The NBA has made a last-minute decision to cancel the NBA Global Camp, a showcase for draft-eligible prospects from outside the United States that was scheduled for May 30-June 2 in Monaco.
“We have cancelled the NBA Global Camp 2019 due to logistical issues and other contributing factors that jeopardized our ability to successfully conduct the camp,” NBA Executive VP of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe said in a statement to ESPN. “The camp will return in the future.”
The Global Camp was a new event that came under the NBA umbrella for the first time in 2018, essentially becoming the international version of the NBA Combine, with interviews, medical examinations, drills and scrimmages conducted in a similar format to the draft Combine in Chicago.
It was spun off of the long-time Adidas EuroCamp event that was conducted annually in Treviso, Italy, starting in 2003, but was abandoned by the sneaker company in the wake of the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption. The NBA elected to officially take over the camp last April, hoping to use it as a vehicle to promote the league on a global scale, and also provide exposure for their Academies.
“”Twenty-five percent of our league are international players,” VanDeWeghe told ESPN at the time. “Some of the best players in the NBA are internationals. That will only grow. It’s a big world. The NBA is expanding globally. That’s an important part. We’re invested in academies around the world; we have seven of those currently. Having the ability to spread the knowledge of basketball, to provide great training against great competition — this is a natural part of that.”
After conducting the camp in Treviso last year for its inaugural event, the Global Camp was moving to Monaco this year, and many NBA teams, players, families, agents and basketball industry executives have already booked their travel to the exotic but expensive destination.
Sources say that confusion among which venues were actually booked by the organizers are among the key reasons for the last-minute cancellation. AS Monaco Basketball, a professional team that competes in the French first division, says it was not consulted about the availability of its arena, which was slated to host the Global Camp.
After starting the season 8-9, AS Monaco won 16 of its last 17 games and finished the league in second place. Should the team advance past the quarterfinals of the French playoffs starting on Friday, the arena will be unavailable to the NBA for the dates of the Global Camp due to television production obligations and practice schedules for the teams slated to play in the semifinals, a source told ESPN.
Two auxiliary gyms, which typically are used for high school and amateur league basketball games because of limited seating and infrastructure, would have been the main venues available, something that, sources say, the NBA deemed unacceptable once the extent of the problem was fully discovered.
The decision to withdraw leaves a significant void in the scouting calendar for both teams and players alike. A number of international agents told ESPN they only elected to enter their players’ name into the draft pool in hopes they would be selected to play at the Global Camp, partially explaining why a record-breaking number of international players were on the early-entry list.