Mr. Stankovic told N.B.A. officials about his vision of…

Mr. Stankovic told N.B.A. officials about his vision of having the best players in the world participate in major FIBA events, Mr. Granik said. “It wasn’t ready to happen yet,” he said, “but he wanted to start working toward that.” He added, “We were kind of surprised by all this, coming from him, because we’d always been told that they don’t want N.B.A. players in their events — they want to keep their world separate.”

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The National Basketball Association had virtually no relationship with FIBA when Mr. Stankovic requested a meeting with the N.B.A.’s commissioner at the time, David Stern, in the mid-1980s, during the latter years of the Cold War. “His goal was very much to unify the world of basketball,” Russ Granik, a former N.B.A. deputy commissioner, said of Mr. Stankovic in a phone interview.
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USA Basketball replacing Gregg Popovich as Team USA coach

Popovich’s coaching staff in Tokyo included Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Indiana Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University men’s head basketball coach Jay Wright. Hill told The Undefeated that he hopes to hire a new coach for USA Basketball before the 2021-22 NBA season begins on Oct. 19. A source told The Undefeated a current NBA coach with previous USA Basketball experience would likely be hired as the next coach of the team. Other possible candidates with USA Basketball coaching experience include the Philadelphia 76ers’ Doc Rivers, Atlanta Hawks’ Nate McMillan, Phoenix Suns’ Monty Williams, New York Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau and Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra. Another potential candidate is former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, who has coached USA Basketball in qualifying play in recent years.
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When asked what type of coach he’d like to hire for USA Basketball, Hill said: “Someone who understands and has a healthy respect for the international game. The dynamics are a bit different in that environment than they are in the NBA regular season. You’re going to be dealing with some tough love of players, and being able to mentor them. That’ll check the boxes, if you will. “Someone who can manage a locker room, who understands the international play, obviously can coach, and understands this isn’t over. Spending the last year just really studying the international game, it’s different. It’s a different game than our game, and understanding that and respecting that is vitally important and not just for the staff but for the players as well.”
Hill said that USA Basketball will probably host a minicamp with its national team next summer. Despite the daunting pressures and challenges that come with USA Basketball keeping its power status, the new managing director says he is embracing the tough golden opportunity. “We’re all alone in terms of what those expectations are,” Hill said. “You don’t run from that. That’s something you welcome, you embrace, and you recognize that you’re supposed to win. There’s a tremendous amount that goes into the process, and the other teams have been together for years, they have continuity, it’s a different game, there’s a little bit more physicality …
The Los Angeles Clippers were casually linked to a Russell Westbrook trade in the past before he was eventually traded to the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers in each of the past two offseason. The interest in Westbrook has led some to speculate that they could trade for John Wall, who the Houston Rockets are attempting to move. “The Clippers were never interested in Russell Westbrook,” said Zach Lowe on his podcast. “They were a rumored Russell Westbrook trade in a few places whenever that happened. They were never interested. That was never a real thing. I think they value their optionality too much.”