Basketball New Zealand has denied claims that Steven Adams offered to play for the Tall Blacks with conditions attached.
Sky Sports reporter Huw Benyon tweeted yesterday that the Kiwi NBA star was in talks with the national body over his potential involvement with the Tall Blacks ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
"Steven Adams has offered to pay his own insurance and play for the Tall Blacks, in return for a guarantee from Basketball NZ that ALL money made from him playing go straight to grassroots basketball in NZ. Unfortunately, Steven doesn't feel this guarantee has been made." Benyon posted.
Benyon said the reports came from a conversation he had with a mutual friend and that Adams' management wanted that viewpoint to be made public.
However, speaking to Jim Kayes on Radio Sport this morning, Basketball New Zealand CEO Iain Potter said although they would be open to discussing specific terms with Adams, it wasn't a conversation they had yet had.
"It's not something that's been put to us directly so in some respect there's an element of hearsay in it," Potter said.
"If Steven would like to have that conversation with us, of course, we'd like to have that and I'd rather do that with him than through third parties.
"If we can work through whatever the barriers are, we're willing to work through whatever they are if they can be worked through."
Part of Adams' hesitancy to put on the black singlet comes from the lack of support he claims the national body offered him as a youngster.
It's possible that cutting a deal to support the young players of New Zealand could be the golden ticket to securing Adams for the World Cup.
But Potter says the reality of Adams' claimed incentive is far more difficult to facilitate.
"We all want better outcomes for the community but wanting them and achieving them, there's a lot of work between the two," he said.
"We don't actually provide community basketball, we're the national body ... it's quite complex.
"Obviously if Steve played there'd be potential benefits for us down the track but there would be nothing immediately because it's simply a cost for us ... What we'd rather engage on is how can Steve working with Basketball New Zealand help improve basketball outcomes for the community. That's a great conversation and one we'd love to have with him."
Potter said Basketball New Zealand remain hopeful Adams will put his hand up for Tall Blacks World Cup selection and are in talks with his management and club.