But in their 80-45 thumping of Venezuela, Mike Krzyzewski’s group proved it has more ways to win a game than simply outshooting its opponent. A combination of tenacious rebounding and determined defense allowed the Americans to move to 4-0 in exhibition play in their second-to-last tune-up before next month’s Olympic Games, where they’ll attempt to three-peat as gold medal winners. “Two of the consistent parts of the game we did great with tonight, and that is you can play really good defense and you can rebound every night,” Krzyzewski said after the game. “Because it’s about effort. And our guys have given that effort.”
Brooklyn Nets guard Greivis Vasquez has announced his withdrawal from the Venezuelan national team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Vasquez, a six-year NBA veteran after playing collegiately at Maryland, signed with the Nets as a free agent earlier this month after playing for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2015-16 season.
Statement from Greivis Vasquez: ”After a great deal of consultation with the Nets and team doctors, I have been advised that unfortunately it will be necessary for me to withdraw from Olympic competition. While it would have been an honor and a dream to join my teammates and represent our country in Rio, the medical staff feels that it is essential that I devote this time to work towards getting healthy for the upcoming NBA season. This will be the best decision, not only for this season, but for my career going forward. I wish the best to my teammates at the Olympic Games and I sincerely hope to have the opportunity to be a part of our national team again in the future.”
Reports in the Venezuelan press seem to indicate that Greivis Vasquez’s status with the Venezuelan Olympic team remains uncertain. Vasquez didn’t play this weekend in a “friendly” game vs. Spain, meaning that of the Venezuelans’ four friendlies so far, he’s only played in one vs. Lithuania and only 17 minutes in that one, contributing three points, an assist, and a rebound. In the matches against Belarus and the Netherlands he did not participate at all because he was working out the details of his contract with Brooklyn. He signed a one-year, $5 million contract, including bonuses, in New York on July 10.