HoopsHype Team USA rumors

August 29, 2014 Updates

“I love playing for USA Basketball,” Davis said in a conference call from Spain with reporters. “I think some guys look at it is as you don’t get paid, so you don’t have to play, or whatever. But that’s their own opinions. I love playing here, I love playing the game of basketball. Any time I get a chance to represent my country, especially for our servicemen and women who do so much for us, it’s a great opportunity to kind of show your appreciation. I love doing things like this. I look forward to future years when I get a chance to play with USA Basketball.” NBA.com

With the FIBA World Cup approaching this weekend, Davis said playing for his country does more than make him a better player. It's also a way to spend his offseason doing what he loves while showing his appreciation for others who've made greater sacrifices, and taken far greater risks, in the name of patriotism. "I love playing for USA basketball. Some guys look at it as they don't get paid, so you don't have to play or whatever," Davis said on a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "I love playing the game of basketball and any time I get a chance to represent my country, especially for all the servicemen and women who do so much for us, I think it's a great opportunity to show your appreciation. "So I love doing things like this and I look forward to future years playing for USA Basketball." USA Today Sports

Connor Sports: How would you describe the team’s offensive play at this moment? Stephen Curry: “It’s pretty good. We’re still learning about knowing where everybody is, but we have so many weapons around the floor. We have got to figure out how to continue to get in the paint and keep it moving because with our speed we’re pretty tough to guard against when we do that. We showed that in the second half against Slovenia (a 101-71 victory on Tuesday) when we got a lot of open shots just by how fast we moved.” TalkBasket

Connor Sports: What do you remember about the previous edition of the event in Turkey in 2010 and how long it took to get up to speed? Stephen Curry: “All of the pool games are important. You try to play your best every night and it’s all about getting a little bit better, but we didn’t blow everybody out. There were some tough games. So we have high expectations of playing well against Finland (in Team USA’s opening pool game on August 30), but we will not get discouraged if it it’s not perfect.” TalkBasket

August 28, 2014 Updates

Insisting he had zero worries about making the 12-man squad, Cousins brushed off the doubters last Friday night in the bowels of Madison Square Garden, telling assembled reporters: “Y’all will see.” Turns out Cousins had plenty of justification to be so self-assured: Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN.com this week that Cousins has cemented himself as the backup to starting center Anthony Davis…. For all the skepticism about his ability to win over Team USA staffers who haven’t forgotten his poor first impression in 2012 — as well as the questions that linger about how he’ll get along with FIBA referees — Cousins is clearly ahead of fellow bigs Mason Plumlee and Andre Drummond. (Ditto for 10th man DeMar DeRozan.) ESPN.com

August 27, 2014 Updates

Harden’s responsibilities increased once more when Kevin Durant, his close friend and former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, backed out of his commitment, citing fatigue and not the injury to George as the reason. That left the lefty Harden as the only first-team all-NBA player remaining on the squad. The earlier withdrawals of Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook also meant that Harden and Anthony Davis were the only holdovers from the 2012 London Olympics team. “Right now, I think I would look to Harden as that leader,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said as his team continues to prepare for the tournament in which the winner earns an automatic berth in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “Harden is kind of a natural leader and he seems to be willing to accept that role. And you can just kind of feel it and sense. He’s the one.” Washington Post

"The NBA can offer so many good players, even if those other guys didn't come, USA still has a good chance to win a gold medal," Dragic said. "It's them and Spain. But the way they play so aggressively, they can pressure the whole court. They can beat anyone." ESPN.com

Said Team USA guard Steph Curry: "Having six bigs that can rotate [between] the 4 and the 5 gives us that presence. We're very deep, so we still have the opportunities to go small and play fast. But the way those guys can defend the paint, rebound, block shots and then turn that into easy offense with the way they run the floor, it's pretty hard to score on us and defend us." Put it all together and Team USA versus Team Dragon proved to be the mismatch everyone expected. ESPN.com

August 26, 2014 Updates

It certainly wasn't a defense and not even an explanation, but in an interview with a North Carolina newspaper, Mike Krzyzewski talks about why he chose his former center for Team USA ... and how USA Basketball only decided at the last minute to choose a select team to practice against the senior team. "We weren't even sure we were going to have a Select team for the training in Las Vegas, so that was a last-minute addition, just having a Select team," Krzyzewski told Bret Stretlow of The Fayetteville Observer. "The Select team did a terrific job, and Mason all of a sudden came to the forefront and made us say, 'Shouldn't we look at this guy? We have the perimeter, but what about the bigs?' NetsDaily

August 25, 2014 Updates

Kyrie Irving will start opposite Goran Dragic at point guard Tuesday night when Team USA plays Slovenia in its final tuneup game leading into the FIBA World Cup. But Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, in tabbing Irving as his starter against the Dragic-led Slovenians, told ESPN.com that one option under consideration is letting Irving and Derrick Rose trade ‎off as the starter throughout the tournament, which opens Saturday in Bilbao with the Yanks facing Finland. "We'll see as thing goes on," Krzyzewski said after Monday's two-hour practice. "We might alternate 'em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes." ESPN.com

Krzyzewski says he can also envision Irving and Rose playing together once the tournament starts as Rose continues to acclimate himself to full-speed basketball after two major knee injuries limited him to just 10 games over the last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls. "I asked him today and he said, 'I feel great,' " Krzyzewski said of Rose. "He did everything. He's full go. I think there's a part of him that's like: 'Quit asking me how I feel. I'm good.' So I'm not going to ask him any more." ESPN.com

August 24, 2014 Updates

Thompson said he isn’t worried about playing for Team USA leaving him tired for the long season the Warriors are expecting. He’s a heavy minute guy with a big task. Conventional wisdom says he will need rest to prepare for the grueling task of chasing point guards and being a key cog to the offense. The way he sees it, this experience will help him. “I’m 24. I’m young. I shouldn’t be tired,” Thompson said. “I’m not playing 40 minutes. I’m playing 15 minutes, 20 minutes. It’s even better than working out at home. I would never get this competition working at home. And it’s a different style of basketball so I’ll be learning somethings i can add to my game. I’ll be in great shape when I come into camp and be ready to go. “I played at 220 last year,” he added. “That was too heavy. I cut down to 215. I can feel the difference already. I have more energy. I’ve got to be in optimal shape. I’ve got to be able to move really fluidly on both sides of the ball. It’s a tall task. Man, I’m young. If I take care of my body and eat right, I’ll be able to do it. I did it last year so I’m sure I can do it this year.” San Jose Mercury-News

August 23, 2014 Updates

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