Olympics Rumors

Mark Cuban on if the Olympics is about patriotism or money: “There’s no such thing in my mind as false patriotism. When you put on the jersey, you’re doing it for the right reason. Everyone really knows what this is about because if it truly was patriotism, we would give a hard time to every player who refused to play. Why wouldn’t you? We give them a pass because we understand that they have to protect their future. There’s so many other places where we don’t give anybody a pass if you put the United States second. But everyone in the heart knows this is truly about economics, not truly about playing for your country. And if we give people a pass, not just in basketball but other sports as well, if we say, ‘Put your financial future ahead of playing in this tournament,’ we’re okay with that. Then it is about economics. There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. The biggest trick the IOC ever played was making us believe the Olympics was about patriotism.”
“I was very unhappy back in 2004 when the USA finished third at the Olympics, not so much for finishing third but how they looked, how they acted,” Colangelo said. “To me, there is a way to conduct yourself both on and off the floor. “So that all had to change. “I’m proud to be an American, I’m proud to represent the USA on the international stage, I love the game. I have a passion for the game. So for me, it’s giving back to the game that I love so much.”
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Beyond the long-running legacy of Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich will be attached to perhaps the most successful and accommodating system in NBA history for international talent. The San Antonio Spurs coach reminisced about his first international experience during last week’s visit to Boston. “My first year in the league was in ’88 with coach (Larry) Brown, and I didn’t know jack, but I knew I wanted to go overseas, so I begged him to let me go over for the ’88 European Championships in Koln, Germany,” Popovich said. “The only other NBA guy in the room was (Don Nelson). There was nobody else in there. That’s when he was bringing Sarunas Marciulionis back (from Lithuania). “I was like a kid in a candy store looking around,” he said. “That’s when Yugoslavia was Yugoslavia and they had that team. It was ridiculous. The Russians were really good when they were the Soviet Union; players everywhere. I knew early on it was a market we wanted to tap. That’s why we did (Tony) Parker at (pick No.) 28, and Manu (Ginobili) in the 50s, and (Luis) Scola after him.
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LeBron James took one step closer to Olympic history Thursday when he was named to the USA Basketball men’s national team roster again for the next three summers. James and Carmelo Anthony could become the first USA men’s basketball players to play in four Olympics if they compete in the 2016 Games. But that is not yet a sure thing, despite his inclusion on the roster. “I don’t know where I stand for 2016,” James told reporters in Miami on Thursday. “If I can give to our country by playing, then that would be great to be playing.”