Olympic Games Rumors
Me: Have you gotten past Rio yet, or does it still bug the hell out of you? Patty Mills: To be honest, I haven’t. And although I’m teammates with one of the guys (Gasol, as ever, starred for the Spain team that beat Australia in the bronze medal game), it hasn’t come up. That’s going to sting for a little bit more. Me: So, you’re definitely playing in ’20? Patty Mills: Yeah, for sure. There’s no doubt about it. To know that we were that close, we’re not satisfied one bit at all. So we’ll have another shot at it.
During the Olympics, you didn’t play in the semifinal game, but you did play in the gold-medal game. There was a lot of sacrifice. How would you grade the experience? DeMar DeRozan: It was one of a kind, for sure. It’s something that comes around every four years. Something that only 12 guys get to do. It’s an amazing thing just to be able to go down as one of the greatest Olympic teams. That’s a blessing … You understand what it takes to sacrifice. You understand what it really means to take a backseat, so to speak — to fight for something bigger than you.
“That was the most motivation I’ve ever had playing basketball,” Barnes told The Vertical. “Between losing in the Finals, how free agency worked out, leaving that team, the motivation behind all of that, and then in turn, going to [Team] USA and not playing. It just motivated me this season to just come out and just be aggressive. There are a lot of emotions that go into that summer. Some of it, I still haven’t sat down and processed, because some of it is just painful. But it’s definitely stoked a fire in me to just play.”
FIBA on Monday announced its decision to suspend the Brazilian Basketball Federation (CBB) following the conclusion of its Executive Committee meeting. Despite the support and flexibility provided by FIBA on multiple occasions before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – and which led to the recent creation of the “Taskforce for the reorganisation of the Brazilian Basketball Confederation (CBB) and the development of basketball in Brazil” – the Executive Committee acknowledged that CBB still needs restructuring and is currently not fully complying with its obligations as a National Member Federation of FIBA under the applicable General Statutes.
Is that what will stick with you or more the pride of representing the country and overcoming odds to make it there in the first place? A.B.: A mix of both. Look, we’ve never medaled in an Olympics, even a bronze. We were so close. The Serbia game was the one I was really disappointed in. We just got absolutely annihilated. The Spain game, FIBA had its say in that one. I’m still a firm believer in that. You look at the game tape and see their last four points are free throws, and they weren’t fouls. That was probably the most disappointing thing, but you can’t cry over spilled milk. We’ve got to move on from it, but [it was] just disappointing that we were so close to getting a medal and lost the bronze-medal game by one point.
“I had a busy summer,’’ Bogdanovic said. “I didn’t rest after the season — 20 or 15 days and I started practicing right away with my personal trainer to be in shape for pre-Olympic tournament. I had three or four weeks after the Olympic games, so I came here, got many treatments. “They’re trying to put me on the court slowly. This is the first day that I participated in a scrimmage. They know how to do it, and I’ll go day by day, slowly.”
“I have made the sacrifice that I want to do whatever it takes to win, so it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t go to the Olympics this summer,” Harden told The Vertical. “It was one of the toughest decisions that I’ve ever made in my life. For my legacy here in Houston and in the NBA, I thought it was important.”