Team USA was upset Sunday by the Netherlands in the 3×3 basketball Olympic qualifying tournament in Graz, Austria, failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The 21-16 defeat in the quarterfinals eliminated the Americans from getting one of the three bids available for the Olympics. It was a surprise defeat for Team USA, which won the last 3×3 World Cup in 2019 and is the No. 2-ranked team in the world behind Serbia. The Americans went 3-1 in pool play to enter the medal round as a top seed.
The Tokyo Games will mark the first time 3x3 basketball will be staged at an Olympics, and the field is tight, with just eight countries winning berths. Team USA failed to earn an automatic berth in 2019 despite its World Cup victory because 3x3 Olympic spots are determined differently than in the 5x5 competition, where the World Cup champs gain automatic entry. FIBA, the international governing body of the sport, is saving one spot in Tokyo for countries that didn't have a 5x5 team qualify for the 2012 or 2016 Olympics as it tries to grow the game in countries that previously haven't exceled. But it made qualifying even tougher for Team USA. Joey King, who played at Minnesota, led Team USA Sunday with eight points in the loss (in 3x3, baskets are worth 1 point and shots behind the line are worth 2). King averaged a team-best 7.8 points per game.
Barry, 27, is the youngest son of Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry, and half brother to Brent and Jon. Like Hummel, Barry has experience as an American pro, and is currently a member of the Iowa Wolves of the G League. He has the least 3-on-3 experience on Team USA, having not picked up the game until 2019, when he was invited to try out through his mother, Lynn, a standout college player and former USA Basketball executive. Canyon shoots free throws underhanded, like his famous father, and made all 21 foul shots he took during G League bubble play this year. “I honestly think I am a better 3-on-3 player than I am a 5-on-5 player,” Barry said. “I’m never going to say, ‘No, I don’t want to play in the NBA,’ but I think being able to kind of create something new, with this 3-on-3, and kind of be a pioneer in the U.S. and see it take off here and kind of be known for that would be super exciting.”
Maddox, 31, is a 6-8, 220-pound Princeton graduate who led the Tigers in scoring (13.8 points per game) and rebounds (7.0) as a senior in 2010-11. He played professionally overseas, like all of his Team USA mates, and he was the MVP of the American national championship for 3-on-3 in 2018. Maddox has a second career in media. He’s hosted a show on Colorado Public Radio and worked as a podcast producer for Gimlet media until January 2020, when he quit to train for the Olympics. He says he wants to become the “Black Anthony Bourdain,” continuing to play in 3-on-3 tournaments and use the travel opportunities to make travel documentaries, and he’s developing a new podcast about the Olympics that was picked up by NBC. “I think what we have is the opportunity to cement our names in whatever the sport ultimately ends up becoming,” he said. “I hope it becomes something cool.”
September 21, 2021 | 3:53 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent guard Quinn Cook is signing a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Harrison Wind: Monte Morris says he hopes he’s the starting point guard on opening night, but that conversation with Malone about who Denver’s starter is with Jamal Murray out hasn’t happened yet. He said he wants to earn the job in training camp though and not just have it handed to him.
September 21, 2021 | 1:36 pm EDT Update
Complicating matters with that caveat of right now, of course, is the reality that the Sixers also do not appear close to a trade they are willing to go through with that gives Simmons his desired fresh start. More than two months after posting one of my Tuesday newsletter extravaganzas on Substack for the first time on July 13 — also a breakdown, on that occasion, of the latest on the Simmons front — Philadelphia looks no closer to a trade to bring an end to this stalemate.
Weeks of Philadelphia’s Simmons talks with various teams haven’t brought the Sixers to the brink of a deal, largely because Morey is the one faced with trying to get commensurate value for his All-Star and still asking for so much in return in his determination to recoup a trade package that, as one source put it, keeps Philadelphia in title contention. History, however, says that Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations shouldn’t count on getting a glittering package back when a deal finally materializes — his own history.
I reported Monday that the Sixers don’t expect Simmons to show and are resigned to try to keep working behind the scenes to try to convince him to reconsider that stance. After I published that, another source close to the situation told me: “Right now, I don’t see a scenario where Ben is back in Philly.” The source meant it with permanence. As in: Simmons’ career with the Sixers, to the source, is over.
I was told very clearly that the Sixers do not liken these circumstances to Al Horford’s last season in Oklahoma City or John Wall’s in Houston. As the start of training camp draws near, Philadelphia has shown zero interest to date in striking the sort of mutual agreement that Wall and the Rockets just hatched to shelve the former All-Star point guard.
The Sixers have not lowered the bar on what they’re seeking in a Simmons trade — yet. Toronto, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Antonio and Sacramento — all of them, league sources say, have engaged with Philadelphia in Simmons trade talks. They’re also all bubble playoff teams at best based in markets not known for attracting free agents and surely love the idea of acquiring Simmons when the 25-year-old is locked into three guaranteed seasons on his contract after this one.