Newsday's Alan Hahn never misses a beat, and his most recent catch is this article from La Gazzetta dello Sport (Translation: "The Gazzetta of Sport") declaring that Danilo Gallinari will not spend his summer with the Italian national team. In today's Fix, Hahn explains the situation:
According to the Italian newspaper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italian basketball federation president Dino Meneghin said Gallinari referenced his surgically-repaired back as the reason why he couldn't compete.
An NBA team can not prohibit a player from competing for his national team in the offseason -- otherwise, the Spurs wouldn't have let Manu Ginobili put so many miles on his body over the years -- but privately the Knicks are quite pleased that Gallinari has stick to his decision to focus on getting proper rest and preparing for next season. There was a great deal of pressure in Italy for Gallinari to join Bargnani and Belinelli to help the struggling national team, which hasn't had much success on the international stage in recent years.
Loosely translated from the La Gazzetta report, Meneghin said Gallinari "will have to follow a particular program of exercises for the back made last year. This situation prevents him from playing the Europoean qualifiers this summer . . . I understand his physical problems and needs . . . The door is always open."
As Hahn mentions, Gallinari's back didn't keep him out of any games this season, but he still intends to devote his summer to strength and conditioning to avoid future injury. As a Knick fan, this is a relief, but you've gotta feel for Italy for missing out on Gallo. As compensation, I can think of a few products of Italy we might send back.