[Note by your friendly BullsBlogger, 09/01/10 : Video interview with Deng here (ht: Belize's dead fanshot), taken outside of a club called 'coat check'. I like how his accent changes when he's speaking to his British people. -ed.]
As I'm sure readers of this site are aware, while Derrick Rose is making his case for being the number-2 option for Team USA in Turkey, Luol Deng just finished his duty for team Great Britain in their quest to merely qualify for the 2012 Olympics (in London, by the way).
Luol performed well as the alpha-dog, and it was a successful qualifying tournament for team GB. They qualify for next year's EuroBasket tournament, but that does not automatically get them into the following year's Olympics. A decision will be made before EuroBasket whether they'll need a good finish in EuroBasket or not to qualify. I'd hope they do let team GB in regardless, so Deng wouldn't have to spend another summer playing basketball. I don't know much about the politics of international basketball, so I'll just assume it's like the Olympics and therefore run by crooked plutocrats, and therefore won't assume anything: logically though, getting the host nation involved would seem to be a good idea.
DaBullz.com has a solid wrap-up of Luol's performance, citing the increase in 3-point shooting efficiency and (more importantly) volume. Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com (and hoopdata fame) noted before the tournament the 'myth' of the new-found 3-point stroke in international play. It's a shorter line and a small sample size of games. And that range is likely right in Luol's wheelhouse, seemingly the master at shooting with his heels on the line during the NBA season. Here's hoping it does translate, and Thibodeau's offense embraces Luol as at least a corner-three threat.
As far as the bigger question of Luol risking his (notably uncertain) health for country rather than the Bulls, I'm torn. I'm usually cold-blooded against anything possibly hurting the Bulls season, but this really seems important to Deng and it's incredibly important to Great Britain that he plays. And if it all comes down to my selfish desires, I have to admit I would like to see Deng joined by Ben Gordon on Team Great Britain for the 2012 Olympics.