HoopsHype Team USA rumors

October 9, 2014 Updates

Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and David Stern are all names synonymous with the NBA’s rise in popularity during the 1980s. But there were, of course, key personnel in the league office building the foundation for success in the decades to come. Terry Lyons was one of those individuals. In fact, he filled some of the most important roles behind the scenes. ““Terry Lyons’ enormous contributions to our media relations efforts for almost three decades have been a key driver to our growth, domestically and internationally,” Stern was quoted as saying in a statement posted on Lyons’ website. ” He has grown up with the NBA and the NBA has grown up with him. Terry has traveled the world on behalf of the NBA and Team USA, spreading the basketball gospel. He has worked arduously to enhance international media coverage of our teams and our games and he has made the NBA office a welcoming center for the global basketball community and international media. We will miss him greatly, and wish him continued professional success and much personal happiness.” Ed Odeven Reporting

The NBA’s global growth is a fascinating thing to learn about. During your travels for Team USA exhibitions, Olympic games, promotional events, etc., which locales outside the U.S. made the biggest impression on you for the fans’ enthusiasm and love for the game? In no particular order … Japan, for sure. 34-35,000 in the Tokyo Dome was a pretty serious statement. And, we had great games there. Mexico – Great, passionate NBA fans. Lithuania – Small country – GREAT players. Medals to prove it. Australia – A country where SPORTS matter. Brazil – They gave us OSCAR! Spain and Italy and France – The cornerstone of the NBA’s international footprint in 1980. Look how it’s grown. Ed Odeven Reporting

October 7, 2014 Updates

I asked Pelicans coach Monty Williams how he planned to handle the minutes of star Anthony Davis after the forward spent so much time this summer with Team USA for the FIBA World Championships. He had a pretty interesting answer (and even got a bit animated). “We’ve talked to our training staff to make sure we give him the proper rest but at the same time he’s 21 (years old),” Williams said. “He doesn’t get tired until he’s like 28. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

October 5, 2014 Updates

Anthony said he would like to play in his fourth and final Olympics in 2016 in Brazil but acknowledges it's a long way away. He said Paul George's devastating foot injury over the summer in a Team USA exhibition game won't impact his decision. Newsday

October 1, 2014 Updates

Going even more in depth, when Thompson drives to the left in isolation situations (which he does 80.2 percent of his iso attacks) he is either heavily settling for a pull up jumper (48.2 percent of the time) of the time and shooting a lackluster 27.3 percent off the bounce; 33.8 percent of the time he is attempting to finish at the rim (an area he is increasingly improving at and showed great progress at the World Cup in Spain) but isn’t converting at much greater of a success rate (41.7 percent). What sticks out to me is the lack of in-between game, the floater, in which he only attempts 7.5 percent of the time he puts the ball on the floor. HoopsHype

Thompson is holding opponents to shooting an abysmal 35.8 percent from the field and forcing a turnover at a rate of 11.3 percent. With his length, mobility, and desire to win every play, Thompson has the mold to become a lock-down wing defender for years to come. HoopsHype

September 30, 2014 Updates

Aldridge turned down a chance to play with the U.S. national team, and it wasn't the first time. This time, he said, he wanted to make he didn't suffer an injury -- as happened with Indiana's Paul George -- that might keep him from achieving his goal of helping the Blazers go deep in the playoffs. "It was about my personal preference," Aldridge said. "Having a big season coming up, I didn't want to risk anything crazy out there. "I was disappointed to not be in that group. I wanted to be a part of that group for a long time. Things keep coming up. This time, the major part was me and my agent and (officials from) my team sat down, and we felt like we didn't want to take that risk right now." Portland Tribune

September 29, 2014 Updates

LeBron James says he has not decided whether he'll play in the 2016 Olympics. James said Monday following the Cavaliers' practice that he's "nowhere near" deciding if he'll again play for Team USA in two years. Kevin Durant has reportedly said he will play for the American squad in Brazil, but James said following practice that "I haven't even thought about it too much. I haven't decided." Bradenton.com

Jason Jones: Rudy Gay said contract extension talks stopped when he joined Team USA and that he'll let his reps deal w/ talks. Twitter @mr_jasonjones

Marc Stein: In chat for @SportsCenter to air this week, Kevin Durant tells ESPN he intends to be on Team USA for 2016 Olympics after his '14 summer off. Durant withdrew from Team USA in August shortly before 2014 FIBA WC in Spain but says he plans to make himself available for 2016 in Brazil. Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

"I love Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and (program director) Mr. (Jerry) Colangelo, because they understood everything. I didn't want it to overshadow what they were doing, so that's why I kind of felt bad about it. But at the same time, I knew I had to do it for myself, and this was one of the first decisions basketball-wise that was like, 'All right, this is just for me. I'm worried about me right now. I was a little selfish, and sometimes that makes people, it made a lot of people, uncomfortable." And to those who don't agree or understand? "Seriously, to be honest, I was like '(expletive) 'em.' You can write that, too. Seriously, though. I'm just going to be me, man, and that's how I felt. "I was happy I took the hits, like, 'All right, that's going to teach me to be strong and not worry about what everybody has got to say.' I heard it all — 'you don't care about your country' to 'you're soft' to all of that. Well I don't care. These people don't know me. They don't know the work I've put in. They don't know that I've done (the FIBA tournament) before, so it made me stronger." USA Today Sports

September 18, 2014 Updates

During one six-week period in the late summer of 2014, Cousins tinkered madly with his narrative, changing perceptions and recasting his image, emerging as a significant, perhaps invaluable member of the senior national team, and displaying a familiar dramatic flair at the end. Here is what coach Mike Krzyzewski said moments after the USA’s 129-92 gold-medal romp Sunday over Serbia: “The first five minutes of tonight’s game, they knocked us back. Cousins really, I think, turned the game around. I don’t only think; I know. Watching (him), I’m saying, ‘Whoa,’ we just made another stop, or he just made another stop. He knocked the ball off the rim and they didn’t score. (Nenad) Krstic wasn’t able to score because he bodied up on him. …” Sacramento Bee

But Cousins can’t worry about who’s in, who’s out. He merely has to remain, well, the King of Spain. “You can use all the superlatives you want,” Colangelo said Tuesday afternoon, “and apply them to DeMarcus. He made the team, made a major contribution, made tremendous strides. In the locker room after our win over Serbia (earned an automatic berth to the Rio Games), DeMarcus in particular was emotional. He hugged me and thanked me for putting him on the team, and I told him, ‘the past is the past. This is the beginning of your career. Take everything you learned back to Sacramento. You can build on this and have a tremendous career.’ ” Sacramento Bee

September 17, 2014 Updates
September 15, 2014 Updates

The second part of his rehabilitation, he hopes, will arrive when he returns to Chicago next week following a brief post-tournament break. “I’m going to transfer this onto next season with the Bulls,” he said. “It’s really helped me with my recovery. Being off the floor, taking care of my body, eating right. I was feeling good every time I stepped on the floor, stretching every time, I think it’s going to help me with the Bulls season. “This has gotten my body accustomed. I haven’t been playing in a long time. I still have to get my rhythm back. But as far as I’m concerned, I think I performed well. Making this team was enough for me. The championship was the cherry on top, just coming here, performing in front of this great crowd. Just coming here. Now, sad to say, I have to put this behind me and concentrate on playing for the Bulls.” ESPN.com

"(George) has a lot to do with (the meaning of the gold)," Irving, who scored 26 points (7-for-7 from three-point range), told USA TODAY Sports. "This whole trip was mainly for Paul. Every single day, not taking anything for granted. It's a devastating thing that happened to one of my good friends. It's crazy, but for us to bring a gold medal back — and knowing he's going to get one — is exciting." USA Today Sports

"It took us to another level relationship-wise," said Irving, who played for Krzyzewski at Duke for a year. "Nobody's invincible, but one thing we can do is come together as a team and we did a great job of that. Every single day, for however many coach said it was, 50 days or something like that. I've gotten to know all these guys and this is something I'm going to remember the rest of my life." USA Today Sports

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.