USA Basketball Rumors
Jefferson and Duncan reflected on their experience with Team USA at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. That was the disappointing, Larry Brown-coached team that won a bronze medal. Jefferson said that, when they got together and clearly weren’t jelling, Duncan told him, “We’re going to be lucky to medal with this group.” I guess they were lucky then.
Chris Fedor: Why Kyrie as the guy you’d pick from any team to play with? Jimmy Butler: “I like his game. But more than anything I know Phil Handy and that’s who trains (Kyrie). I know how hard he works and I think someone like that makes you better. I know a lot of guys work hard, but I’ve spent a countless amount of days and hours with Kyrie – even before USA Basketball. I like him as a player, as a human being, really good friend of mine. That’s not knocking anybody else, but the kid can play.”
LeBron James said Gregg Popovich’s taking over as coach for Team USA basketball factors into his own decision to chase another Olympic gold. “It factors a lot,” James said Saturday, before the Cavs play Popovich’s Spurs. “I’ve said that before. He’s just a great mastermind of the game of basketball.”
James skipped the 2016 Olympics after his sixth consecutive run to the Finals. He already owns two gold medals and would be 36 when the 2020 Olympics unfold in Tokyo. Because he missed Team USA’s run to gold in Rio, he’s no longer No. 1 in U.S. Olympics for games played (24, t-2nd) or points (273, 3rd), but is still first all time in assists (88).
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will undergo lower back surgery on Friday to remove a fragment of a herniated disc, causing the Hall of Famer to miss up to four weeks coaching the Blue Devils (12-2 this season). The news was announced Monday. Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel will fill in for Krzyzewski. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Allan Friedman at Duke University Hospital.