Returning to contend for a USA roster spot after previously playing with USA World Cup Qualifying Teams are guard Reggie Hearn (Grand Rapids Drive) and center Jameel Warney (Texas Legends). Hearn played with the USA’s November 2017 and June 2018 World Cup Qualifying Teams, and while getting the starting nod in all four games, averaged 12.3 points a game. Warney played for U.S. in the November World Cup Qualifier and averaged 11.5 points and 8.0 rebounds a game. Both players were also part of the USA AmeriCup Team that finished 5-0 to claim gold in August 2017. Warney, who was selected the 2017 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year, earned AmeriCup MVP honors after posting 12.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, while Hearn contributed 10.0 points a game. Rounding out the U.S. training camp roster are Bryce Alford (Oklahoma City Blue); Dwayne Bacon (Charlottw Hornets); V.J. Beachem (Free Agent); Jordan Crawford (New Orleans Pelicans); Henry Ellenson (Detroit Pistons); Isaiah Hicks (New York Knicks); Dakari Johnson (Free Agent); Frank Mason III (Sacramento Kings); Ben Moore (Fort Wayne Mad Ants); Chasson Randle (Capital City Go-Go); Travis Trice (Milwaukee Bucks); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).
It will be Colangelo and Gregg Popovich, who officially took over for Krzyzewski after the 2016 Rio Olympics, to choose those guys. Colangelo said there was initially an expectation on his part to step away from the program in 2016 along with Krzyzewski. But after Popovich said he would be willing to coach the team on one condition — that Colangelo stay at the helm — those plans changed. “So, in my mind, that gets me through 2020,” Colangelo said. “And then, we’ll see.”
But U.S.A. Basketball officials are bracing for Leonard to invoke his right to pass on the non-mandatory sessions, as LeBron James and Stephen Curry have done, as he continues his recovery from the mysterious quadriceps injury that led to the unraveling of his relationship with the Spurs. Leonard, after all, might dread the glare of the spotlight more than Popovich. “He’s a maybe,” Colangelo said of Leonard’s attending the camp.
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.
Inbox: this morning, @Patty_Mills announced the formation of the ‘Team Mills Foundation’, a not for profit organisation “dedicated to supporting and championing culture, diversity, women and underprivileged families and enacting positive change for the environment worldwide.” pic.twitter.com/MtXUQEvjnX
That all changed in 2006. A couple of days before Bryant would score 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, Colangelo invited him to his office in Phoenix. The Lakers were in town to face the Suns, but Colangelo had something else on his mind: He wanted Bryant to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympics. “I knew in advance that he really wanted to be a part of U.S.A. Basketball,” said Colangelo, who had taken over as managing director of the men’s national team after its disastrous third-place finish at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens — a far cry from the standard of excellence set by Michael Jordan and the so-called Dream Team that won gold in 1992. “It was on his list of things that he wanted to accomplish, because he had never played for U.S.A. Basketball. No junior teams or anything like that. So it was important to him, and his commitment was huge.”
“Cavs GM Ron Hrovat, a basketball neophyte, was entrusted with the responsibility of hand-delivering the contract to Chamberlain’s palatial home in Bel Air,” the Hall of Famer wrote. “Nobody was there when Hrovat arrived, so he stuck the contract in the gate. By the time Chamberlain showed up, the papers were strewn around his yard.” Which did not sit well with Wilt. “Chamberlain immediately got Albeck on the phone,” Vecsey wrote. “‘Forget it, Little Man,’ he said, using his endearing nickname for Albeck. “I can’t play for a team that handles its business like that.” Albeck lamented how the Cavaliers’ pursuit of Chamberlain concluded. “He was this close to coming back,” he told Vecsey, holding his thumb and index finger an inch apart.
Fred Katz: John Wall: “I’m 110 percent. I’m healthy.” I will answer the follow-up, since he and the organization have said it 392 times: No, he does not plan on playing this season, even if there are more Wizards regular-season games to be played.
Wilson also will supply balls for the WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League. The NBA and Wilson haven’t disclosed the terms of the deal other than to say it’s multiyear, but it’s believed to be 10 years. The NBA’s relationship with Wilson isn’t a new one. The company provided NBA game balls from 1946, when the NBA launched as the Basketball Association of America, until Spalding took over the contract in 1983. “We didn’t spend a lot of time having to get to know them or know what they’ve done throughout the course of this history and brand,” LaRocca said.
But Eastern Conference teams have already pushed back at the league for the group stage suggestion, according to league sources. The East is weaker than the West, and teams wouldn’t want to give up leverage in future discussions to reseed the postseason or remove conferences entirely. It’s a fair point, but conferences aren’t going away any time soon due to challenges and concerns with coast-to-coast travel, even under normal circumstances. In my opinion, the groups are balanced almost every single way you distribute teams from each tier. All teams in Tier 2 and 3 are relatively even, and with the exception of the Mavericks, the same can be said for Tiers 4 and 5. Any minor kinks could be ironed out if the league and the NBPA agree to fully explore this scenario.