Tiago Splitter: The surgery is designed specifically to allow me to return to a NBA level of physical performance. The toughest part of the decision is missing the Olympics. Brazil has been dreaming of this moment for a long time and to have the games in my home country is really special for every Brazilian athlete. It hurts that I can’t play, but my Brazilian brothers in the NBA have been really supportive.
As with 2004 in Athens, Team USA plans to house its players in Brazil from both the men’s and women’s basketball teams on a cruise ship docked in Rio to ensure maximum security. “We have sent our people [to Rio] on four or five occasions,” Colangelo said. “We have researched everything we could on accommodations. And we made our decision as to what we’re going to do. Bear in mind that, since ’92, [USAB’s] basketball teams haven’t stayed in the Olympic Village. Also bear in mind that basketball is one of only two sports that runs the entire length of the Olympic [Games].”
“Because of the high visibility of our athletes, we’re better served by [going] above and beyond what the Olympic people provide for us in the way of security and so forth. We do our own things to make sure we’ve protected our people. There’s a big investment here that we’ll have in Rio. … We will not be in the Village, but our players will be in there a lot, like they have been in the last two Olympics.”
Colangelo told ESPN that, to this point, he hasn’t “heard one question from any of our players” raising concerns about the Zika virus or the widely reported water issues in the host country that have received increasing media coverage in recent months. “First of all, we feel very confident that we’re being taken care of, in the sense that the different organizations who are dealing with this health issue or problem are doing everything they possibly can,” Colangelo said.
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker could miss the Olympics because of the expected birth of his second son. Parker told French radio station RMC that his wife is due at the end of July, shortly after France’s Olympic qualifying tournament from July 4-10. The Olympic basketball tournament in Rio de Janeiro will be held from Aug. 6-21.