Following six training camp sessions, USA Basketball announced today the official 12-member, 2017 USA Basketball Men’s AmeriCup Team. The USA team features six players with NBA experience, 11 with NBA G League experience and seven with playing experience overseas. Players selected for the USA AmeriCup training camp include: Billy Baron (UCAM Murcia (Spain); Alec Brown (Windy City Bulls); Davis; Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce); Reggie Hearn (Reno Bighorns); Darrun Hilliard (Detroit Pistons); Jonathan Holmes (Canton Charge); Kendall Marshall (Reno Bighorns); Xavier Munford (Greensboro Swarm); Marshall Plumlee (New York Knicks); Jameel Warney (Texas Legends); C.J. Williams (Texas Legends); and Reggie Williams (Oklahoma City Blue).
Jeff Van Gundy noted that he and his USA squad still has plenty to accomplish during its remaining practices. “I think you want to make sure you really know your roster as well as you can. Know who you’re going to play, and with who. You don’t try to play too many guys, but you want to use the good depth that we have. It’s that and then narrowing down to get guys playing to their strengths and not playing to what their non-strengths may be. As long as we know ourselves and our team well, I think our guys will compete hard and I think that they will compete together.
Stefan Bondy: Free agent Marshall Plumlee has been selected to participate in Team USA's training camp ahead of FIBA Americup. Jeff Van Gundy is coaching.
The game Jordan referenced was the famous scrimmage in Monaco, where the team trained for several days leading up to the Olympics. Though there were other scrimmages and practices in Monaco and at the team’s training camp in La Jolla, California, prior to this one, this final scrimmage on July 22, 1992, is unanimously held in the highest esteem. When asked by ESPN’s Michael Wilbon several years ago about the competitive nature of that day in Monte Carlo, Jordan's response says it all: “Greatest game I’ve ever played in. All the beautiful things about the game of basketball were illustrated in that one particular game. If you culminate everybody in the Hall of Fame and every game they played in, and you envision a game being played, that’s how that game was played.”
Despite trailing 7-0 and being down by as many as nine points, Jordan’s white team prevailed 40-36 thanks in part to a 17-4 run fueled by jumpers, drives and trash talk. Nobody came close to touching the Dream Team once the Olympics got underway in Barcelona, as each of the USA's eight games was decided by more than 30 points. Yet before these legends took the court for the world to see, this scrimmage in Monte Carlo set the tone for what followed in the coming weeks.
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.
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."
Jeff Goodman: Coach K returning this weekend after back surgery. - RT: Duke Basketball: Saturday. 🔵😈🐐 #HereComesDuke pic.twitter.com/Dxll7aqlPN
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.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources on @The Vertical: Retired General Martin Dempsey, former Joint Chiefs of Staff, is on course to become new USA Basketball Chairman.
“I have made the sacrifice that I want to do whatever it takes to win, so it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t go to the Olympics this summer,” Harden told The Vertical. “It was one of the toughest decisions that I’ve ever made in my life. For my legacy here in Houston and in the NBA, I thought it was important.”
Despite the United States’ gold medal win, Kawhi Leonard said he harbors no regrets about skipping the Rio Olympics. Leonard said a “lot of things,” including the birth of his daughter, factored into his decision. “I caught a couple of quarters here and there (on TV),” he said. Leonard said he hopes to have another shot at the Olympics. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich replaced Mike Krzyzewski as the U.S. basketball coach after the 2016 Games.
Tim MacMahon: Harrison Barnes on his limited Team USA role: "It was one of those situations where you have to sacrifice. Obviously when you make the Olympic team, you want to show what you can do on the world's biggest stage. At the same time, winning gold took precedent. We didn't want to be the team that either lost the win streak or didn't come home with the gold. Those are the things that we as a team said we were going to put everything to the side and focus on that, and we came through."
Ethan Strauss: KD was asked about trash talk during Team USA, said there wasn't any. "We rarely talk about basketball" es.pn/2di5zF9
Jeff Zillgitt: Samson Kayode, who worked for Pistons, named USA Basketball's men's national team asst. director. He replaces B.J. Johnson, who joined Nets.
Barkley said he would have liked to see Philadelphia 76ers’ young players Ben Simmons and Nerlens Noel in the Olympics this year. “I would like to see some young guys,” Barkley said. “If we don’t win the gold medal, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. If you go back and look at the last three drafts of the NBA, I would love to see some of those guys that are not ready for the NBA. Even a young guy like a Ben Simmons, I thought he should have played. Even though he would have played for Australia, I have no idea why he didn’t play. I think he should have played for Australia. I think a young guy like a Nerlens Noel. He could’ve played in the Olympics. It would have been good for him because — I’m not saying this is bad — but instead of nothing all summer, what’s better playing against NBA players for a couple months during practice?”
Kyrie Irving: We did it coach. You had the vision ever since I was that skinny 17 year old you saw play lol. Thank you for the opportunity and it was an honor be apart the journey with you.
BALLUPNBA: Jimmy Butler says he'd be a better WR than Antonio Brown and Demaryius Thomas, gets roasted by all of Team USA 😂😭 https://t.co/fOIZ3DjxnH
Coach K expected a game against Spain down the road, but compared to the previous two Olympic Games finals, this was a different animal: “We knew when we first started training camp that there was a great, great chance that we were going to play Spain at some point. We’ve had some great, great games against Spain, some unbelievably competitive games. We expected the same today and we got it. It was a different type of a game. It was a very hard game and both teams had to … it wasn’t easy flowing, and both teams had to make big plays. I thought our guys did that a little bit more than they did, and that’s why we won. DeAndre (Jordan) was huge, 16 rebounds, but also Pau’s a great player and not that he, no one’s going to stop him, but he made him work all the time. Getting the rebounds were amazing, and then Klay played the most minutes he’s played and came through. I thought Kyle Lowry just gave us a huge spark, so I’m really proud of my team. That was the most different game I’ve coached internationally for the United States. It was just a real different game today”.
And that had also to do with the decisions of the referees. Krzyzewski also addressed this matter: “It was a different atmosphere in there tonight. Those are three of the top officials in international basketball. We’ve had them in big games and I’d want them again. They’re really good. Whatever was happening there, they felt they had to take control. But it became very sensitive, in other words, you better not say or even ask a question. I thought what they did at the start of the second half in bringing the coaches and the captains together, we just said, “let’s play basketball.” I thought the second half was much better. It’s their game. They know what they’re doing and we have to adjust to it. It made it a different atmosphere, let’s put it that way. And for both teams. That’s why I’m really proud of my team”.
John Schuhmann: Kyle Lowry: "Aren't you the one who said we were going to lose?" Me: "If you didn't start playing better." I think they did.
SI.com: Do you wish you were playing? Isaiah Thomas: Yes, I wish I was part of the team. Hopefully for the next Olympics I could be in consideration. I’m ready for the opportunity and hope it comes my way. But I’m definitely rooting for those guys to bring the gold home.
“I had some chills when we went to the Finals in 2012 (with the Oklahoma City Thunder); a tear rolled down my eyes in that moment. But you can’t really put into words (what it feels like when) you’re so united like that. You look in the stands, and you see everybody that has an American flag on, or red, white and blue. And it’s not about the Warriors or the Raptors or the Clippers of the Knicks, it’s all about Team USA,” Durant, who signed with the Golden State Warriors last month, said after practice on Thursday.
“To see that, and to feel that unity (at the game) with all that’s going on in our country right now, it was amazing. Just to hear ‘USA,’ it just shows that we’re the most powerful and greatest country there is, and to see everyone come together no matter (the) race, no matter the background, anything, just to hear that, that’s what I thought about. It was amazing, man. I wish I could’ve taped that moment, but I didn’t have my phone on me. The fans just have so much pride, man, and I feel like we can do that (in America). But we’re just so separated, man. It’s sad to see. I just hope at some point, as a nation, that we just start to find it,” said Durant, who looked plenty motivated in the 105-78 win over Argentina in which he had 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
The Spaniards are getting ready for their fourth chance in a row to beat USA in the Olympics and Juan Carlos Navarro believes that his teams has a good chance. According to the Spanish news agency EFE, when Navarro was asked if Spain can win his answer was the following: “There have been other teams in this tournament which have been very close to beat them, so why not us? We have come here to try to win and if we play our cards right and we are ready, why not…”
While Pau Gasol presence is officially doubtful in the semifinal against USA, coach Mike Krzyzewski is preparing his team expecting the Spanish start to be on the court. Coach K spoke on the matter and as USA Today reports, his answers was the following: “No, we don’t pay attention to that. We expect everybody to be 100%. I’m sure, when you play in this, there are bumps and bruises on our guys. That’s why we did more of a walk-through in our gameplan. You try not to be physical in this quick turnaround. We expect him to play”.
“When you’re looking at the game of basketball, it’s about ‘the guy.’ Who is the No. 1 guy? The leader? Who’s the alpha? All that stuff,” Durant told The Vertical about team hierarchies.
“That was who I was supposed to be. No matter if it would’ve happened or not, I felt I was supposed to be a star. Aggressive player on the team. I’m supposed to score. I always felt that was me. I was brought up that way. I was raised that way,” Durant said.
“As years go on, I’m starting to think the game a little bit more, on how to be a better leader and how make my teammates better, outside of just being tunnel vision every time I get it, I score it. I’m still trying to find the balance,” Durant said this week. “It’s a good place to be, when people rely on you do to so much, but also be yourself to the core. It’s a learning period. It takes some time to figure that sweet spot out and I’m still learning.”
With some recent statements, LeBron James emphasized on the fact that his days with team USA are not over, while mentioning that he… wish he was in Rio. “Every time I watch ‘em I wish I was out there… I did not retire from Team USA. I just did not play this summer. So I still left the door open,” James said to Rachel Nichols of ESPN.
Amid all of Team USA's struggles to play as a unit, establish a pecking order and impose its defensive will on the countries that know how to execute and never stop moving, several of the famous names we consulted cautioned that the competition currently underway might not stay so watchable. Not if the Americans start gelling like a team with that much talent conceivably could at any moment. "First of all, it's because they have way more talent, size, athleticism ... everything more than us," Ginobili said. "I think they had a period of five, six years in which they ... I don't know if it's they didn't care enough or they didn't respect the rest [of the world] enough. But now they got past that stretch -- far."
"There was this time that the U.S. kind of got bored of the FIBA thing," Scola said. "And they didn't put a lot of effort, didn't put a lot of work on it. They didn't really commit to it. And those years they lost. And then they said: 'Stop. Enough.' So I believe it's pretty much up to the U.S. If U.S. takes this seriously, and they really put work into it, and they put their minds and their bodies into it, it's going to be very, very hard to beat them any year they come and play. They have so many good players. They have so many athletes. The difference of the athleticism between those guys and everybody else is very, very big. So if they really focus on it, it's going to be very hard to beat them in any tournament. It's been like that forever."
“I think to start out, personally, I thought we were going to dominate and these games were going to be easy,” said Paul George. “We started playing better competition, I think you see, across the board, these teams are pretty good. The luxury they have is they’ve been together for so long. You really can’t stress that enough. You see it. They just read each other so well. I think that’s the biggest thing that really separates us from them.”
Kevin Durant admitted that this tournament hasn’t gone as he had originally thought. Australia appeared to be the wake-up call, until Serbia showed that they had only hit the snooze button. But Sunday’s win was also worrisome because France rested Parker for the entire game, and his backcourt mate, the former San Antonio Spur Nando de Colo, for the second half and Klay Thompson ended his Rio slump by scoring 30 points with seven 3-pointers – and the Americans were still unable to secure a decisive victory.
“Obviously, everybody wants us to win by a lot of points, but it’s not how it’s going to go this time,” Durant said. “We want to win a gold. That’s our main objective. We can’t worry about who scores, who gets the praise, who gets the minutes – we just got to win as a team.”
“Basketball got better,” said French forward Nicolas Batum of the Charlotte Hornets. “Now, they’re still the best in the world, with the best player, but we can’t step on the court and watch them because they play for USA. It was like that in ’92 with the Dream Team. Now we step on the court, we want to compete. They still have the best in the world, they’ve got KD, [Carmelo Anthony], Kyrie – those guys are still the best in the world. But when you step on the court and play, you never know.”
Marc J. Spears: USA plays with fire again, but wins again 100-97 versus France sans Tony Parker. Win or go home early next. @usabasketball #RioOlympics2016
Jeff Zillgitt: Kevin Durant: "Obviously, everybody wants us to win by a lot of points, but it’s not how it’s going to go this time." usat.ly/2aMb1U3
Raul Barrigon: Klay Thompson first 4 games: 11 pts, 4/26 FG (3/16 threes). Today vs. France: 30 pts, 9/16 FG (7/13 threes). https://t.co/wY8ekaxhF1
“They are just players. If you think about who they are, you are not going to be good at this. Maybe Australia showed us they can get beat. They can get beat,” said Serbian center Nikola Jokic, the promising Denver Nugget who bludgeoned the U.S. for a game-high 25 points in a 94-91 loss.
“We got to expect this,” said DeMarcus Cousins. “Every time we step on the floor, guys are going to give us their best effort, everybody wants to beat Team USA. We know that coming in, but at the same time, we can’t crumble the way we’ve done the past two games. Right now, we’re hurting ourselves. Not taking away credit of how Serbia played, because they played amazing tonight. But we’ve got to be a lot stronger mentally.”
"It's a shorter game, a 40-minute game, and you can never let your guard down," Team USA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau said in a SportsCenter interview after the game. "We felt that that's what we did. When things aren't going well, we still have to play within a team concept and play together both offensively and defensively. The way this [international] game is played. ... You have to be tied together and you have to be able to sustain your concentration and effort through an entire possession. We didn't finish our defense as well as we could have."
Sirius XM NBA: @usabasketball Asst Coach Jim Boeheim on Klay struggles: "We know Klay can shoot it & we know he will get going." #Rio2016
"Most athletes don't have an opportunity to say that they won a gold medal, better yet three gold medals," Carmelo Anthony said. "I would be very happy walking away from the game knowing that I've given the game everything I have (and) knowing I played on a high level at every level: High school, college, won (a championship) in college (at Syracuse) and possibly three gold medals."
Jeff Zillgitt: U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said he plans to stick with Paul George in the starting lineup vs. Serbia on Friday. Klay started first two games.
Michael Lee: DeMarcus Cousins got off USA bus, spotted Brittney Griner eating some Pringles & said, "Put those down, let's go." https://t.co/z9FHgGSMih
Sam Amick: Our Brittney Griner-DeMarcus Cousins faceoff almost just happened: "Not the time or the place," she says, "...yet." https://t.co/JkkUOhlwoW
Gary Washburn: Coach K: "For this group, that was the first real international game we've had." #RioOlympics2016
Marc J. Spears: It was a real scare, but @usabasketball survives beating Australia 98-88. USA's @Carmelo Anthony saves the day with 31 points and 8 rebounds.
In addition to holding the U.S. men's all-time scoring mark, Anthony has also played in a record 26 Olympic games. He trails David Robinson by 31 rebounds for the all-time lead and trails Michael Jordan by 20 field goals for the all-time field goal attempts mark.
Paul George: Lol 🖕🏾 RT @Lavoy Allen: Starting up a collection so we can lay PG's ankles to rest https://t.co/X8VWcJ5ikm
The chemistry has manifested itself in a number of ways, but none quite so comical as this business about Jimmy Butler’s playlist. The Chicago Bulls guard has taken criticism for his musical taste before, most notably when then-teammate Nazr Mohammed shared a video of Butler dancing to a Taylor Swift song in the locker room in March of 2015. But it was his playlist that included the “Call Me Maybe” pop hit from Carly Rae Jepsen and provided such a relatable, hysterical moment for all to see, and that was more than enough to cost Butler his turn at the team’s proverbial turntable.
Scott Agness: As expected, Paul George (left calf strain) is sitting out while the team practices its sets. "50-50" for game Fri. https://t.co/7K9NuZpEDS
September 22, 2021 | 11:35 am EDT Update
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers wants to change Ben Simmons’ mind. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the star guard has told the team that he will not report to training camp next week and does not plan to play for the franchise again. “Well, I hope we can change that thought,” Rivers said on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill, and Max on Wednesday morning. “That’s part of our job.”
Marc Farzetta: “We hear it all, but we’re not going to give up on that…I just love how [Ben Simmons] plays. I love a lot of the things that he does for the team…but we have to go through all this to get him back” -Sixers Coach Doc Rivers on @FirstTake
While Rivers wants to change the narrative, he hasn’t had much of a chance this offseason. He was asked how much he’s talked to Simmons. “Not much, but we’ve had some,” he said. “And I get his feelings. I understand where he’s at right now, but we’re going to keep trying to work on it to get him in the right place.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent G Theo Pinson will go to training camp with the Boston Celtics, sources tell ESPN. Pinson spent parts of his first three NBA seasons with the Nets and Knicks.
Michael Scotto: The Houston Rockets signed Dante Exum to a three-year deal worth $16.22 million if he achieves all bonuses in his contract, league sources told @HoopsHype. Years two and three are non-guaranteed.
Keith Smith: Dante Exum’s contract features likely bonuses, unlikely bonuses and non-guaranteed salary! Current cap hits: 22-23: $5,000,000 23-24: $5,000,000 24-25: $5,000,000 $6.9M in likely bonuses, $1,215,000 in unlikely bonuses. Final two seasons are both fully non-guaranteed. @spotrac
Did you ever wonder what would’ve happened if you didn’t have that injury? Brandon Jennings: I would’ve been an All-Star for sure if I didn’t tear my Achilles, and I believe we would have made the playoffs that year in Detroit, and then I’d end up getting paid. That probably would’ve happened. Then again, who knows what happens after that? I feel like with the injury, that’s when the chaos started happening outside of my career. I felt like with the money, it would’ve probably been more chaos.
When you had that 55-point game, what stuck out to you about it? Was that your favorite NBA moment? Brandon Jennings: The 55-point game was still something I can’t explain. I just got hot, and the ball was just going in. I only scored 10 points in the first half, and I had a terrible first quarter. I just came out in the second half hot. I’m sure everybody is like, that should be your favorite game, but one of my favorite games ever was my first game in the NBA when I almost had a triple-double in Philly. I didn’t know if I was going to start. He told me I was going to start the day before.