Tim Reynolds: USA Basketball statement: "The decision t…

Tim Reynolds: USA Basketball statement: “The decision to postpone the 2020 Olympics was a difficult decision and it was the correct one. USA Basketball is in full agreement and support of the decision made by the IOC and the Japanese government to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.”

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USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that he has “hit the pause button” on planning for the next Olympics. Colangelo noted that there’s nothing now to do besides waiting to see exactly when the games in Tokyo will be held in 2021 — and if the new schedule will conflict with the NBA schedule. “It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? We either have NBA players or we don’t,” Colangelo told The Associated Press. “And if we don’t, we’ll look at the other options.”
“We’re hopeful that this is going to take place in the same timeframe next summer as it was scheduled for this summer,” Colangelo said. “There are a lot of things that have to be done totally out of our control. We’re a follower in this situation. We’re dealing with the NBA, FIBA, the USOC, the International Olympic Committee, etc., etc. Here’s what we have to wait for now: What are the dates? Once they set the dates, then we will go into action.”
One of the contenders to carry the flag at Tokyo’s opening ceremony, Mills did his best to rally his fellow Olympians as they came to grips with the situation. “Just like every Olympic athlete around the world I’m absolutely gutted this crisis has affected the largest international sporting event in the world,” he said in a video he posted on Twitter. “Do not be discouraged by this adversity; as an Olympic athlete your goal remains the same; to represent our country the best way possible and strive to be your very best.”
Mills has been in isolation in the United States since the NBA was sensationally shut down following Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert’s positive test nearly two weeks ago. “Stay at home and keep your distance; the better we can control this virus the better we can look after each other,” Mills said.

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U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee leaders said, “It’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising,” after surveying more than 1,780 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls about the coronavirus’ impact on their training and, potentially, the Tokyo Games.
“We are now confident that we have heard a wide range of viewpoints and understand the diversity of challenges our athletes face,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland and Chair Susanne Lyons said in a joint statement accompanying the survey results. “We regret that there is no outcome that can solve all the concerns we face. Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can’t be overcome in a satisfactory manner.”
The survey, sent to about 4,000 athletes with a 45 percent response rate, yielded results that included: Nearly 65 percent of athletes said their training has been severely impacted, or they can’t train at all. Nearly two-thirds of athletes feel that continuing to train would either put their health at risk or aren’t sure if it would put their health at risk. Nearly 70 percent of athletes said they would feel comfortable competing if the World Health Organization deemed it safe. 68 percent said they did not think the Games could be fairly competed if continued as scheduled. Nearly 93 percent reported a preference for postponing the Games versus canceling them outright.
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr, a Team USA assistant, on the possibility of the Summer Olympics being canceled: "Everything's up in the air. We're all sitting here wondering what's going to happen, and so is the rest of the world."
Sergio Scariolo talked to El Transistor shortly after the NBA shut down all activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, about the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Spanish NT head coach addressed the issue, stating that at this timeframe, the Olympic Games cannot take place as initially planned. “Everything is subject more to the general feeling than to the data, but on a personal level, it will be difficult to think about the Olympics being held… I see it as borderline impossible”, he mentioned.
Do you still plan to participate with Team Canada in the Olympics? Dillon Brooks: Yeah, absolutely. We are going to make a run. Hopefully, we can beat that virus so we can get over there and play. But I want to make history. I know we have a lot of guys in the league right now like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray and Tristan Thompson and Kelly Olynyk. We all want to make history.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he would want Kevin Durant on his U.S. Olympic team roster only if the Brooklyn Nets forward is completely ready for game action. Popovich made his remarks Friday night after Durant's longtime business partner, Rich Kleiman, told The Washington Post earlier this week that it was "definitely a possibility" that Durant would play in the Tokyo Olympics.
Marc Stein: Thompson, though, remains in contention for a spot on the United States' 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics. @usabasketball will finalize that roster in June and Klay is said to be making good progress in his recovery from a torn left ACL in Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals
"We took the players that we felt had equity, in other words they had played for us in previous competitions, and we added some players," Colaneglo said. "Basically they're all there because they were asked a simple question, 'are you in or are you out?' They all said 'we're in.' So we have a whole group of 44 who all want to play. That's how I look at it. Pop [Gregg Popovich] and I are going to not have a tryout, we're not going through that again. We're just going to pick 12 players."
Colangelo also shared a bit about how the team will be chosen, which doesn't entail just picking the 12 best players in the league. "You never know how these things are going to play out. We're not going to necessarily -- I keep saying this, and I've been consistent -- you don't take the 12 best players necessarily. You take the best 12 that make the best team."
Ben Simmons says his Philadelphia 76ers' teammate Matisse Thybulle will play for Australia at this year's Olympics. Thybulle was born in the US, spent part of his childhood in Australia and would be a defensive force for the Boomers in Tokyo as the team attempts to win its first Olympic medal. "He's going to play for Australia," Simmons told reporters at an NBA All-Star press conference in Chicago on Saturday. "He's great."
While the NBA postseason will be the immediate focus for the trio of Brown, Simmons and Thybulle, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo may also be on their agenda, with the recent news that the Philadelphia rookie is indeed an Australian citizen and eligible to play for the Boomers. "They've been pretty good because we have such a big task at hand with this season that it's hard to look beyond that," Thybulle responded when asked whether Brown and Simmons are bringing up the prospect of playing in the green and gold.
Simmons found a positive tone when ESPN asked him about Thybulle, whose defensive exploits have already gained positive traction around the league. "He's going to be great," Simmons quickly responded. "Defensively he's got to fix a couple of things mentally in games, but he's gifted. He's long, he's able to read certain players the right way, he's one of our best defenders."
Brown plans to hire a full coaching staff, including player development personnel, video personnel, scouts, and medical personnel for the Nigerian national team. The Warriors have given Brown their blessing and will allow Nigeria to use its newly renovated East Bay practice facility in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Brown could also potentially add one NBA player to the roster that would be granted a Nigerian passport.
Marc J. Spears: Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown has agreed to terms to be the next head coach of the Nigerian men’s basketball team during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, @espn @TheUndefeated has learned. Nigeria BB president Musa Kida was seeking a high-profile coach with an NBA background.
Marc Stein: The Serbian basketball federation is in advanced discussions with Mike Malone to hire the Nuggets' coach as a top aide and consultant to Serbia head coach and Kings assistant Igor Kokoskov for this summer's Olympic campaign, according to league sources
Mark Woods: Pacers coach Nate McMillan confirms he’s closed the door on returning to USA coaching staff for Olympics after passing on World Cup due to NBA commitments.
Thompson was hesitant to talk about this summer at Monday morning’s shootaround, saying: “I’m just thinking about tonight, playing against the Raptors at home at 7:30 at Scotiabank Arena. So that’s where my mindset is at. I’m happy Nick Nurse is the coach.” But it’s unlikely Thompson or Miami Heat centre Kelly Olynyk — who could opt out of his current deal and so would also be without a contract — will play in the June 23-28 tournament.
The president of the Spanish Basketball Federation, Jorge Garbajosa, stated that Pau Gasol plans to play in the 2020 Olympic Games. “He will do everything possible and part of the impossible to be there. If Pau wants and can, he will be. And if he can’t be on the court, let him be there in any position he wants. We will always wait for him,” Garbajosa said, per Marca.
Ryan Wolstat: Nurse on top Canadians committing to play this summer: “Super exciting. It’s going to be a hell of a tournament.” Says the draw is tough but they knew it would be. “We’re going to have to earn our way to it through some very good teams.”
Jamal Murray: Playing for my country is always an honour and I want to take the step and leadership role to commit to @canadabasketball this summer. I want to play my part to help push our team into the Olympics and compete at the highest world stage. Let’s go Canada
Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray has confirmed his intention to play for Canada next summer – first at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria, B.C. in late June, and then in Tokyo should the men’s team earn one of the six remaining spots in the 12-team Olympic tournament.
“I really wanted to play last summer but I was injured,” Murray told Sportsnet in a comment relayed by his agent, Mike George, on Tuesday. “But I’m excited and looking forward to playing now.”
Brown served as an assistant coach at the San Antonio Spurs for 11 seasons, including four NBA Championship campaigns under Gregg Popovich, and will assume the Boomers Head Coach role after six years at the 76ers. “When the opportunity to coach the Boomers next summer in Tokyo came up, I was reminded of my deep history with Australia and Australian basketball,” stated Brown.
Brett Brown: “I felt a duty to try and help in any way that I could. The spirit of the country and the athletes of the country exemplify on a day-to-day basis the passion that is Australian sport. That passion is respected and recognised throughout the world and I’m very excited to be a part of that again. This is our mission and my message to our team: We’re going into the 2020 Olympics to win a gold medal. I understand the magnitude of this statement. I would feel irresponsible having any other goal but this.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Australia is finalizing an agreement with Sixers coach Brett Brown to become its national team coach again, sources tell ESPN. Brown would coach Aussies in 2020 Olympics. Brown coached Australia in 2012 London Games.
The 2020 Olympics. Should we be expecting you to suit up for Australia’s basketball team in Japan? Ben Simmons: If everything goes smoothly and correctly, that’s where I want to be. I definitely want to represent Australia in the Olympics. It’s a dream. And if I’m able to bring a medal and help this team and do something right for the country and bring a positive light to it, I would love to do that. And I want to do that alongside Patty Mills, hopefully [Andrew] Bogut, [Aron] Baynes, Dante [Exum], Joe Ingles, all those guys. I want to do that with them, and I think we can do something special.
Mark Medina: Draymond Green said he wants to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He's planning his wedding around it.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both said Sunday they wanted to do it. On Friday, Anthony Davis was a yes and LeBron James a maybe. What’s all of this mean to the man responsible for piecing together Team USA’s roster? “The reality is the World Cup, although it’s very big around the world, it doesn’t have the same status in the States,” Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo told The Athletic. “Our focus is apparently on the Olympics, and I expected a different response.”
Mark Medina: Paul George on if he will play in 2020 Olympics: "I would love to. Hopefully, God willing, I can get through a season healthy. When that times comes, I’d love to be a part of the Olympics and represent. But this comes first obviously and getting through this year."
Jovan Buha: Kawhi on the 2020 Olympics: "Yeah, I do wanna play. I'm taking it one step at a time. Right now it's getting the Clippers to the Finals."
Tania Ganguli: LeBron is asked if he'll join Team USA next summer. Long pause. "I don’t know. I would love to. I have to, I want to stay healthy as well. That’s most important. I was not happy about how we did this summer." Added that he applauds the individuals on this year's team.
The 2014 World Cup was memorable for Curry and Thompson because they bonded off the court in Spain, something they don’t get to do much normally. Thompson said it would be a dream to share a backcourt with Curry in Tokyo. “That would be amazing,” Thompson said. “Amazing. Because even when we played in the World Championships together, we were barely on the floor together.” Thompson is the latest star to express a desire to play in the Olympics, joining Curry and Damian Lillard.
Despite their intentions, Curry and Thompson playing in the Olympics can’t be considered a lock. If the Warriors somehow went on a deep run into the postseason, it would be their sixth straight year doing so. Turning around and going to Japan to play more might be untenable. Thus, an early postseason exit might be required for their hopes to be fulfilled. Plus, Thompson’s availability will be contingent upon his recovery from a torn ACL.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is committed to playing for Team USA in next summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo. "That is the plan, for sure," Curry said in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "You know, obviously knock on wood, you don't want any injuries or things like that to interfere."
This would mark Curry's first appearance in the Olympics, an experience he is looking forward to, when asked specially by Nichols if he was committing to the team. "Definitely wanna go," Curry said. "I've never been on the Olympic team. I've been on two World Cup Championship gold medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it."
Curry says he is confident that the Americans can still reign supreme when they put their best players on the floor. "We're still the best," Curry said. "If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us in the Olympic stage and the commitment's been there, and I think it'll be there next year."
Despite being around a year out from the Olympics getting underway, Lillard is confident he can help claim the gold medal. “I plan on being a part of that. I plan on playing,” Lillard said exclusively to news.com.au. When asked about adding an Olympic medal to his trophy cabinet, Lillard was emphatic: “Definitely”.
Tim Reynolds: Draymond Green tells CNBC that he’d like to play in the Olympics next year. “I do hope to play. And I think a lot of guys will want to play. You know, this schedule this year was a little treacherous with the games that was in America and also traveled to Australia ...
Australian basketball star Dante Exum is tentatively eyeing off a Boomers return at the 2020 Olympics. As Andrej Lemanis' side prepare for their World Cup opener against Canada on Sunday, the Utah Jazz guard is pushing for a return to full fitness for the start of the NBA season.
The 24-year-old says he's spoken to the Jazz about his desire to continue playing for the national team and he has hatched early plans to be part of the Boomers' Olympic campaign in Tokyo. "I just want to get a healthy season, that's my main focus for now," Exum told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday. "But granted, if I'm 100 per cent healthy, I'll definitely put my hand up."
Storyline: Olympics
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June 16, 2021 | 6:40 am EDT Update

Nikola Jokic passes on Olympic Games

Denver Nuggets star and 2020-21 NBA season MVP Nikola Jokic will not join the Serbian selection for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament nor for the Olympics in case the team qualifies, the player informed Wednesday, via a statement on Serbian state news agency Tanjug. “To my great regret, this is the moment when I have to announce that despite my great desire, I am not able to play for the national team. Simply, the condition of my body requires a longer absence from the court to recover. I have to accept that. I am sure that the guys have the quality to make a result without me, which will bring us all a lot of joy”, Jokic mentioned in his statement.

Mario Hezonja back to Barça?

Mario Hezonja’s return to Europe with Panathinaikos after spending five seasons in the NBA has caught the attention of his former club FC Barcelona, which is looking to bring back the Croatian player next season. As reported by SER’s Pacojo Delgado, the 2021 Liga Endesa champions are close to bringing 26-year-old Hezonja back. On top of that, Barcelona has asked Cory Higgins for a 10% salary cut, and the player is likely to refuse and move on to Olimpia Milano.
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June 16, 2021 | 1:47 am EDT Update