Cousins, who turned 26 during the Rio Games, wants to return to Team USA. “I’m open to [coming back for Tokyo 2020]. I’ll be older then, so it depends on how my body feels. As of right now, where I’m at, absolutely, I’m open to it,” he said. “I think people don’t understand [how hard this winning is]. They see the guys on the roster and they think automatically, they’re supposed to win. This [international game] isn’t our game. This isn’t the way we play. This is an adjustment for every guy on the roster.
Lowe also inquired about the fourth-year head coach’s relationship with Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, who flew into Sacramento to meet Joerger following his introductory press conference. “We’ve had a good beginning to our relationship, a good start this summer. I think the Olympic experience is only going to help him.”
Divac has maintained that Cousins will be a fixture with Sacramento after a tumultuous season that led to the firing of coach George Karl. Has the Olympic experience helped Cousins mature? Divac is banking on that. “[The Olympics] helps international guys but it also helps NBA guys,” Divac said. “You see a different part of basketball. They can pick up some tricks. That’s how I look at it. When I used to play, I loved playing international because it’s more freedom and more ability to improve.”
In the late 1980s to early 1990s, Stern worked closely with then FIBA Secretary General (and current FIBA Secretary General Emeritus) Borislav Stankovic to bring professional basketball players to the world stage. This was in line with an objective of Samaranch, who was pursuing the idea of having professional athletes take part in the Olympics. The success the three men achieved was best exemplified by the presence of the USA’s “Dream Team” at the Barcelona Games in 1992, a phenomenon which opened a new era for international basketball. “I am greatly honored to have been selected for induction into the FIBA Hall of Fame,” said Stern. “I am proud of my collaboration with Borislav Stankovic to unite and strengthen basketball on a global basis, which has been continued by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. It is also a great honor for me to be inducted with Hakeem Olajuwon and the other class of 2016 inductees who have contributed so much to our game.”
The 2016 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame consists of: PLAYERS: Panagiotis Fasoulas (Greece); Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria/USA); Manuel Raga (Mexico); Juan Antonio San Epifanio (Spain); Michele Timms (Australia). COACH: Jorge Canavesi (Argentina). CONTRIBUTOR: David J. Stern (USA).