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. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs none of my business,‚ÄĚ 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.)
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."
Jerry COLANGELO ON KEVIN LOVE: ‚ÄúThe best reason to say ‚Äėwhy Kevin Love is an extra big‚Äô was because of his international experience. Yes it‚Äôs true, he hasn‚Äôt played much of anything over these last couple years, but, the skills that he does bring to the table, the commitment that he‚Äôs made regarding physical conditioning, he‚Äôs a versatile guy up front who can rebound and hit shots. Who is to say how many minutes people are going to play? You‚Äôre not playing 12 players. And so it was a matter of filling out the roster with role players.‚ÄĚ
Jerry Colangelo ON KEVIN DURANT: ‚ÄúThis guy is a very, very special individual in my opinion. ‚Ä¶ He‚Äôs always had this great enthusiasm, for playing USA basketball, for playing the game of basketball. He‚Äôs 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‚Äôt surprise me. I was very very pleased because he‚Äôs a very very important part of our potential success.‚ÄĚ
Jerry Colangelo ON Damian LILLARD: ‚ÄúDamian came very close to being with us a few years ago and I think he was disappointed that it didn‚Äôt happen. There are always some disappointed people but he handled it gracefully, in a very professional way, and I was always hopeful that we would have an opportunity to re-engage, and of course, this is the time we are re-engaging. He‚Äôs another one that‚Äôs just had an incredible career. When I say he‚Äôs a big-time scorer, that‚Äôs an understatement. I would love to have him on our team at any time, and I am very very pleased that he will be a big part of our efforts.‚ÄĚ
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.
Erik Spoelstra and Gregg Popovich have often spoken of how much they enjoy coaching against one another. This summer, they‚Äôre teaming up ‚ÄĒ to coach with, and against, one another.
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 ‚ÄĒ a group of players that will be brought in to practice and scrimmage against the Olympic roster.
‚ÄúI really just want to be a part of the program,‚ÄĚ Spoelstra said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm 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.‚ÄĚ
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."
Shams Charania: Nets‚Äė James Harden has withdrawn from Team USA coming off his hamstring injury during the postseason, sources said.
Shams Charania: Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant has committed to Team USA for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium .
Shams Charania: Team USA's 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics: Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Zach LaVine, Kevin Love, Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Jerami Grant
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
Marc Stein: For the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, @usabasketball is hopeful of securing a commitment from Wizards star guard Bradley Beal, @NYTSports has learned.
Marc J. Spears: Texas Christian head coach¬†Jamie Dixon has been selected to serve as the 2021 USA Basketball Men‚Äôs U19 World Cup Team head coach. Stanford University head coach¬†Jerod Haase and Yale University head mentor¬†James Jones¬†complete the coaching staff as 2021 USA U19 assistant coaches.
Grant Hill will become the men‚Äôs national team managing director following the Tokyo Olympics, USA Basketball said Saturday. He‚Äôll replace the retiring Jerry Colangelo, in a move where one Basketball Hall of Famer takes over for another in the critical role of assembling teams that will compete for gold. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs just an incredible opportunity, also an incredible challenge,‚ÄĚ Hill said Saturday.
Grant Hill: ‚ÄúI had the good fortune of participating in international play ‚ÄĒ the Pan American Games, of course the Olympic team ‚ÄĒ and I have been a fan of Team USA going back to the 1984 Olympic team when I first started to fall in love with basketball. The more I thought about it, the more intrigued, excited and the more willing I was to roll up my sleeves and move forward with this awesome responsibility.‚ÄĚ
Hill went into the Hall of Fame in 2018 and has worked as an NBA and college basketball analyst for Turner Sports for nearly a decade. And he‚Äôs part of the broadcast team for the men‚Äôs Final Four this weekend in Indianapolis, the sixth straight year he‚Äôs been on that crew. He will remain in broadcasting after assuming his USA Basketball job.
With NBA players expected to make up the core of all three teams and the league's playoffs scheduled to take place from May 22 to July 22, this concept would create an environment where players can limit travel and possible exposure to COVID-19 before going to Japan. Team USA is tentatively planning to open training camp the week of July 4, while the NBA playoffs are ongoing.
Spain, the reigning World Cup champions, have five current NBA players who have played on the national team in the past: Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Serge Ibaka, Juancho Hernangomez and Willy Hernangomez. The Australians named their Olympic roster pool this week, and it has 10 current NBA players, including Ben Simmons, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum and Matisse Thybulle.
Team USA has asked to allow roster changes even during the Olympics as players may fly over late and join teams, Colangelo said. He is waiting to hear back from the governing bodies on the matter. "These are not normal times. Rosters by a certain date doesn't make any sense," Colangelo said. "What we're seeking is flexibility to substitute players very late and to get the best players on the court. It doesn't just apply to us but for all the countries." On Wednesday, the IOC released its first set of Games parameters, which said athletes were not required to be vaccinated or to quarantine on arrival but that they would have to undergo testing before embarking and upon arrival in Japan.
Aaron J. Fentress: "If we win The Finals, I'm not playing in The Olympics." - Damian Lillard. #RipCity
USA Basketball has begun reaching out to star players to gauge their interest in the Olympics, should the end date of the 2020-21 season provide ample time to prepare for the Games, sources said. The NBA continues to prefer in-market play for the 2020-21 season ‚ÄĒ instead of a bubble or multiple bubbles. The league is also looking into ways to reduce travel during the season, including possibly playing a team multiple times.
That all changed in 2006. A couple of days before Bryant would score 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, Colangelo invited him to his office in Phoenix. The Lakers were in town to face the Suns, but Colangelo had something else on his mind: He wanted Bryant to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympics. ‚ÄúI knew in advance that he really wanted to be a part of U.S.A. Basketball,‚ÄĚ said Colangelo, who had taken over as managing director of the men‚Äôs national team after its disastrous third-place finish at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens ‚ÄĒ a far cry from the standard of excellence set by Michael Jordan and the so-called Dream Team that won gold in 1992. ‚ÄúIt was on his list of things that he wanted to accomplish, because he had never played for U.S.A. Basketball. No junior teams or anything like that. So it was important to him, and his commitment was huge.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI think Kobe challenged everybody,‚ÄĚ said Jim Boeheim, one of the team‚Äôs assistants and the head coach of men‚Äôs basketball at Syracuse. ‚ÄúHe was like, ‚ÄėI‚Äôm going to defend the toughest guy on every team, I‚Äôm going to push everyone, so just come along with me.‚Äô And he did that from Day 1.‚ÄĚ For Colangelo, it was a window into greatness. The foundation for all of Bryant‚Äôs feats ‚ÄĒ the 81-point game, the scoring titles, the series-clinching jump shots, the three championships he had already won with the Lakers ‚ÄĒ was his work ethic and desire. The spectacular was rooted in the mundane, in the monotony of hard labor.
At the Olympics, Bryant helped lead the way in the gold-medal final against Spain ‚ÄĒ and did it with flair. With just over three minutes remaining in a tight game, Bryant effectively sealed the win with a 4-point play. He raised an index finger to his lips to silence the Spanish fans in the crowd. A few minutes later, as the Americans celebrated on the court, Colangelo embraced the player he had once dreamed of drafting. The wait, in some ways, was worth it. ‚ÄúHow often does someone have an objective, a goal, and have it perfectly executed?‚ÄĚ Colangelo asked. ‚ÄúIt was just so special.‚ÄĚ
ESPN‚Äôs recently aired documentary series ‚ÄúThe Last Dance,‚ÄĚ chronicling Michael Jordan‚Äôs final championship season with the Chicago Bulls, rekindled interest in Jordan‚Äôs long-running feud with Isiah Thomas, including how the Pistons‚Äô star was left off the 1992 Dream Team that won Olympic gold in Barcelona. Author Jack McCallum addressed the controversy in the most recent episode of his ‚ÄúThe Dream Team Tapes‚ÄĚ podcast series. McCallum said Jordan brought up the issue of Thomas himself in a 2011 interview. ‚ÄúWhen they called me and asked me to play ‚ÄĒ Rod Thorn called me. I said ‚ÄėRod, I won‚Äôt play if Isiah Thomas is on the team.‚Äô He assured me. He said, ‚ÄėChuck doesn‚Äôt want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Jordan said on the recording that McCallum played during the podcast.
FIBA media: Following the latest developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Draw for the @Tokyo2020 Men's & Women's Olympic Basketball Tournaments, which was set to take place at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball in Mies, ūüá®ūüá≠ on March 20, is postponed to a date yet to be confirmed.
Bill Oram: Of the 44 players named finalists for the men‚Äôs Olympic team, five are Lakers: James, Davis, Kuzma plus... JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard
USA Basketball announced the preliminary roster for the 2020 Olympics which consists of 44 names. The list is as follows: Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat); LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers); Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics); Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat); Mike Conley (Utah Jazz); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers); DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs); Andre Drummond (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets); Paul George (L.A. Clippers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Montrezl Harrell (L.A. Clippers); Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets); Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers); Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics); Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers); Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans); Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets); LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers); Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers); (cont.).
Kawhi Leonard (L.A. Clippers); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); JaVale McGee (Los Angeles Lakers); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers); Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder); Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets); Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).
USA Basketball released a preliminary roster on Monday of 44 names to be considered for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, and while LeBron James and Steph Curry are back in the fold for the national team, the list had some glaring omissions. Notably, players like Trae Young, Zach LaVine, Carmelo Anthony, Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and John Collins were left off the list entirely while Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, Marcus Smart and Derrick White were among the 44 players to receive camp invitations.
Marc Stein: As @usabasketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told @NYTSports last month, this preliminary roster features virtually every top American name available -- with the 12 players who will ultimately go Tokyo to be selected and announced in June before the NBA playoffs are complete
Jonathan Feigen: USA Basketball releases list of 44 players on the preliminary Olympic men's basketball roster, which includes Rockets guards Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
Brian Robb: Celtics have their five best players (Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, and Kemba Walker) on the preliminary 44-man USA Olympic roster for 2020 just released by USA Basketball.
Tom Westerholm: Jaylen Brown was asked about the locker room after the loss: ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt even know how to answer that. Like everybody knows what we wanted to do, and we didn‚Äôt do it. I guess you can imagine how we feel, right?‚ÄĚ
John Karalis: Jayson Tatum on his 3 free throws at the end of regulation: "I wasn‚Äôt nervous. I‚Äôm stilled pissed I missed the second one, then I wouldn‚Äôt have got hurt. We won. Glad I was able to help give us some extra time and extend the game. As long as we win, that‚Äôs all that I care about"
Those fans remember Barnes on their TVs in the Finals, too. ‚ÄúJust from what I‚Äôve seen from our experience so far, trying to help guys understand what it means to play on an international stage and what we‚Äôre going to have to go through to win it,‚ÄĚ Barnes said, when asked how his past championships can help here. ‚ÄúAnytime you have championship experience, whether it was just that journey of going through it, whether it was in ‚Äô15 or ‚Äô16, whatever it is, that just helps you in this process because you have eight games to lock in and do something special.‚ÄĚ
Olgun Uluc: Here‚Äôs what Donovan Mitchell had to say at Team USA‚Äôs practice in Sydney, today. Once again, he downplayed the exhibition loss to Australia: ‚ÄúTo be honest, I think everyone else makes more of a big deal of it than we are.‚ÄĚ pic.twitter.com/oakJKKpthw
John Karalis: Pop on Kuzma cont: ..."So, hopefully, he‚Äôll heal quickly. But, he was wonderful while he was here, and we do miss him." (2/2)
Kemba Walker scored 23 points, Myles Turner added 15 points and 14 rebounds, and the U.S. topped Australia 102-86 on Thursday before a crowd of 51,218 ‚Äď billed as the largest crowd ever to watch a basketball game in Australia.
September 18, 2021 | 9:28 pm EDT Update
The Houston Rockets have waived forward Tyler Bey. This waiver was necessary to create the roster spot for Houston to re-sign Dante Exum. The Rockets signed Bey to a fully non-guaranteed training camp contract in late-August.
Marcus Smart: Takes little ‚Äútalent‚ÄĚ to play defense. Takes a wholelotta ‚Äúwant to‚ÄĚ. Get every 50/50 ball. If you‚Äôre not quik defensively‚ÄĒget strong. Strength hides weaknesses. Take charges. Be a gr8 teammate. Compete. Never be ok w losing. No one remembers the 2nd US President. Only the 1st.
September 18, 2021 | 5:41 pm EDT Update
You‚Äôre here for at least the next five years now that you‚Äôve signed an extension. Do you allow yourself to think ‚Äď or dream ‚Äď about what might come over that time span since you‚Äôve talked openly about wanting to win a title in New York? Have you allowed yourself to think about how things might progress? Julius Randle: Obviously, it’s a process. Everything is a process. We‚Äôve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, that is the expectation (winning a title in New York). That‚Äôs what I want to happen within that time frame. There‚Äôs a lot of things, factors that go into that. So obviously you‚Äôve got to weigh that stuff in.
Julius Randle: But as far as myself, I know Thibs (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) is thinking (it as well), it‚Äôs just win at all costs. For me personally, that’s just how I prepare myself. I prepare myself to compete at the highest level of our game. Like I said, there‚Äôs a lot of factors (that go into winning an NBA title). But I trust Leon (Knicks president Leon Rose), I trust Thibs, Wes (Knicks vice president William Wesley), our coaches, Scott (Knicks GM Scott Perry) ‚Äď all these guys, I trust. That was part of my process in thinking of signing the extension and that‚Äôs my goal, that‚Äôs our goal as a team and the guys that are around us. We want to be able to say that we won a championship here in New York. I don‚Äôt think there‚Äôs any better feeling than that.
Did you guys see the video clip of Trae Young at the Garden with WWE? Do you care about that stuff? Julius Randle: Yeah I see it. But honestly, I don’t care. Obviously, that‚Äôs (for) entertainment purposes and all that (stuff), so I let people enjoy it. For me, honestly, I don‚Äôt care. I honestly didn‚Äôt even watch it. Knicks fans, they‚Äôre going to make a big deal out of it ‚Äď they didn‚Äôt like it (laughs). But it‚Äôs all fun and games and hopefully they enjoyed it.
September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update
The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA‚Äôs transactions log. Hoops Rumors‚Äô JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets‚Äô interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
When the Timberwolves traded up to get Leandro Bolmaro last November in the 2020 NBA Draft (yes, it was less than a year ago‚Ä¶ it still feels weird), the question was would it be a year or two before Bolmaro came over from Barcelona to play in the NBA. The answer is one. Minnesota reached a deal and Bolmaro will be with the Timberwolves in training camp, the team announced Saturday. This is not a surprise; he was expected to come over this season. He will be playing on a rookie scale contract.