Melissa Rohlin: Pop on what he would've done if Kevin D…

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Mike Finger: On first day with US Olympic team, Gregg Popovich is asked if he thinks some of his guys will be talking to each other about forming new super teams. “It’s none of my business,” he says.
Tim Reynolds: Pop says USA Basketball has brought in extra bodies - not just the select team - to supplement for the players who are missing from training camp. Olympians Khris Middleton, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday are not in Vegas for camp. (They couldn't get time off from work, apparently.)
Schroder didn’t suit up for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Split, but now wants to be part of the final roster that will travel to Tokyo. “If there is a possibility, then that would be great. I’m always available, but my situation is not that easy. But I hope we can sort that out by then. My agent has to do his job now. The German national team has done its job, let’s see,” Schröder told German outlet Zeit Online, via Silver Screen and Roll.
Italy beat Serbia in the Belgrade Olympic Qualifying Tournament final on Sunday to advance to Tokyo’s Olympics and coach Meo Sachetti has named his 12-man squad for Tokyo, which will include Atlanta Hawks star Danilo Gallinari. The “Azzurri” will meet in Rome on July 12 and will leave for Japan on July 16. Their first game at the Olympics is scheduled for July 25 against Germany.
Among 79 qualifiers (those who played NBA seasons before and after the Games), players missed an average of 4.3 more games following the Olympics. And that doesn’t include the 76 games Paul George missed after breaking his leg in a 2014 national team scrimmage. While some injuries (Chris Mullin’s sprained thumb, Kevin Love’s broken hand) might not be attributed to the rigors of added practice, games and travel following an 82-game NBA season (plus playoffs), others could be.
From the panel of the post-game presser, the experienced forward referred to his national team's failure to qualify for the big event by using strong language. "If I don't say it's a big shame the way we lost the game, I will lie to you. I wasn't ready to play today. I don't think that's important," Bjelica uttered at the beginning. "We played like shit, and the better team won tonight. With this attitude, we can't play basketball. I don't want to talk about pressure, but if you're not 100 percent here, you cannot win. I can apologize to our people. Our attitude has to change. I'm happy to be part of this team. In five years, we'll be gone. Talent can't win you games in this type of tournament. I will take responsibility as a player," the 33-year-old added.
Chris Grenham: Jayson Tatum has been working out in Miami of late in preparation for the Olympics. He and the rest of Team USA will soon report to Las Vegas ahead of their exhibition schedule. The first of five exhibition games is July 10 at 8pm ET vs Nigeria. All five games will be on NBCSN.
Luka Doncic with his usual dominance in Slovenia’s victory against Venezuela in the semifinal of the Kaunas Pre-Olympic. The Slovenian star ended the game with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 13 assists, one step away from yet another triple-double. In the post-match Doncic confirmed his enormous love for the Slovenian national team, declaring that he would prefer gold at the Olympics to an NBA title with the Mavs.
“I would say the gold medal with Slovenia, you play for your country and it’s something really, really special. But I wouldn’t mind both of them …”. Slovenia will face Lithuania (who just defeated Poland) in the final tomorrow. “It would be amazing. It would be a dream to be in the Olympics. Not just me, I think the whole federation of Slovenia and the whole country. They really cheer for us and I hope we get to that.”
Marc Stein: Luka Doncic is one win away from a spot in the Olympics. Slovenia must beat Lithuania in Kaunas ... winner goes to Tokyo. Two more Sunday games with a Tokyo berth on the line: Germany/Brazil in Croatia and Serbia hosting Italy. Canada, still two wins away, plays this afternoon.
Luka Doncic: Sniper

https://twitter.com/FIBA/status/1411336855329574913
In fact, according to a recent report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Lillard played a big role in Tatum’s decision to join Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Lillard was also in communication with Boston Celtics wing Jayson Tatum, who put off his decision on Team USA for some time after the season ended to evaluate his offseason priorities. Tatum was on the 2019 World Cup team that finished a disappointing seventh, in part because Tatum sprained his ankle in pool play. When it was clear how the team was shaping up, Tatum’s uncertainty faded and he committed, sources said.
Tom Orsborn: Rather than make Keldon Johnson available to media, #Spurs released a video of him answering questions posed by a staffer. Here's what he had to say about his approach to facing Team USA: "I'll go at them...It's basketball - I've got to go at them. That's just who I am."
Steve Popper: The official release from USA Basketball. pic.twitter.com/b2jfjiWygn

http://twitter.com/StevePopper/status/1410647923923337219
Luka Doncic: 🇸🇮🇸🇮 pic.twitter.com/fEt88h6CU0

http://twitter.com/luka7doncic/status/1410645009016229891
Jerry Colangelo ON KEVIN DURANT: “This guy is a very, very special individual in my opinion. … He’s always had this great enthusiasm, for playing USA basketball, for playing the game of basketball. He’s been in my opinion a real warrior, I love the guy as a player, I love him as a person, and the fact he stepped up to commit himself as he did didn’t surprise me. I was very very pleased because he’s a very very important part of our potential success.”
Eric Koreen: Turkey beats Czech Republic 87-70, locking up first place in its group in the Victoria OQT. That means Canada will play winner of Czech/Uruguay in Saturday’s semi, while Turkey plays winner of China/Greece.
Fans of Team USA should not expect to see LeBron James wearing red, white and blue again, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told ESPN's Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin on Wednesday. "You know, Father Time takes its toll," Colangelo said of the 36-year-old star. "... If you're a human being, your body is built to go so long depending on what your sport is, and then it's a downhill situation. LeBron made choices these last couple of Olympics not to participate because he's got a lot of things going on in his life. So he put in his time, he made a contribution that is appreciated, but I think his time is over."

http://twitter.com/luka7doncic/status/1410286490379300878
Devin Booker may arrive in Tokyo for the upcoming Summer Olympics right before Team USA starts competing for the gold medal. No problem. "Booker called me maybe a month ago to express his great desire to be a part of the Olympics and I knew that just because of the relationship," said Team USA director Jerry Colangelo during Monday's Zoom media interview. "I didn't have to say a word. He said, 'If we get to the finals and we go all the way, I'll be on the plane the next day and I'll be there. It doesn't matter.' When you're young, you can think that way."
According to Team USA Director Jerry Colangelo, he initially thought Paul was out before the Suns veteran told him he is reconsidering it. The sports executive then shared that he waited for CP3’s decision until the 36-year-old caught COVID-19 during the 2021 playoffs. Per Colangelo, Paul’s positive COVID-19 test “knocked him out” and they just had to move on as they built the roster that will represent the nation in the Summer Games in Tokyo.
Boomers teammate Patty Mills echoed Coach Goorjian’s support for Simmons. “As a teammate, as a fan and as a supporter, we all want to see our best players putting on the green and gold and for me in particular, having that thought even to be able to share the court with Benny at some stage in the green and gold, is something I am always going to look forward to and unfortunately now is not going to be the time, and that is ok.” said Mills. “This place right here, and the program we have developed, and how strong our culture is, this is one place for him that is always going to be here with open arms because we are mates. We are team-mates, we are a brotherhood and to be able to represent the green and gold, that is the culture that we have." “The number one fact and characteristic of our group is how we support each other through the good, bad and ugly, whatever it may be, and Ben isn’t an exception to that. No matter what he does, myself and the team will continue to support him because this is a safe place – everyone needs to know and understand that now more than ever, we need to support Ben on his journey."
Boomers Squad member Ben Simmons has today advised Head Coach Brian Goorjian of his decision to withdraw from the Australian Olympic Squad. Simmons, 24, indicated to Coach Goorjian that he requires this upcoming period of time to focus on individual skill development and wishes the team well for the Olympics in Tokyo.
“I have spoken with Ben and whilst we wanted him to be a part of our team, we understand and support his decision and he has made it clear that this is something that he wants to be a part of in the future. “It is a pretty rough time for him right now and I know it is something that he wanted to do, but the timing just hasn’t worked. “The best thing for everybody right now is for him to go on and develop that skill package and improve in a couple of areas for his next season in the NBA, but the Boomers are always here for him. We wanted him to know that in his time of need, the culture and the guys here are behind him and support him”.
Patrick Mills: “This place right here, and the program we have developed, and how strong our culture is, this is one place for him that is always going to be here with open arms because we are mates. We are team-mates, we are a brotherhood and to be able to represent the green and gold, that is the culture that we have." “The number one fact and characteristic of our group is how we support each other through the good, bad and ugly, whatever it may be, and Ben isn’t an exception to that. No matter what he does, myself and the team will continue to support him because this is a safe place – everyone needs to know and understand that now more than ever, we need to support Ben on his journey."
Marc Stein: The Knicks' Julius Randle was "right there" for an Olympic roster spot, @usabasketball executive director Jerry Colangelo said. Kevin Love's international experience was key in his selection, Colangelo said. Love, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant are previous gold medalists.
His dad, in addition to his feats as a Canadian player, is the general manager of the Canadian national team. RJ doesn’t go into detail on the memories his dad has shared with him from the 2000 Olympics, putting it simply: "He said it’s an experience he’ll never forget." "Anytime I can give back to my country, that’s what I try to do," RJ Barrett said. "It’s in my blood. I hope to play as long as I can."
Milwaukee starting guards Middleton and Jrue Holiday plan to play for the U.S. in the Tokyo Olympics next month, yet both insist that isn't distracting them from the Bucks' quest to win the franchise's first NBA title in 50 years. "We're in the middle of a championship run," Middleton said. "To take a second to think about something outside of this season, it was a little tough to think about it. But it was an easy decision for me to go ahead and commit."

http://twitter.com/SiriusXMNBA/status/1408926044342599685
Team USA's inclusion of white forward Kevin Love on the Olympic roster is an example of 'tokenism,' according to retired NBA star Jalen Rose, who says black Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton would make a better choice even though he's from the Bahamas. 'Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism,' Rose, now an ESPN commentator, said on his podcast. 'Don't be scared to make an all-black team representing the United States of America. I'm disappointed by that. Anybody that watched the league this year knows Kevin Love did not have a stellar season, was not the best player on his team and did not necessarily deserve to be on this squad.'
Rose's assertion that Team USA was scared to field an 'all-black team' is not supported by recent history. The fact is that four of the last five US men's Olympic basketball squads were comprised entirely of African Americans. In fact, Love is Team USA's only white player to suit up in the Olympics since John Stockton in 1996.
The Czech Republic national team will fight for a spot in the 2021 Olympic games through the qualifying tournament in Canada and coach Ronen Ginzburg has decided on the 12 players that he will count on. Tomas Satoransky and Jan Vesely lead the list which also includes the following names: Patrik Auda, Ondrej Balvin, Jaromir Bohacik, Lukas Palyza, Martin Peterka, Patrick Samoura, Blake Schilb, Ondrej Sehnal, Jakub Sirina, Tomas Vyoral.
Spoelstra has accepted an invitation to join the USA Basketball coaching staff for its Olympic preparations in Las Vegas next month. The Miami Heat coach, who went head-to-head against Popovich and San Antonio in the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals, will be involved coaching the U.S. select team — a group of players that will be brought in to practice and scrimmage against the Olympic roster.
“I really just want to be a part of the program,” Spoelstra said. “I’m always pushing myself to get better in the offseasons; I go visit people and all that stuff. This is going to be a basketball immersion. I mean, the dinners, the team meetings ... for where I am right now in my career, I think this is the perfect thing for a summer of development.”
Team USA's first game in Japan is scheduled for July 25 against France. But all three have committed to traveling quickly to Japan by private plane, Colangelo said. "Life is about relationships and we've got relationships with all these players over the years," Colangelo said. "It's been a process and it hasn't been easy."
Unlike in 2019, when the Americans finished a disappointing seventh in the World Cup with a team that featured traditional centers and limited shooting, this roster is filled with players who can play multiple positions and are shooting specialists. "Versatility and athleticism are trademarks of this group," said Colangelo, who will retire following the Tokyo Games after 16 years leading Team USA. "Our staff feels this will be a very competitive group and we'll have shooting that we've been lacking. We're going to go into camp feeling confident we're going to perform well."
Nick DePaula: Based on all reports, it would appear the 12-player @USAbasketball roster for the Tokyo Olympics is set: Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bam Adebayo, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Zach LaVine, Draymond Green, James Harden, Jrue Holiday, Kevin Love, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum pic.twitter.com/9n9FqPNcbO
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center Kevin Love has committed to joining Team USA's 12-man roster for the Summer Olympics, @excelbasketball agent Jeff Schwartz tells ESPN.
Pau Gasol was named by Spain to the preliminary list of players set to start training camp ahead of the Olympic Games. His brother, Marc Gasol, is also among the 18 players called up by head coach Sergio Scariolo. Ricky Rubio, Juan Hernangomez, and Willy Hernangomez are the remaining NBA players on the list.
Michael Grange: Some interesting names on and not on the 24-player list @CanBball has submitted to FIBA in advance of the Olympic qualifier. Among the NBA contingent expected to be there: Nickeil Walker-Alexander; RJ Barrett; Lu Dort, Cory Joseph; Trey Lyles; Mychal Mulder; Dwight Powell and Andrew Wiggins. Dillon Brooks and Oshae Brissett are on the list, but -- as reported yesterday -- are not playing at the OQT. Among the NBA crowd expected to be there but not on the list: Kelly Olynyk, Khem Birch and -- as reported yesterday -- Tristan Thompson. Olynyk and Birch are pending free agents. The rest are holdovers from the original list: Anthony Bennett; Andrew Nembhard; Melvin Ejim; Aaron Doornekamp; Kyle Alexander; Trae Bell-Haynes and Andrew Nicholson. Also one name neglected to mention, Isiaha Mike, a pro in Europe.
Blake Murphy: Oh, Brandon Clarke is also not on the list. And as noted earlier, Kaza Keane is in. Again, nothing official, just sorting through the paperwork side ahead of camp open.
Storyline: Olympic Games
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September 27, 2021 | 12:26 pm EDT Update

Kyrie Irving declines questions about vaccination status

Ohm Youngmisuk: Kyrie Irving joins Nets media day remotely. On if he expects to be compliant with vaccination to play: “I would love to keep that private and handle that the right way with my team. Obviously I’m not able to be present there today.” He adds he’s not putting limits for future. pic.twitter.com/00fYCtBcNR
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