NEW YORK -- Luis Scola says he wants to play for Argentina in next summer's FIBA Americas championship even if there is a lockout.
Scola, a starter on the Houston Rockets, says playing international tournaments is a great way to stay in shape, so he sees "no reason" not to and would get insurance and play -- a risk many players might not take if the NBA is closed for business by a work stoppage.
Argentina is hosting the tournament, a qualifier for the 2012 Olympics. Its generation of stars such as Scola and Manu Ginobili, who led the country to Olympic gold in 2004 and bronze in 2008, was viewing the tournament as a chance to say goodbye to its home fans and earn one last trip to the Olympics.
"I think we deserve it. We played there in 2001, it was the beginning of this whole thing that we have now and I think this could be a great chance to end it," the Houston forward said before playing the Knicks.
Argentina won the championship as hosts that summer, kicking off its run as an international power. Scola was the MVP of the last two FIBA Americas tournaments, in 2007 and 2009, and was the leading scorer last summer in the world championship.