From Chris Tomasson in this morning's Rocky Mountain News:
A lot of people were wondering what Kaman was doing when he decided to play for Germany in the Olympics. He's didn't speak a word of German, and he only had been to the country changing planes in the airport.You can understand the Clippers' concern about their starting center -- who missed 26 games last season -- risking injury by playing in the Olympics. Kaman's comments suggest that if he were to go down, the Clippers' insurance policy might not cover any of his 5 years/$52.5M contract. And Kaman, it's fair to say, has some puerile instincts. Chris' flakiness makes him endearing...but it also renders him a little dim. Having said that, whether they have a reasonable cause for concern, the Clippers have a propensity for pissing off their players, whether it's Andre Miller, Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, or others.
But Kaman was eligible because his great grandparents were from Germany before emigrating to the U.S. Even Kaman's father had reservations about him playing.
"My dad is kind of negative, (saying), 'You're not German, you're American,''' said Kaman, who scored 24 points for the Germans in the opener while teammate Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas star, added 23. "I had to get in his face a little.''
His employer also wasn't happy. With Kaman recovering from an ankle injury sustained late last season, he said the Clippers didn't want him to play.
"The Clippers made it very difficult for me to go over here, with the insurance, with them not wanting me to go,'' Kaman said. "I was a little disappointed in that at the time with the way they handled stuff. They lied to me a couple of times.''
Kaman declined to say in what manner the Clippers lied. But he said he's now on better terms with them.
By joining Germany, Kaman never can play for Team USA. He said he doesn't have any immediate regrets, but doesn't deny he could have some down the road.
"I still have citizenship in the United States, so it's not like I'm a traitor,'' Kaman said.
On the matter of Chris playing for the Germans -- beyond the implication to his health and readiness for 2008-09 -- who cares? The premise that he's disloyal or treasonous for suiting up for another country in an athletic competition is...quaint, I guess. Call me a post-nationalist, but when I look at Chris Kaman, I see a guy who has an armament subsystem in his home, hunts any chance he gets, and traveled the continent in an RV last off-season. What's more American than that?