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Speaking of the seven years with the Thunder, did you have a sense that Kevin Durant was going to leave? Serge Ibaka: No, not really. And it’s tough for him. It’s tough to make that kind of decision and it’s not easy, but at the end of the day he needs to do what makes him happy. What he thinks makes him happy, makes his family happy, that matters. We have to accept that and from the position of Oklahoma City, from the team, it’s tough if your star leaves like that and I understand that. But, there’s some stuff in life that we can’t control. The fans in Oklahoma City and the team can’t control that and if that makes Kevin Durant happy, then good for him.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) today announced the top 87 boys and girls from 27 African countries who will travel to the first Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa Camp in Angola, which will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at Pavilhão Multiusos do Kilamba in Luanda. BWB, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this summer. BWB Africa, which will be supported by the Angolan Basketball Federation (Federaçao Angolana de Basquetebol) and the Angola Ministry of Youth and Sports, will bring together the top male and female players born in 1999 from across Africa to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches, including Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix Suns; U.S.), Luc Mbah a Moute (LA Clippers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2003), Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks; Tunisia), Thabo Sefolosha (Atlanta Hawks; Switzerland), and Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets; U.S.).
Spain has long been a viable threat, having made it difficult for the U.S. to claim gold in the previous two Olympics. But Friday’s game wasn’t quite the same serious threat without Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, and with Pau Gasol and the rest of that team’s core getting older. Even with Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic in foul trouble, the Americans could never pull away comfortably. They were never in danger of losing but the killer instinct – the desire to dominate – was lacking. Pau Gasol felt Spain squandered its best chance to defeat the U.S. “They are not playing as well as other times they’ve played,” Pau Gasol said after the loss, “but they are still a very talented team individually.”