Around AU$5 million (US$3.08 million) will be refunded to spectators of last year’s Boomers vs. Team USA two-game series at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium after the Australian consumer watchdog found that promoter TEG Live made false claims about its seating plan.
The 20,000 refunds will be paid out to those who purchased floor-level seating for the games. Despite a mock-up depicting tiered seating, the seats used were in flat rows, lower than the court and, in some cases, more than 30 metres from the action. "Consumers paid a premium for floor-level seats, ranging between $895 and $3,995 for a hospitality package, and may have done so as a result of misleading seating advertising," said Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. "In our view, TEG Live's conduct was unacceptable."
TEG Live's statement echoed Sims' comments. "We acknowledge some fans were disappointed that the USA Men's Basketball team that competed in Australia in August did not include some of the NBA's biggest stars," it read. "Based on the information provided to TEG Live by USA Basketball, we had expected these stars to play."
Now you wanted to play in the Olympics this summer would have been your fifth Olympics. Can you hang on for 2021? Pau Gasol: Well, I'm gonna try. But first of all, I was just got to, I got to focus on what I can control which is my rehab and, and kind of follow that process and get healthy, get that foot strong. And now then find out whether if I can or I won't. So that'll be the that'll be the process and, and right now everything is up in the air. So we have to kind of wait and see it's hard to access any medical facility now to get any type of test done. So all that's been postponed and delayed. So I'm just gonna, you know, kind of take it, take it one day at a time just like everyone else do, we'll do what I can stay positive, stay strong to stick to my routines and, and be ready for for when I'm able to go out there and find out.
Ryan Wolstat: Nurse still "100% committed to Canada Basketball. Just hopes and prayers that things will be rolling by next summer."
Legal experts warned of a Pandora’s Box of messy legal challenges from athletes in the lead-up to the Games, as sporting bodies consider tweaks to qualifying criteria that could impact who gets in and who misses out. “I’m sure there will be additions/subtractions,” said USA Basketball chief communications officer Craig Miller about the names on America’s ‘Dream Team’ list. “For example, I could see Zion Williamson being considered if he stays healthy and continues his strong play,” he said of the first overall pick in the 2019 National Basketball Association draft who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.
The president of the Spanish Basketball Federation, Jorge Garbajosa, wants to ensure the future of the National Team bench and for this, a new contract extension could be offered to Sergio Scariolo until 2024, according to AS.com. The Italian coach’s agreement with the Federation would come to an end after the 2020 Olympics. However, with the current worldwide health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the postponement of the Games in Tokyo until 2021, a new scenario is created.
The new countdown to Tokyo 2020 has begun, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local Organising Committee officially confirming that the Olympics will now take place from Friday 23rd July to Sunday 8th August 2021. Japan's second summer Olympic Games were originally scheduled for 24 July to 9 August 2020, before being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sergio Scariolo, head coach of Spain’s senior national team, drew a positive note from the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games. He mentioned via the “Tiempo de Juego” that moving the Tokyo Games to 2021 can allow Pau Gasol to compete in the Olympics for the fifth time. “This actually gives him a better chance of making it,” said Spain’s head coach, “This summer might have been a stretch, but with one more season ahead he can get back on the courts and be as close as possible to the Olympic Games.”
Brown, who was named the head coach of the Nigerian men’s basketball team in early February, will now have more time to put together a team, hire a staff, build a schedule and get prepared for the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. “It helps from the standpoint of there are a lot of teams that have been together … the players, especially. A lot of countries have players who have grown up playing together on national teams or All-Star teams,” Brown told The Undefeated. “There are a lot of coaches out there that are in charge of programs that they have been a part of for many years. “To have another year to grasp, not only the talent level of the team, but the direction the team needs to go and making sure we are able to put the best Nigerian team out there, it’s a welcomed advantage to have a little bit more time for a new guy like myself.”
Aminu, who played for the 2019 World Cup team, had surgery on Jan. 7 to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee. How will the delay of the Olympics impact him? Mike Brown: He is obviously a guy who has been instrumental to this program for many years. He is one of the guys who has anchored the program. He has a lot going on right now to get himself healthy so he can compete with his current team, the Orlando Magic. Knowing him, how much pride he has and things he has helped his country accomplish in basketball, I think he’d want to play in the Olympics, especially the way they qualified. It gives him a lot more time to get healthy and get himself in playing shape. I’m sure he’s looking forward to it.
How have you stayed connected to the Warriors during the lockdown over the coronavirus? Mike Brown: I have been speaking to [head coach] Steve Kerr. I’ve been speaking to him a long time and he’s the best. We have a huge group chat via text where we communicate basically on a daily basis. Steve’s biggest thing is he wants everybody to make sure they take care of themselves, stay safe, stay healthy, take care of the family and try the best you can to enjoy this downtime knowing as coaches, especially, this can break at any time. Be ready.
The Tokyo Olympics are officially postponed until 2021, but Team USA's leadership is recommitting itself to stay in the job. USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Gregg Popovich remain committed to the team into 2021, Colangelo said Tuesday. Both men's futures in their roles had been uncertain after this summer.
"The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there; we're all-in and we're committed," Colangelo said. "It's important to deal with the unknowns and this virus. This too shall pass and we'll be back for everyone's well-being."
Tim Reynolds: Not that this matters, but for housekeeping purposes: The Olympics that will be held in 2021 will be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed for about one year, said Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The 2021 summer is the latest these Olympics could be held, he noted on Tuesday.
Tim Reynolds: Note the wording Japan is using: "No more than one year," when it comes to the delay in what will become the 2021 Olympics. That means March? April? May? June? Any of those could be highly complicated for the NBA and Gregg Popovich. (Not that this matters yet, of course.)
Veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA TODAY Sports Monday afternoon that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed, likely to 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said in a phone interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Pound, a Canadian who has been one of the most influential members of the IOC for decades, said he believes the IOC will announce its next steps soon. “It will come in stages,” he said. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
The Australian Olympic Committee's executive board met by teleconference Monday and unanimously agreed that an Australian Olympic team could not be assembled given the changing circumstances across the world, the committee said in a statement. The committee also said "our athletes now need to prioritise their own health and of those around them, and to be able to return to the families." "It's clear the Games can't be held in July," said Ian Chesterman, Australian Team Chef de Mission for Tokyo. "Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them."
The prospect of postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games looms larger than ever after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that delaying the event may be the only option to avoid exacerbating the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. His remarks came a day after the International Olympic Committee announced it would decide the fate of the games in four weeks after further discussion with organizers.
The prime minister, who had previously said he hopes to hold the 2020 Games in “complete form,” acknowledged during a parliamentary session for the first time that doing so may be impossible. “When it comes to hosting the 2020 Games, I don’t believe the world is in any condition to do so at this time,” Abe said during a parliamentary session Monday.
TO SAFEGUARD THE HEALTH OF ALL INVOLVED AND TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONTAINMENT OF COVID-19, THE EXECUTIVE BOARD (EB) OF THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) TODAY ANNOUNCED THAT THE IOC WILL STEP UP ITS SCENARIO-PLANNING FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES TOKYO 2020.
These scenarios relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on 24 July 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games. This step will allow better visibility of the rapidly changing development of the health situation around the world and in Japan. It will serve as the basis for the best decision in the interest of the athletes and everyone else involved.
On the one hand, there are significant improvements in Japan where the people are warmly welcoming the Olympic flame. This could strengthen the IOC’s confidence in the Japanese hosts that the IOC could, with certain safety restrictions, organise Olympic Games in the country whilst respecting its principle of safeguarding the health of everyone involved. On the other hand, there is a dramatic increase in cases and new outbreaks of COVID-19 in different countries on different continents. This led the EB to the conclusion that the IOC needs to take the next step in its scenario-planning.
As the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the coronavirus hovers over the world, Golden State Warriors coach and Team USA assistant Steve Kerr said Tuesday that the staff must plan as if the Tokyo Olympics will go on as scheduled this summer. Kerr said he has been in contact with Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich in recent days. "Pop and I have spoken a couple of times over the last week or so," Kerr said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. "And everything's just up in the air. There's no sense of whether things are going to be delayed or anything. We're all kind of sitting here wondering what's going to happen, and so is the rest of the world. We're just going to plan as if this is going to happen, and we're going to try and put together a roster, and that's all we can do."
“[Tokyo is] definitely a possibility,” Kleiman said. “He allowed his name to be in the group of finalists. But there are other benchmarks in front of him that are more important before he makes those decisions.”
Adam Zagoria: Rick Pitino will coach Greece in Olympic qualifying this summer, per sources. Greece is the only national team in the world to have defeated the United States during Mike Krzyzewski's era (2005–2016).
Ramona Shelburne: Pau Gasol tells @NBAonESPNRadio he’s hoping to play for Spain in the 2020 Olympics if he can rehab his injured foot in time. Next year in the NBA is a possibility, too.
Before Monday’s game against the Magic, Young said he didn’t have too much to say about being left off the list, but said he would have wanted to play for Team USA. “I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hurt by seeing it. ... Obviously I would have wanted to play on the team,” Young said.
Ben Golliver: Lakers’ LeBron James on whether he will play for USA Basketball at 2020 Tokyo Olympics: “[I’ll weigh] how my body is feeling... I’m hoping to make a long playoff run. Then where my mind is and where my family’s head is. There’s a lot of factors but my name is in the hat.” pic.twitter.com/DfBB21Z4Hp
Melissa Rohlin: Dwight Howard on Olympics: " For my agent to call me and say, hey, would you like to be on the Olympic Team again? At first, I thought it was a dream. After I guess over 10 years, 2008, to be asked to play in the Olympics again. There was no way I was going to say no for that."
Melissa Rohlin: Dwight Howard: "I carried around my gold medal for almost four, five years after we won it the first time. Everywhere I went. On the road, even during the season I took it with me and I’d just look at it everyday like, man, this is amazing that I got a gold medal."
Kyle Goon: JaVale McGee said his desire to play on the Olympic team stems with an ongoing friendly rivalry between him and his mother, Pam McGee: "She’s won a WNBA championship, I’ve won an NBA championship. So I’ll be able to catch her if I win a gold medal, because she’s won one."
Emiliano Carchia: EuroBasket 2017 Champion and former Phoenix Suns Igor Kokoskov will be the head coach of Serbia’s National Team at next year Olympic Qualifying Tournament, according to Direktno.rs
FIBA is expected to announced today in the afternoon the four hosting countries of the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. The tournaments will be played from June 23 to June 28 2020 and will qualify the last four teams to Tokyo 2020. According to Novosti, Serbia will host one of the tournaments.
Greece coach Rick Pitino says he is planning on trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics without Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Pitino officially took over as coach of the Greek national basketball team on Monday. He said he would leave a roster place open for Antetokounmpo in qualifying games but is not sure if he will be able to rely on his best player.
Tim Reynolds: James Harden and Russell Westbrook both reiterate their interest in playing for the USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "It would be an honor," Harden said. "I would love to," Westbrook said.
Matt Velasquez: Khris Middleton says he won't say no if he's invited to play for Team USA again next summer in the Olympics. Things didn't go the way any of them wanted at the World Cup, but he's open to returning.
And the late withdrawals, a list of talent that includes James Harden, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard? If they want to play next summer? “We’ll deal with those cases individually,” Colangelo said. “It’s important to field as strong a team as possible.” Indeed. When the U.S. suits up its A-Team, it’s unbeatable. In 2016, the U.S. routed Serbia in the gold medal game by 30. The average margin of victory in that Olympic cycle: 22.5 points. In 2020, the schedule is ideal; the Olympics open in late July and conclude in early August. The chance to be part of another Redeem Team should be motivating.
It is for Colangelo. Next summer will end his 14-year tenure at the helm of USA Basketball. He oversaw the recovery of Team USA in 2008. He’s hellbent on making sure he leaves with the team on top. “There has not been any disappointment around USA Basketball in a while,” said Colangelo. “This will bother me until the 2020 Olympics.”
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors told CNBC earlier this week that he intended to make himself available for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Stephen Curry, Green’s Golden State teammate, is also expected to volunteer his services, since Curry has yet to play in an Olympics. “We’ve had a lot of indications about guys who want to play next summer,” said Jerry Colangelo, U.S.A.B.’s managing director. “But we had a lot of indications that many wanted to play this summer.”
Donatas Urbonas: Kaunas wants to host 1 of 4 Olympic qualification tournaments. According to Arvydas Sabonis, FIBA asks €2.3M for the bid, but with all the expenses it might cost around €3M. Federations are requested to apply for the bid until November. Hosts should be announced by March.
They all have an NBA season to prepare for now, and at least some of them would love a shot at redemption next summer. "There's no telling," Walker said about possibly playing next year. "It's not up to me. I would love to. It was really fun to be a part of. I would love to do it again."
Of the 35 players originally selected for the U.S. player pool, only four are in China for the World Cup. The U.S. lost to France in the quarterfinals, ending a streak of seven major international tournaments — four Olympics and three World Cups — where the Americans captured a medal, the last five of them being gold. “I can only say, you can’t help but notice and remember who you thought you were going to war with and who didn’t show up,” Colangelo said. “I’m a firm believer that you deal with the cards you’re dealt. All we could have done, and we did it, is get the commitments from a lot of players. So with that kind of a hand you feel reasonably confident that you’re going to be able to put a very good representative team on the court. “No one would have anticipated the pull-outs that we had.”
Josh Newman: R.J. Barrett will not play at 2019 Worlds because of NBA responsibilities, but will be in for the 2020 Olympics, assuming whichever team drafts him gives him permission.
Doncic acknowledged that leading Slovenia to its first-ever Olympic berth in basketball is one of his major career goals. “Olympics, next EuroBasket, next World Cup — I want to play for the national team whenever I’m available,” Doncic said. “If I don’t have injuries, I’ll play.”
As well as NBA rookie of the year Simmons, there's Dante Exum, Matthew Dellavedova, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes, Thon Maker, Ryan Broekhoff and Mangok Mathiang who could all don the green and gold. "I'm very excited," Bolden said. "I was talking to someone today about how this could be one of the best Australian teams come 2020. My goal right now is obviously Philly but no doubt I'm thinking about 2020 and then Olympics."
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."
Me: Have you gotten past Rio yet, or does it still bug the hell out of you? Patty Mills: To be honest, I haven’t. And although I’m teammates with one of the guys (Gasol, as ever, starred for the Spain team that beat Australia in the bronze medal game), it hasn’t come up. That’s going to sting for a little bit more. Me: So, you’re definitely playing in ’20? Patty Mills: Yeah, for sure. There’s no doubt about it. To know that we were that close, we’re not satisfied one bit at all. So we’ll have another shot at it.
“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
Nicolas Batum makes his public self-criticism for his summer with the French national team, revealing that the team and himself had their issues. As he explained: “Our tournament was very disappointing. It was perhaps our most important tournament and we’re not really there. We were a little overconfident, like “it’s good, we know each other, we will be ready on D-Day. We were perhaps too focused on the semi-finals, before playing the quarter-finals. The tournament had not started yet and one wondered how to avoid one or other team in the semis! Today, I still want to know what happened. Collectively and personally”.
But what has been forgotten is the number of NBA players who passed on those Athens Games. Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Paul Pierce, and Jason Kidd all elected not to play, leaving Iverson on an island. “That was a very touchy situation for me because when everybody didn’t end up going, me and Tim Duncan went,” Iverson said. “We went to represent our country. That’s no shot at the guys that didn’t go. I totally understand why they didn’t. I totally understand and all of them remain my friends. I still have the utmost respect for all of those guys. But me and Tim went.”
When Team USA rebuilt its Olympic squad for Beijing in 2008, Iverson was not invited. “As great as a season as I had, arguably one of the best seasons that I ever had, I wasn’t invited to go, that’s something that I wouldn’t say hurt me to this day, but the acknowledgment is there,” he said. “And the hurt will always exist because I felt that I truly should have been a part of the team. I should obviously be saying that I have a gold medal at 41 years old.”
Sam Amick: The [Ryan] Lochte thing, it's funny... Once that happened, moving around got even tougher for the Team USA men. Paul George particularly talked about it.
Nikola Jokic is brought to tears as he is greeted by his hometown of Sombor, Serbia after bring home Olympic Silver
Evan Fournier was arguably the most notable absence of France in the Olympic Games. The Orlando Magic player gave an interview to French L’Equipe “breaking” his silence regarding his exclusion from his national team’s roster and expressing an obvious resentment on the whole matter. “I hated not being in the Olympic Games,” he said. “I had suspected that I won’t make the cut a week before I was informed about it. I was reading interviews where only Rudy (Gobert) was mentioned among the players who didn’t play in the OQT but would go to Rio. In the end, I received a voicemail by Vincent Collet that briefly explained the reasons I was left out.”
Lack of proper communication between him and Federation was also something that frustrated Fournier. “The only time I’ve heard from the Federation this year was during a visit from Patrick Beesley (French NT technical director) in Orlando where he told me the dates of the qualifying tournament and Olympics. He didn’t tell me ‘If you do not come in Manila, then you do not come in Rio’. The second time was via an sms by Vincent Collet. It was our only contact outside competitions in the last three years. He was asking me for tickets to a game for his friends. I never closed the door to the French national team but these events sent me a clear message. That I’m not in the project. It’s that simple and it hurts.”
Cousins, who turned 26 during the Rio Games, wants to return to Team USA. “I’m open to [coming back for Tokyo 2020]. I’ll be older then, so it depends on how my body feels. As of right now, where I’m at, absolutely, I’m open to it,” he said. “I think people don’t understand [how hard this winning is]. They see the guys on the roster and they think automatically, they’re supposed to win. This [international game] isn’t our game. This isn’t the way we play. This is an adjustment for every guy on the roster.
Lowe also inquired about the fourth-year head coach’s relationship with Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, who flew into Sacramento to meet Joerger following his introductory press conference. “We’ve had a good beginning to our relationship, a good start this summer. I think the Olympic experience is only going to help him.”
Divac has maintained that Cousins will be a fixture with Sacramento after a tumultuous season that led to the firing of coach George Karl. Has the Olympic experience helped Cousins mature? Divac is banking on that. “[The Olympics] helps international guys but it also helps NBA guys,” Divac said. “You see a different part of basketball. They can pick up some tricks. That’s how I look at it. When I used to play, I loved playing international because it’s more freedom and more ability to improve.”
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?”
Patrick Mills: Win em the right way and lose em the right way. We all really appreciated the support throughout our campaign. Disappointed to come home without a medal but can only hope that the boys and I have provided everyone in Australia with some inspiration - so that a little boy or girl will one day win their Olympic medal because of that time they watched the Boomers ???? We'll be back stronger than ever
Colangelo on Sirius XM Radio: "I did have an official when I was on the court after the gold medal award... And this individual who was up there said said, 'You know, they can't compete with you, maybe next time you should only use four players'. I bit my tongue and didn't say anything. We would like to say that we're good winners and we're not sore losers. But the point is, we're not losing. That's our intent. I'll just encourage everyone to do as good a job as they can because that's for sure what we're going to do."
Andrew Bogut: Great to be back in OZ! I want to thank all of Australia for the outstanding amount of support throughout the Olympics #boomers #rio2016 Our finish to the tournament is still hard to live with. Thats tournament basketball. I needed to lift at a crucial time and didn't.
“It was therapy for me after making a big change in my life,” Durant told The Vertical in the bowels of Carioca Arena 1 about an hour after scoring 30 points in Sunday’s 96-66 victory. “It made my life easier … I knew [a backlash] was coming. It was definitely different for me, but to come here in an environment where people accepted me and didn’t care about anything except being my buddy, that’s what I needed.”
As he walked from a joint news conference with Anthony and Krzyzewski after the game, Durant wasn’t certain if he’d return to catch Anthony at Tokyo in 2020. “I can’t say right now,” Durant told The Vertical. “I’ll be 31, going on 32 …” Overhearing the conversation, Anthony jumped in and shouted, “He’ll be playing in 2020 and 2024! I’m right. I’m right.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski thought the United States men's basketball team needed a fight song. So before starting his first practice for the 2008 Olympics as the U.S. national team head coach, he summoned Kevin Cullen, his trusted video coordinator at Duke. Cullen was tasked with putting together a video to the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But Krzyzewski didn’t want just any old cover of the national anthem. He wanted the video done over Marvin Gaye’s iconic version sung at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.
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
"Melo's for sure the leader," Team USA sixth man Paul George offered. "He's the voice of this team." "We don't have enough time," Colangelo said of the outgoing coach, "to talk about how much he has meant to our program." Hard as it was to keep track of all the understandable praise flying around, Sunday's gold-medal dismantling of Serbia was ultimately Durant's day. He managed to trump the retiring Coach K (who leaves his post with a record of 88-1) and the record-setting Anthony (who became the first men's basketball player in Olympic history to win three golds) with a performance on par with the 30 points he uncorked in the 2012 gold-medal game in London.
Durant, at 27, is undeniably still on his upward arc, as good as he looked when it mattered most down here. But an era ended Sunday in South America for USAB. Ready or not. "I've seen both sides of it," Anthony said. "I've seen the losing side [in the 2004 Olympics in Athens] and I've seen what it feels like to win three gold medals. "I wouldn't trade that, for anything in the world."
During an emotional summer in which he left behind his first professional franchise, was (mis)cast as a villain for siding with a former enemy and found himself having to defend his character, Team USA provided a much-needed sanctuary. For nearly a month, Durant got to play the game he loves, bond with some new and old friends – and win – without sweating any manufactured controversies or external second-guessing. “It was therapy for me after making a big change in my life,” Durant told The Vertical in the bowels of Carioca Arena 1 about an hour after scoring 30 points in Sunday’s 96-66 victory. “It made my life easier … I knew [a backlash] was coming. It was definitely different for me, but to come here in an environment where people accepted me and didn’t care about anything except being my buddy, that’s what I needed.”
Durant doesn’t like to admit it, but he is sensitive to negative perceptions, and has had to adjust to criticism from fans in Oklahoma City who once cheered him and others who were disappointed that he decided to form a super team with players who eliminated him from the postseason in a heated seven-game series. “I can’t let anybody steal my joy,” Durant said while crediting the presence of Team USA and former Oklahoma City assistant Monty Williams with developing that approach. “Monty Williams used to tell me that every day: don’t let anybody steal my joy. I get joy when I’m out there playing and it went to another level just playing alongside these great players and playing under Coach K and his staff. I focused on that. All that noise around me kind of quieted down.”
Bogut also blasted the the call that saw him fouled out, accusing Spain’s Ricky Rubio of taking a “Superman dive”. “The referees bought it, as usual,” Bogut said. “They’ll look back at the tape and see how obviously bad they were “When you blatantly dive into someone and fall over, that’s a tough way to play. I don’t blame Spain. If the referees are calling it, you keep doing it.”
Draymond Green: The MOBB!!! Man it's been an amazing 5 weeks with these dudes. We came together as 12 individuals majority being from different teams. We leave Rio with the Gold and a brotherhood that will last a lifetime! Thankful and Blessed for the opportunity!! #TeamUSA #Goldenproblems
Kyrie Irving: This gold medal officially caps off my whole year and I couldn't be more fatigued and happy at the same time lol, but it was all worth it. Azurie, Dad, Asia, London, this one if definitely for y'all. Love you guys till the moon and back, forever and ever. Another step in the journey. Go USA!!
Carmelo Anthony: Live in a way that is full of life for yourself, for your loved ones, for your friends. People who do so will find the courage to transform sufferings into hopes. Not only that, but they will be able to light the lamp of hope in the hearts of many others, as well. #StayMe7o
June 16, 2021 | 6:40 am EDT Update
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’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.
“He was unfazed the entire game,” Harden said of Durant. “He was poised, especially in that second half. He started to take his time, he started to get to his spots and kind of like, I (saw) Kevin directing people to where he wanted them to be. Once Kevin gets that, he’s comfortable, he’s in the zone and it’s pretty much hard to stop him.”
Adam Zagoria: Former @StJohnsBBall and @OregonMBB wing LJ Figueroa will work out for the Celtics tomorrow, per source
Adam Zagoria: St. John’s F @JulianChampagn2 was invited to the NBA Combine and will work out for Boston tomorrow, per source. Has a couple other NBA team workouts scheduled. Will decide by July 7 whether to return to school or not.
June 16, 2021 | 1:47 am EDT Update
“One of the best players to ever play the game,’’ Antetokounmpo said after the Bucks fell into a 3-2 hole by blowing a 17-point lead. “He’s the best player in the world right now. We got to beat him as a team and make him make tough shots. And hopefully he’s going to miss. If coach wants to double him, we’ll double him”