HoopsHype World Cup rumors

July 30, 2014 Updates

Maurice Harkless has chosen not to play for Puerto Rico’s national basketball team this summer. The 21-year-old Orlando Magic swingman originally was set to train with Puerto Rico’s team and represent the commonwealth during the upcoming FIBA World Cup in Spain. But Harkless has decided to concentrate instead on preparing for the 2014-15 season, his third year in the NBA. “He wants to focus on the Magic and getting ready for his most important season to date,” Happy Walters, Harkless’ agent, told the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Sentinel

July 29, 2014 Updates
July 28, 2014 Updates

Griffin is expected to make a full recovery from the injury, which sources say was suffered during the playoffs. However, doctors advised him to sit out of international competition this summer for precautionary reasons. Griffin has continued to workout this summer in Los Angeles with teammate DeAndre Jordan and former Laker and Clipper Sasha Vujacic. ESPN.com

The Spurs have sent Manu Ginobili a letter denying permission to participate in the FIBA Basketball World Cup later this summer, Express-News columnist Buck Harvey reported on Monday. Spurs general manager R.C. Buford cited an eight-week recovery span for the injury, which was discovered during exit physicals after the team crushed Miami in the Finals to clinch their fifth championship. With the Spurs playing their last game on June 15, that would have come perilously close to the start of the World Cup, which runs from Aug. 30 through Sept 14 in Spain. San Antonio Express-News

What is your reaction to Kevin Love and Blake Griffin deciding not to play just days before training camp? Krzyzewski: "We've done this for nine years now. These things, I've got accustomed to them happening. That's why there is a pool of players. That's why with [USA Basketball executive director] Jerry's [Colangelo] leadership we developed a program where you just don't pick 12 players, you develop a program. We're disappointed, obviously. …You're getting into the last week. It's the last weekend. And both of those guys figured prominently into what we were planning then. But now we have to plan something new. In 2010, we had nobody from the [2008] Olympic team go to the world championship. It gave an opportunity to some younger guys and some older guys. Lamar Odom was brilliant during that time. We just have to figure out how other people will step up." Yahoo! Sports

Gilas Pilipinas had its first official practice session Saturday in Miami, the start of a rigorous two-week training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup in Spain set Aug. 30 to Sept. 14. The first practice session also marked the first time that NBA veteran Andray Blatche joined the national team. Blatche was granted naturalization, thus allowing him to play for the Philippines in various international tournaments. The 6-foot-11 Blatche, who recently played for the Brooklyn Nets, posted a photo of his No. 11 Pilipinas jersey on his Instagram account @draylive, saying: “Very thankful #puso.” Yahoo! Sports Philippines

July 27, 2014 Updates

Rose on Monday will be one of 18 players at USA Basketball’s five-day minicamp in Las Vegas. The week begins the process that will include a three-day August stint in Chicago and culminate with a 12-man roster traveling to Spain for the FIBA Basketball World Cup from late August to mid-September. Rose hasn’t answered questions about his basketball performance since scoring 19 points in 33 minutes during a Bulls’ loss at Denver last Nov. 21. The next night, he tore his right meniscus on a seemingly benign backcut against the Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore. “This is the next step,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who also serves as Mike Krzyzewski’s assistant for USA Basketball. “Derrick has handled every step to this point the right way. The last time he participated in USA Basketball, he followed that with his MVP season (in 2010-11). So we’re hoping he can use this time productively.” Chicago Tribune

The 19 players on the roster will train all week before a Friday night exhibition game. The roster could be cut to 15 players after camp, and the final 12 will be selected before the team leaves next month for the World Cup in Spain. It could be a stepping-stone to represent the U.S. at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “He’s a big, strong, young man with a terrific future, and he’s got a great attitude to go along with it,” U.S. managing director Jerry Colangelo said of Drummond recently. “Because size is important in international play, his rebounding, his shot-blocking ability makes him a candidate. It’ll be interesting to see how much he’s progressed since we saw him last when we had our camp last year.” Detroit Free Press

The Celtics are privately thrilled that Marcus Smart has been invited to participate for the USA Select Team that will train against Team USA for the next few weeks as it prepares for the FIBA World Cup that begins Aug. 30 in Spain. Although Smart impressed coaches with how hard he played and his offensive development as summer league progressed, the USA Select experience will give Smart a head start over other rookies as training camp approaches. Chicago’s Doug McDermott was the other rookie invited. Boston Globe

July 25, 2014 Updates

The ongoing saga of Manu Ginobili’s status for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup took yet another turn after long-time national teammate/friend Luis Scola gave a scathing interview in the Argentine media threatening to boycott the event in light of rampant corruption within the country’s hoops federation. Ginobili is scheduled to receive an update on the stress fracture in his lower right leg on Friday. But even if healthy and cleared to participate, there now seems to be a chance that Ginobili and others could follow Scola’s lead if he does indeed follow through on his threat. San Antonio Express-News

As Scola told Hernan Sartori of Clarin, “Once you know and you stay involved, you become an accomplice. All we accomplished has been squandered. We have to keep fighting for transparency. But if this becomes a circus, I won’t be able to play anymore. I won’t be an accomplice.” Ginobili and Nocioni, among others, heartily endorsed his comments on Twitter. “The captain got angry and I’m great with that. Well said,” said Ginobili. Said Nocioni, “Embarrassment! I apologize because Argentine basketball does not deserve this!” San Antonio Express-News

July 23, 2014 Updates

Doug McDermott and Victor Oladipo are among the 13 players named to the USA Basketball Select team that will practice against the group headed to the World Cup in Spain. Team USA unveiled roster on Tuesday. It includes McDermott, the sharp-shooting forward from Creighton who was drafted by the Chicago Bulls, and Oladipo, the second-year guard from the Orlando Magic. USA Today Sports

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