Team USA Rumors
After dealing with ankle and knee injuries last season, Stephen Curry made the wise decision not to travel to Rio de Janeiro. No one should doubt, though, that he’ll be on the plane to Japan in four years when the Games are staged in Tokyo. “The way it went down this past year with the injury, it was the right decision,” Curry said to FIBA.com in his hometown of Charlotte, where he recently played for the Golden State Warriors against the Hornets.
Stephen Curry “It was a tough one because I put a lot of equity into playing for Team USA and was looking forward to playing for the Olympic team for the first time. The decision for me personally was that it was best not to play, and to get ready for the season, to get healthy. Going forward, I do plan on playing at the World Cup (in 2019 in China), being healthy and being in a good position to be in Tokyo.”
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).
How much do you believe the Team USA experience helps a player? DeRozan: It helps everything. You’re around 11 of the greatest players in the league. And to be part of that group you take so much and learn so much from every individual and just representing your country. And you try to carry that over to your own [NBA] team.
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.