HELSINKI (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Finland have adopted a policy of patience and perseverance the past several years as they set out to become regular participants in the Final Round of the EuroBasket.
It's not surprising, then, that the national team coach and players are cheering on Erik Murphy in his bid to find success in the NBA instead of putting pressure on him to link up with the Finnish squad just several weeks away from the start of the EuroBasket in Slovenia.
Murphy, a former Florida Gator, has expressed an interest to represent Finland, just as younger brother Alex did last summer for the U20 team, but it remains to be seen if it will happen this summer or in the future.
His focus right now is on proving in the NBA Summer League that the Chicago Bulls made the right decision when selecting him in the second round of last month's draft.
He has signed a contract with the team but now must pull out all stops to make next season's roster and get playing time.
"The Chicago Bulls realize the strengths in Erik's game that can really help their team," Finland coach Henrik Dettmann said.
"It's extremely positive for Erik that his contract situation is clear this early already."
Before the start of the Summer League, Dettmann considered Murphy's situation.
"Erik's next challenge is the NBA's Summer League,” he said over the weekend.
"We shall let him focus on the summer league first and find out after that, what the interests of the Chicago Bulls are concerning their contract player."
Three games into the Summer League and Murphy has been very good, showing an excellent touch from long range.
He has also very early on been reminded that basketball can be very physical.
Murphy suffered a broken nose in Tuesday's win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
He joked about the injury on Twitter, saying: "Got the W tonight 3-0 out here in Vegas even though we were short handed #bulls but also got the Owen Wilson nose..."
Wilson, an actor, is well known for his nose that was twice broken in his younger years.
Both Erik and Alex Murphy, a student/athlete at Duke University, can play for Finland because their mother, Paiva, hails from the country.
She played professionally in Finland and Sweden.
Jay Murphy, their father, played in the NBA from 1984 to 1988 and wore the shirt of the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Washington Bullets (now Washington Wizards).
Finland are in a difficult Group D this summer at the EuroBasket in Slovenia, with Turkey, Italy, Russia, Greece and Sweden.
The tournament tips off on 4 September.
The top six sides at the EuroBasket will qualify for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
If the hosts of next year’s tournament, Spain, end up in the top six in Slovenia, then the first seven sides will play at the World Cup.