Rio de Janeiro Rumors
Heat forward and former U.S. Olympic teammate Chris Bosh joked that Bryant just wanted “a free trip to Brazil.” But Bosh then gushed about Bryant’s work ethic on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, shortly after the Lakers’ NBA Finals loss to Boston. “I don’t know if it was motivation or just how he normally is. But he was beating everybody to the gym and working on off-days,” Bosh said. “He could have every excuse to come in and rest. But there’s a reason why he’s one of the greatest of all time.”
DM: What did you think of the team’s trip to Rio? Obviously a great trip from the business side of things and a chance to go down to Rio, a booming market to build that Orlando Magic brand down there, but also from a team standpoint an opportunity to bond and to grow. RH: It was a great trip Dante, it really was. From start to finish, certainly the business component that you speak of was very important to us. We have a lot of fans down in Brazil and we’re hoping to continue to expand that awareness and that footprint. I think we were able to do that. And also, from a team perspective, we got a lot of good work in. It’s funny, I think it was 95 degrees in the gym we practiced in for two days, which sort of made it like an old-school high school practice. I think guys got good work in and they got to sweat it out a little bit. Certainly, when you take a trip like that, I think the guys, the players, have a chance to spend more time together than they otherwise maybe would, just because they’re forced to [laughs]. And so, from a team bonding and a team chemistry standpoint, I would say we come back to Orlando more bonded than we were when we left.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN that the 2016 Olympics will be his last coaching the United States men’s basketball national team, and that a succession plan to replace him will be announced in the coming year before the Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer. “It is. It definitely is,” Krzyzewski told ESPN about this being his last stint as head coach with USA Basketball. “I think it’s time to move ahead. During the next season there will be a number of decisions made about the future of USA Basketball with Rio [the roster] and coaching.
Krzyzewski wouldn’t comment on who should replace him or whether it should be a college or NBA coach. But he did say there should be one key requirement — international experience. “I think it would be good if somebody had experience in international basketball,” Krzyzewski said. “They will pick the best person, from whatever — the NBA or collegiate environment. They will pick the best person and complement that person with a great staff and infrastructure so we can have a chance to keep winning.”
KR: It was probably tough for you to sit out for Spain this summer. I’m assuming you’ll be suiting up next summer for the Olympics? Ricky Rubio: Yeah, I mean if I’m healthy I will. I was watching the European championships through TV and it was so tough to watch it on TV but it was fun to see them win.
“Back in ’04 as I watched where we were, USA Basketball, some of the other countries really had togetherness, like Argentina, like Spain. That was something I thought we needed to develop. So developing a national team concept, stating that we had to change our culture and to see where we are, it makes you feel very good. There was a plan. Right now we’re on a roll.” Colangelo said USA Basketball is seeking sites to play five “friendly” games before going to Rio de Janeiro. He is heading to the Olympic city and said he is concerned about the playing conditions just 11 months before the start of the Games.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will participate in next month’s USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas and hopes to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a league source told ESPN. Griffin was forced to withdraw from last year’s Team USA training camp for the FIBA World Cup because he was advised by doctors to give a back injury more time to heal.