doing so later.
Mahinmi, in fact, isn’t the only Dallas Mavericks player not to show up for France.
Mavs shooting guard Rodrigue Beaubois has also decided not to play, despite being named in the 18-man preliminary squad.
Ronny Turiaf, who couldn’t play last summer after breaking his hand, is currently playing in the NBA Finals with the Miami Heat and Ali Traore is also out with a knee injury but could rejoin the team.
Tony Parker, meanwhile, was at the wrong place at the wrong time in New York last week while with friends at a nightclub in New York.
A fight broke out and glass bottles were broken, with shards of glass hitting the San Antonio Spurs point guard and France star in one of his eyes.
Parker returned to Paris and then held a press conference, wearing sun glasses, to assure everyone that he will be able to play at the Olympics.
The veteran explained what happened.
"I was with my friend Chris Brown and me and my friends took some punches, so I'll be missing the start of the French team because I can't do anything for a week except keep the lens in and then take drops," he said.
"They started throwing bottles everywhere. I don't know what happened. At first it was okay, but then it started getting worse and when the plane landed it was really hurting so I went straight to the ER."
"This is the cornea is affected. I cannot do anything for seven days.
“I carry a therapeutic lens and I put the drops. I was lucky, I was on the verge of having stitches.”
Parker says his appearance in London is not in question although he can’t play for a week.
"The doctors said seven days, not seven months," he said.
He expects to join the rest of the French team 20 June in Pau for a training camp.