Brian Windhorst: Julius Randle has withdrawn from Team …

Brian Windhorst: Julius Randle has withdrawn from Team USA training camp due to a family issue. The Nuggets’ Torrey Craig has been added to the Select Team to replace Landry Shamet. Players report tomorrow in Vegas.

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Ben Golliver: USA Basketball's updated World Cup training camp roster: Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart; Donovan Mitchell, Jaylen Brown; Khris Middleton, Harrison Barnes, Jayson Tatum; Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, PJ Tucker, Thaddeus Young; Andre Drummond, Myles Turner, Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee
Mitchell will also attend Team USA's national team training camp Aug. 5-9 in Las Vegas. He hopes to earn a spot on the final 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup in China, but his goal is to come back to Utah a much-improved player. "A lot of it, I'm just keeping it to myself with just being a better playmaker and a better player overall, being more efficient, and those are the obvious things, and then being in better shape," Mitchell said. "Hopefully making the USA team will help with that."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Clippers guard Landry Shamet has been invited to participate with the Select Team at Team USA's National Team camp in Las Vegas in August, league source tells ESPN. Shamet will join the younger group that includes No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson.
At least two of the Warriors’ five All-Stars have some clarity on their offseason plans. Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are not expected to play with the U.S. Men’s national team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup from Aug. 31 through Sept. 15. “Probably not this year,” Cousins said following practice on Wednesday. “I got a lot of catching up to do this summer. That will be my main focus is that. So probably not this summer.”
Thompson did not sound as definitive as he walked through an arena hallway following practice on Wednesday. Thompson mused, “I don’t even know what I’m getting for tonight, bro.” Thompson then added, “my focus is on winning this game tomorrow.” Still, it appears unlikely Thompson will play, according to a source familiar with his thinking. Thompson has appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals. He wants to focus on his pending free agency and a planned trip to China as part of his work with Anta from July 12 through 22.
Adrian Wojnarowski: San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge and Detroit's Andre Drummond will participate in the Team USA training camp in August, league sources tell ESPN. Team USA is putting together a roster for the FIBA World Cup in China in September.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton has accepted an invitation to the 18-man Team USA training camp in August, league source tells ESPN. Team USA is fielding a roster to bring to the FIBA World Cup in China in September.
If Walker plays, something he said he would like to do, he will come up against Japan in the group stage, with the Akatsuki Five, Turkey and the Czech Republic set to battle it out with the Americans for a place in the second round. "It will be an honor, of course, it will be the first time in my professional career that I will get the opportunity to compete for the U.S.A. team," he said. "It will be an honor to play against Japan. I love playing against different competition, especially guys from another country, so I am looking forward to it."
Marc Stein: Team USA, of course, will be coached by San Antonio's Gregg Popovich and Houston's James Harden is another top name USAB hopes to secure for its 12-man squad.
Marc Stein: Houston's James Harden is expected to be on the Team USA roster at this stage, according to one source briefed on the situation. @usabasketball training camp starts in two months in Las Vegas.
Marc Stein: Yet another name gaining momentum for a Team USA roster spot for this summer's @FIBAWC in China: Utah's @spidadmitchell
“He was remarkable, spectacular, off the charts, what he did to qualify USA for the world championships,” Popovich said of Van Gundy, who has worked as a television analyst since being fired by the Rockets. “He put together about five different teams, of mostly different players every time, and had a short amount of time to get ready. If they didn’t do well, the U.S. doesn’t go, and he deserves a lot of credit for doing that. I’m very grateful to him for what he did.”
Marc Stein: By winning 78-70 tonight in Uruguay after a double-digit loss at Argentina, Jeff Van Gundy's @usabasketball squad comprised mostly of @nbagleague players has clinched a spot in the @FIBAWC in China in September -- when Gregg Popovich will make his debut as U.S. coach
Head coach Gregg Popovich has named former player and friend Steve Kerr as an assistant coach on Team USA for the next two summers, an indication that the Golden State Warriors coach is emerging as an option to become head coach sometime in the future. USA Basketball made the announcement Thursday. Popovich also named Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and Villanova head coach Jay Wright as assistants. Popovich and this coaching staff will work with the national team for the 2019 World Cup in China and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"This is an incredible opportunity and one I'm extremely grateful for," Kerr said in a statement. "I had the good fortune to participate in our USA Basketball program as an amateur, and to have the chance to return to the world stage three decades later and work under Pop, one of my former coaches and a mentor, is a tremendous honor." Kerr played for Team USA in the 1986 World Championships in Madrid while he was a player at Arizona. He hasn't been a part of Team USA since 1988 as he's focused on his NBA playing, front office and coaching career. Popovich bringing him into the fold will give him experience with the international game that could be put to use later.
The USA will continue its training through Sept. 13 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. The USA, playing in the first competition window of FIBA World Cup Qualifying second-round games, will meet Uruguay on Sept. 14 (7 p.m. PDT) at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion, then meet Panama on Sept. 17 in Panama City. The USA roster is capped by Bryce Alford (Oklahoma City Blue); Dwayne Bacon (Charlotte Hornets); Henry Ellenson (Detroit Pistons); Reggie Hearn (Grand Rapids Drive); 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); Jameel Warney (Texas Legends); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).
James Ham: Hearing Frank Mason (@Frank Mason) made the USA Men’s World Cup qualifying team. One of 12 playing against Uruguay on Sept. 14 in Las Vegas.
Featuring 10 players who played for NBA teams in 2017-18, and the return of two players boasting of previous World Cup Qualifying game experience, USA Basketball announced today 14 players who will vie for a roster spot with USA’s September World Cup Qualifying Team. The hopefuls will open training camp on Sept. 6 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. The Las Vegas training camp will be used to determine the 12-man team for the USA’s first competition window of FIBA World Cup Qualifying second-round games. The U.S. will square off against Uruguay on Sept. 14 (7 p.m. PDT) at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion, then meet Panama on Sept. 17 in Panama City. The player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team Committee.
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).
Now it appears all might be not be as it appears with Robinson's immediate future, with Heat President Pat Riley providing insight on the 3-point specialist's plans in advance of training camp. "I'm really proud in the fact that Duncan Robinson has been invited to play in the international series," Riley said of the September window for World Cup qualifying, "but he decided to stay here because he wanted to make our team, he wants to force us into giving him a real contract."
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.”
Mavs assistant coach Jamahl Mosley was one of nine assistant coaches at the USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp this week in Las Vegas. “To me this camp was great,” Mosley said. “We got the guys a chance to recognize, come together and start building a family with USA Basketball. Just getting together and being around these coaches is — I said it before — it was an honor and an privilege. I can’t even put into words how fantastic it’s been.”
Memphis Grizzlies star Mike Conley wasn't able to fully participate in Team USA training camp this week as he continues to recover from heel surgery last January. But he says he's feeling good and still on course to be ready by training camp in September.
Josh Lewenberg: Do you have a relationship with Kawhi? Lowry: "No." Have you spoken to him? KL: "I don't know." You don't know if you've spoken to him? KL: "No." What do you mean? KL: "I don't know if I've spoken to him."
Josh Lewenberg: Lowry, asked when he'll be ready to look ahead: "When it's time to. When it's time I have to be there and go to work I'll be ready to go to work and I'll be ready to make my comments and things like that."
Chris Haynes: Portland guard Damian Lillard has returned home from attending Team USA minicamp, league sources tell ESPN. Due to other summer commitments, it was understood he would only attend first portion of camp.
Tom Orsborn: Pop declined to take any questions about anything other than USA Basketball. His assessment of what he saw on the court Thursday: "“We found people who wanted to knock heads, wanted to compete, wanted to get up and down, so we did it.” #Spurs

http://twitter.com/jovanbuha/status/1022551037276614656
Tim Bontemps: Just as notable as the players at Team USA practice in Vegas are the list of guys who are not: Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, Bradley Beal, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, DeAndre Jordan, C.J. McCollum, Gordon Hayward.

http://twitter.com/NBA/status/1022559156102815744
Sole Collector: #SoleWatch: @James Harden wearing the Adidas Harden Vol. 3 at USA Basketball minicamp (via @nba) pic.twitter.com/VctBUmDQty

http://twitter.com/SoleCollector/status/1022562956456943616
Brian Mahoney: Rod Thorn wins USA Basketball’s Edward S. Steitz Award, given for contributions to international basketball.
While Kawhi Leonard pulled out of the non-mandatory USA Basketball mini-camp taking place in Las Vegas this week, there was still something Raptors-relevant to come out of the first day. Namely, DeRozan met up with Kyle Lowry, and the pair of former teammates took a quick pic for the NBA twitter account.

https://twitter.com/NBA/status/1022255824071155712
Marc J. Spears: Warriors forward Draymond Green will miss @usabasketball mini-camp, a source told @TheUndefeated.
Chris Haynes: Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard will not attend USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas this week, league sources tell ESPN. He will use time to prepare for transition to new team.
Sam Amick: In other Team USA news, the Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan is expected to take part in Vegas camp this week with his new NBA/international coach, Gregg Popovich. So while Kawhi won’t attend, the other superstar half of that trade is expected to be there.
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.
USA Basketball and Griffin have never been able to properly mingle. However, the window isn’t closed. On April 6, Griffin, along with Detroit Pistons teammate Andre Drummond, were among the 35 players named to the USA Basketball 2018-20 roster. Training camp in preparation for the 2019 USA World Cup in China and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be July 25-27 in Las Vegas. And Griffin has every intention of participating. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Griffin told The Athletic. “I mean, the Olympics, in general, is something I’ve always wanted to do at least once.”
Josh Lewenberg: As of now, Kawhi Leonard is expected to be in Vegas for this week's USA Basketball camp (as are DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry). To what degree he plans on participating in practices (if at all) is up in the air, I'm told.
Harrison Wind: Nuggets point guard Isaiah Thomas will not attend Team USA minicamp next week in Las Vegas, @BSNDenver has learned. Thomas was one of 35 names included in the player pool that the USA Basketball men's national team released in April for the 2020 Olympics.
Jeff Zillgitt: Here’s the U.S. squad that will play Mexico in Mexico City on June 28 and Cuba in Havana July 1 in FIBA World Cup qualifying games:

https://twitter.com/JeffZillgitt/status/1011368438860693506
Adam Johnson: Erie BayHawks head coach Josh Longstaff has been named to Team USA coaching staff, replacing Ronald Nored who accepted a position with the Charlotte Hornets.
Pop and the rest of the players (including Spurs' Kawhi Leonard) are expected to attend the July 25-27 USA Men's National Team minicamp in Las Vegas and for the newly minted head coach, he couldn't be any more honored at the opportunity. “This is quite an honor and humbling experience to be involved with USA Basketball and this group of players,” Popovich said. “… In all honesty, from the time Jerry decided they wanted to go this route, it’s been on my mind as far as preparation is concerned. I’m sure as we meet this summer (for national team minicamp in Las Vegas), it will become more and more.”
USA Basketball Men’s National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo and Team USA coach Gregg Popovich both said they picked Booker because of his youth and what he’s shown. “He’s one of the outstanding young players in the league,” Colangelo said. “We’re projecting where these players might be a year or two from now. He’s one of the young guys that we decided we want to take a real good look at.”
“He was with the team last summer that participated with the group and scrimmaged against the Olympic team and he played really well,” Popovich said. “He’s not just a talented player. He’s a heck of a competitor.”
Chase Hughes: John Wall and Bradley Beal have been selected for the 2018-20 Team USA roster. There are 35 players in total. Only 12 will make the Olympic roster for 2020.
Rod Beard: #Pistons’ Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin among 35 selected for Team USA minicamp: detne.ws/2IyHhGo via @detroitnews pic.twitter.com/SbfKrHijQH
Marc J. Spears: LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook highlight a star studded list of 35 NBA players selected for the 2018-20 USA Men’s National Team pool. Warriors All-Stars are on team.Davis, Griffin, Wall, Cousins, DeRozan, Irving, Dame, Kawhi. No Melo pic.twitter.com/cDEJA2N1wN
Brian Mahoney: USA Basketball names 35-player pool for 2018-20. LeBron is on it, making a 4th Olympics a possibility. Durant and Chris Paul could be going for a third.
Gerald Bourguet: Devin Booker is the youngest player on the USA Men's National Team roster. I'd actually be surprised if he didn't make the 2020 Tokyo team
Chris Reichert: Hearing that Windy City Bulls forward Jarell Eddie will be on Team USA’s 12-man roster for FIBA World Cup qualifying roster, per league sources #GLeague
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.
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.
Storyline: USA Basketball
More HoopsHype Rumors
May 25, 2020 | 5:30 pm EDT Update
Roc Nation Sports has signed a large class of highly regarded NBA draft prospects, including point guard LaMelo Ball, a projected top-five pick. The agency recently signed Ball’s brother, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, away from CAA Sports. Roc Nation NBA agent Raymond Brothers is representing both of the Ball brothers. LaMelo Ball, who played last season in Australia on the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League, is ranked No. 3 overall by website nbadraft.net. Brothers is also representing No. 12-ranked Memphis forward Precious Achiuwa.
Roc Nation signed Texas Tech guard Jahmi’us Ramsey, who is ranked No. 24: Washington power forward/center Isaiah Stewart, who is ranked No. 26; and Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley, who is ranked No. 35 by nbadraft.net. Additionally, Roc Nation signed Temple forward Quinton Rose, American University guard Sa’eed Nelson and Indiana guard Devonte Green, brother of Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward Danny Green. Agents Brothers, Drew Gross and Sam Permut are representing the players.
Tandem Sports + Entertainment has signed Northwestern guard Pat Spencer for representation in the NBA draft. Matt Laczkowski, Tandem director of athlete and talent representation, is representing Spencer, who transferred to Northwestern after playing lacrosse for four seasons at Loyola-Maryland. Spencer was drafted No. 1 in the 2019 Premier Lacrosse League draft, but chose to spend the next year pursuing basketball as a graduate transfer at Northwestern.
Storyline: Draft Agents
Ty Lawson posted a cryptic message on his Instagram story Monday in which he seemed to call out UNC head coach Roy Williams. “Who talks s— about someone who won them a championship …” Lawson wrote in his Instagram story. “(You’re) weird… I got messages from 10 NBA GMs that said it came out your mouth … That’s why I don’t f— with Carolina or support anything y’all do.”
May 25, 2020 | 4:32 pm EDT Update
Turner Sports analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley didn’t feel the need to hedge in a Monday appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show. “We’re gonna make a decision in the next week,” Barkley said. “I’m 100% sure we’re going to play. I know my friends in Major League Baseball are going to play. I know that the (NHL) is going to play. … I do know this, talking to my bosses at Turner: We’re going to play basketball. It is gonna be in Florida and Vegas, or just Florida.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
“The key is gonna be the players,” Barkley said. “I mean, listen — big basketball players pushing on each other in the lane, fighting for rebounds and post position, there’s no way they can social distance. You got to worry — they say they’re gonna put them in a hotel for two or three months, I’m like, ‘Well are the maids gonna be in the hotel for two or three months?’ The maids are gonna go home every day. What about the people in room service? They’re gonna go home every day. So it’s just a lot of unanswered questions.”
The Department will work with the professional sporting groups to identify the specific athletes, essential staff, team and league leadership, spouses, and dependents covered by this exemption, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the National Hockey League, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the Women’s Tennis Association.
Storyline: Season Resuming?
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the swift development of vaccines and effective treatments for COVID-19 are priorities towards achieving the Tokyo Olympics next year. Abe says recovery from the coronavirus pandemic only in Japan would not be enough to hold the Games because it involves spectators and athletes from around the world. He reiterates that the government hopes to hold the Tokyo Games “in a complete form” with spectators as a proof of human victory against the coronavirus.
Part of VICE TV’s VICE VERSA series of documentary specials, One Man and His Shoes essentially serves as an expanded version of what Episode 5 (and to some extent, Episode 1) of The Last Dance touched on: The cultural phenomenon of Nike’s Air Jordan shoe line. Director Yemi Bamiro doesn’t have to tell a larger narrative (though his film eventually goes there), so he can zoom in on this aspect of Jordan’s story.
May 25, 2020 | 4:26 pm EDT Update
How optimistic are you that the NBA will resume play at some point? Carlisle: “I am optimistic. It feels like things are moving in what I would characterize as a generally good direction, in terms of our ability to test and control an environment. I have no absolute knowledge of anything, but I do know there’s a great desire of the players to return to playing games and get into a playoff format of some sort.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
Rick Carlisle: “I think if you look at the big picture, it probably sets up even better for the start, if the new season’s going to start in December, which a lot of people are speculating. It’s kind of like the elongated All-Star break. And some of the good things that’s brought for the remaining part of the regular season you’re coming off of an eight or nine-day break instead of a three or four-day break, as in the old days.”
Isiah Thomas: “I think in Ja we are watching the next generation of the great point guards that have been coming through our league. You have that group of Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, John Wall and so forth, but for the younger generation of point guards, I think Ja – who is projected to win the 2019-20 Rookie of the Year award – is going to be leading that evolution of great point guard play.”
In leading the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons to back-to-back NBA titles (1988-89 as well as 1989-90), Thomas consistently compromised his private numbers to guarantee group success. It is a high quality he likewise sees in Morant. “That is a unique gift,” Thomas claimed. “Team- friends will certainly like you for it yet analytics will certainly despise you for it. Sharing the basketball as well as obtaining everybody entailed, being prepared to make the ‘hockey’ aid instead of keeping the round to obtain the aid on your own … you see Ja doing all of those points in the program of a basketball video game.
Mike Bibby sat down with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith and talked about his run with Sacramento — a fit that was comfortable for Bibby right away. Even though trading for him meant bidding farewell to Jason Williams, a guy Kings fans were in love with. “The guys treated me like I was there for five, six, seven years,” Bibby said. “I got there and Jason Williams was a prized possession in Sacramento and when I got traded for him, I just wanted to fit in, I didn’t know if the fans would like me or if the team would like me. In my first year we had the best record in the West. I had the best time of my life and my career playing in Sacramento with those guys. I think Sacramento is the best team I played on.”
May 25, 2020 | 4:09 pm EDT Update
Tobias Harris hasn’t shot a basketball since the 2019-20 season was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. But he has been working out every day in his garage gym at his Philadelphia home to stay ready should play resume. He’s also been talking to his teammates on Zoom. “Everybody wants to be safe, so that’s the key thing,” Harris replied when asked if he has any concerns about a return. “If we can find a venue and it’s safe and we have the proper protocols in place for guys to feel comfortable, then I’m fine with it.” Harris described the idea of playing actual games in an empty gym as, “Kind of like a practice setting. But guys are competitive, so we’re always gonna go as hard as we can.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
Hearing Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan in “The Last Dance”, crying on the locker room floor following his Father’s Day championship in 1996 — MJ’s first title since his dad, James, was murdered — caused Harris himself to become emotional. “I ain’t going to lie, I was shedding a tear when I saw Jordan crying,” Harris told Yahoo Sports in a recent telephone interview. “I thought they should’ve just stopped the episode right then and there. It was touching. I’d seen the photo a whole lot, but I was probably too young to understand. And now you can really see all the emotion that’s in it. I did some research after the show ended. You hear about his father passing away, but then you dive in and it’s a pretty crazy story.”
Harris, a Long Island native, was fortunate enough to see Jordan play at Madison Square Garden when he was a kid alongside his father, longtime NBA agent Torrel Harris — founder and CEO of Unique Sports Management — and his older brother, Tyler Harris. It proved to be a memorable evening. “We kept asking my dad if we could meet him after the game and he was just telling us maybe,” Tobias recalled. “But it ended up happening and it was unbelievable. As we were walking away I realized I didn’t get him to sign my card. So my dad had to pull him back and get him to sign our cards. Tyler and I were so excited on the train ride back. I kept thinking my dad was so cool because he knows Michael Jordan. I ended up losing the card on the way back, but it didn’t matter because I had gotten to meet him. It was an unforgettable experience.”
“When I was given the checkbook, I went to put in the tip & information to close the table and I couldn’t believe it,” the message read. “From a $160 check, the tip read $1,000.” The restaurant noted that the waitress was “shaking and had tears of happiness” while saying many employees had been suffering due to closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

May 25, 2020 | 1:18 pm EDT Update
The Sun-Times has reported that Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley have already had detailed discussions with players and retained personnel, and were getting enough mixed feedback of what’s gone on the last year that they were leaning toward starting with a new coach of their choosing. Ownership and former VP of basketball operations John Paxson have given support for Boylen, but a source reiterated that COO Michael Reinsdorf was by no means influencing the front office’s decision on the coach and would allow Boylen’s dismissal if Karnisovas wants to go that way. No questions asked.
Storyline: Bulls Front Office
Doc Rivers may have the largest All-Time starting five squad ever. Austin Rivers joined his father on the GO OFF podcast, where the two talked about All-Time starting fives, Kobe stories, and their player/coach dynamic. When it comes to an All-Time starting five, Doc Rivers is in favor of size. “I’m going Kareem at the center,” Rivers said. “I’m going Tim Duncan at the four, because those both are two-way players. I’m going Michael, and Magic at the one and two. This may be the biggest team ever. And then LeBron at the three.”
Coach Rivers had a top-five shooting squad as well. “Dirk at the five,” Rivers said. “I would put Durant at the three. Steph at the point, because that’s what you’d need. I would put Kobe in there because of his ability to drive. Now the whole team changes. At the four I couldn’t even come up with one.” Austin contested that Ray Allen should be on his father’s top-five shooting squad, but Doc believed Kobe’s ability to drive superseded the argument. In addition to Kobe’s driving ability, the elder Rivers believed Kobe’s shooting would improve significantly on a squad of good shooters.
May 25, 2020 | 10:34 am EDT Update
“Everything is pointing toward a return of the NBA this season at a single site in Orlando at Disney World,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s Get Up. “Teams expect the league to tell them to start recalling their players as soon as next week. There will be a two-week quarantine back in markets. Some teams might go directly to Disney to start training or somewhere in-between. But the league has started to not only put the plans in place for return in terms of testing and safety, health-wise. But really digging this week into what that format is going to look like.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
They were close to hiring Steve Kerr before he decided to take a job with Golden State. The Knicks also reached an advanced state of negotiations with Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer before hiring David Fizdale. Discussions between the Knicks and Budenholzer in the 2018 offseason advanced to a point where some people who would have come with Budenholzer to New York were talking about places to live in the city because they felt Budenholzer was close to taking the job, per SNY sources. Prior to Budenholzer’s interview with the Knicks, the New York Post reported that New York was Budenholzer’s top choice entering the offseason.
He proposed a photo that would have her looking like a pin-up in the style of a mermaid, and Buss was on board. “It was kind of like I was like a mermaid underwater with a blue backdrop,” Buss said. “They used to show mermaids holding pearls … and so instead of the pearls I got basketballs. And I’m not naked but I might look like I’m naked. I get people [who say], ‘How dare you put a naked picture of you on Twitter. It was in Playboy.’ And it’s not. It was from Sports Illustrated! “Yes, do I have to talk about the Playboy and the decision [to pose]. Yes, I’m still explaining it 20 years later. They want to judge and put me in a category.”
Then she told a personal story about another star. When her dad, Jerry Buss, bought the Lakers in 1979, they drafted Magic Johnson and became the NBA’s premiere franchise. It ended suddenly when Johnson had to retire in 1991 because of an HIV diagnosis. “I prayed to the skies above and I said if we ever get a player on our team like Magic Johnson again, I will never ever, ever take that player for granted,” Buss said, her voice catching. “And then we got Kobe. As heartbroken as I am, one comfort that I have is that Kobe knew how much we loved him and we told him and we retired his numbers. He never doubted that we were behind him 100%. That gives me some comfort. We never held back the celebrating the greatness that was Kobe.”
May 25, 2020 | 6:47 am EDT Update

James Wiseman the frontrunner for the No. 1 pick

In an anonymous poll of 35 NBA executives conducted by Stadium, James Wiseman has emerged as the frontrunner for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. The 7-foot-1 center, who played just three games at Memphis this past season prior to withdrawing from school amidst an NCAA suspension, received 20 of the 35 votes (57 percent). “I wouldn’t even want the No. 1 pick,” one NBA general manager told me. “If I have it, I’m trying like hell to trade it.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 403 more rumors
Karl was treated for prostate cancer in 2005 and then in February 2010 announced he had neck cancer, which forced him to take a leave of absence from the Nuggets for treatment and miss the postseason (a first-round loss to Utah). Years later, he revealed he was diagnosed with melanoma of the eye. He received the Melanoma Research Foundation’s Courage Award in 2019 for recognition “of the bravery he has shown in facing ocular melanoma.” “I don’t wake up worrying about cancer,” Karl said. “But if my back hurts, I think it’s cancer. If my shoulder hurts, I think it’s bone cancer. The first thing I think is cancer. “Once you have cancer, you have a higher risk of getting another cancer. I know that. But my health is probably as good as it’s been in about 15 or 20 years.”
Storyline: George Karl Health
After paying his legal fees, finishing his DUI classes and completing his community service, Atkins landed a new head coaching job in the AAU ranks. Now, he’s hoping to climb the coaching ladder once again. Atkins, who played for the Pistons from 2000-04 and in 2009-10, is one of 14 members in the NBA’s Assistant Coaches Program. Since 1988, the program has assisted former players in developing the tools to enter the NBA, G League and college coaching ranks. His goal is to “go to the top,” and become a head coach. “Everyone deserves a second chance, and I can tell a lot of these kids a lot of things that’ll help them, that’ll benefit them that a lot of other people can’t tell them, and they’ll listen to them,” he said. “Because I’ve been where they want to go.”
Cliff Alexander was such a star H.S. basketball recruit … one cop remembered him during the former NBA player’s gun arrest this month — and the interaction was all caught on police video obtained by TMZ Sports. Alexander was pulled over at around 9:30 PM CT on May 6 in Chicago, Ill. after cops say he blew through a stop sign … and shortly after, one officer realized who exactly he had detained. “Oh, you’re that hooper!” the cop said, before asking him about his high school recruiting ranking.
Storyline: Cliff Alexander Arrest
May 25, 2020 | 2:33 am EDT Update
Andrew Bogut via a note posted on social media informed that he will not re-sign with the Sydney Kings. The 2015 NBA champion still hopes to return, as he previously admitted that the Olympic Games moved to 2021 can keep him active for one more season. “I have decided not to sign with the Sydney Kings or any professional sporting team for that matter for the time being,” he wrote, “With everything going on the world the future does not look too clear, most notably in regards to sporting leagues worldwide.”
Storyline: Andrew Bogut Free Agency
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