PHILADELPHIA --- Luol Deng made one thing clear after the Bulls were eliminated in Game 6: He's playing in the Summer Games even if he does need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist.
"I just know that I'm looking forward to playing in the Olympics," he said. "I'm excited about it, something I wanted to do since I was a kid and I'm going to prepare myself for it."
Deng tore the ligament in his wrist earlier this season and decided to play in pain rather than undergo surgery that would have resulted in him missing the majority of the regular season and perhaps even the playoffs.
"Honestly, my whole career, it's the toughest thing I've done and when I look back at it, I'm glad I did it," Deng said. "I really hope, in the long run, it's going to make me a better player. I learned a lot of things to be capable of doing that in the NBA, but I'm glad I made the decision. We had the best record and we were going into the playoffs with the best team, so it was definitely a great decision. Unfortunately, other things happened."
If Deng undergoes the surgery it will be after he plays for Team Great Britain, which could mean he would miss the beginning of next season. Complicating matters is that Derrick Rose is also expected to miss the first couple months of the season while recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL.
Deng said he'll wait to see how his wrist feels before and after the Olympics before deciding whether to undergo surgery.
"I haven't really ruled out not getting the surgery or getting it," he said. "I just haven't made that decision. I just know that I've got the Olympics ahead of me. Since I was a kid growing up, it's something I always wanted an opportunity to be a part of and the fact that it's in my hometown that I grew up in, in a country that gave me the opportunity to even be here, I'm looking forward to it."