Ben Simmons says his Philadelphia 76ers’ teammate Matisse Thybulle will play for Australia at this year’s Olympics. Thybulle was born in the US, spent part of his childhood in Australia and would be a defensive force for the Boomers in Tokyo as the team attempts to win its first Olympic medal. “He’s going to play for Australia,” Simmons told reporters at an NBA All-Star press conference in Chicago on Saturday. “He’s great.”
"Defensively he is much better than what I thought he was going to be," Simmons said. "He kind of gives us that push also. It's great to have him on the court."
Thybulle moved to Australia with his family when he was two years old, living in the Sydney area for several years and gaining citizenship during that time. "I think the opportunity to play in the Olympics itself is an honour. To represent something bigger than yourself, like your country and whatever that country might stand for is something that is a huge opportunity," Thybulle continued.
While the NBA postseason will be the immediate focus for the trio of Brown, Simmons and Thybulle, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo may also be on their agenda, with the recent news that the Philadelphia rookie is indeed an Australian citizen and eligible to play for the Boomers. "They've been pretty good because we have such a big task at hand with this season that it's hard to look beyond that," Thybulle responded when asked whether Brown and Simmons are bringing up the prospect of playing in the green and gold.
Simmons found a positive tone when ESPN asked him about Thybulle, whose defensive exploits have already gained positive traction around the league. "He's going to be great," Simmons quickly responded. "Defensively he's got to fix a couple of things mentally in games, but he's gifted. He's long, he's able to read certain players the right way, he's one of our best defenders."
Golden State Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown has agreed to terms to become the new head coach for Nigeria's national men's basketball team that is heading to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he told The Undefeated.
"I'm honored and humbled that Musa Kida and the Nigerian Basketball Federation have given me this opportunity," Brown said. "The Nigerian Basketball Federation has been very professional and organized throughout the vetting process. They want to continue to build a world class team and organization on and off the court. “
Brown plans to hire a full coaching staff, including player development personnel, video personnel, scouts, and medical personnel for the Nigerian national team. The Warriors have given Brown their blessing and will allow Nigeria to use its newly renovated East Bay practice facility in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Brown could also potentially add one NBA player to the roster that would be granted a Nigerian passport.
Marc J. Spears: Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown has agreed to terms to be the next head coach of the Nigerian men’s basketball team during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, @espn @TheUndefeated has learned. Nigeria BB president Musa Kida was seeking a high-profile coach with an NBA background.
Michael Singer: Malone asked about his potential role with Serbian national team: “Right now I’m having some dialogue with Igor. We’ve had some great conversations. Nothing is official yet, but it’s something that I definitely have interest in.”
Michael Singer: Asked Michael Malone about the report that he had agreed to join the Serbian national team this summer. “That’s not accurate.” They’ve talked, but it is not official by any stretch.
Harrison Wind: Serbian Basketball Federation: "Mike Malone confirmed today that he will be joining the Serbian basketball team at the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade." The winner of the 6-team tournament, which begins 6/23, qualifies for the Olympics
Marc Stein: The Serbian basketball federation is in advanced discussions with Mike Malone to hire the Nuggets' coach as a top aide and consultant to Serbia head coach and Kings assistant Igor Kokoskov for this summer's Olympic campaign, according to league sources
Mark Woods: Pacers coach Nate McMillan confirms he’s closed the door on returning to USA coaching staff for Olympics after passing on World Cup due to NBA commitments.
Thompson was hesitant to talk about this summer at Monday morning’s shootaround, saying: “I’m just thinking about tonight, playing against the Raptors at home at 7:30 at Scotiabank Arena. So that’s where my mindset is at. I’m happy Nick Nurse is the coach.” But it’s unlikely Thompson or Miami Heat centre Kelly Olynyk — who could opt out of his current deal and so would also be without a contract — will play in the June 23-28 tournament.
The president of the Spanish Basketball Federation, Jorge Garbajosa, stated that Pau Gasol plans to play in the 2020 Olympic Games. “He will do everything possible and part of the impossible to be there. If Pau wants and can, he will be. And if he can’t be on the court, let him be there in any position he wants. We will always wait for him,” Garbajosa said, per Marca.
Ryan Wolstat: Nurse on top Canadians committing to play this summer: “Super exciting. It’s going to be a hell of a tournament.” Says the draw is tough but they knew it would be. “We’re going to have to earn our way to it through some very good teams.”
Jamal Murray: Playing for my country is always an honour and I want to take the step and leadership role to commit to @canadabasketball this summer. I want to play my part to help push our team into the Olympics and compete at the highest world stage. Let’s go Canada
Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray has confirmed his intention to play for Canada next summer – first at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria, B.C. in late June, and then in Tokyo should the men’s team earn one of the six remaining spots in the 12-team Olympic tournament.
“I really wanted to play last summer but I was injured,” Murray told Sportsnet in a comment relayed by his agent, Mike George, on Tuesday. “But I’m excited and looking forward to playing now.”
“I wanted to get the word out early because I feel like I have a leadership role and want to let the other guys know I’m all in, I’m ready to play,” said Murray. “I feel healthy and I’m ready to go ahead and try to help us qualify for the Olympics.”
Brown served as an assistant coach at the San Antonio Spurs for 11 seasons, including four NBA Championship campaigns under Gregg Popovich, and will assume the Boomers Head Coach role after six years at the 76ers. “When the opportunity to coach the Boomers next summer in Tokyo came up, I was reminded of my deep history with Australia and Australian basketball,” stated Brown.
Brett Brown: “I felt a duty to try and help in any way that I could. The spirit of the country and the athletes of the country exemplify on a day-to-day basis the passion that is Australian sport. That passion is respected and recognised throughout the world and I’m very excited to be a part of that again. This is our mission and my message to our team: We’re going into the 2020 Olympics to win a gold medal. I understand the magnitude of this statement. I would feel irresponsible having any other goal but this.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Australia is finalizing an agreement with Sixers coach Brett Brown to become its national team coach again, sources tell ESPN. Brown would coach Aussies in 2020 Olympics. Brown coached Australia in 2012 London Games.
Injured Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry "absolutely" still plans to make himself available to play for USA Basketball during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, his father, Dell Curry, told ESPN's The Undefeated.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics begin on July 24, 2020. "Absolutely. That was definitely a goal coming into this year. He wants to play in the Olympics," Dell Curry told ESPN's The Undefeated on Friday night. "This is a little setback, but hopefully it's a goal he can strive for through his rehab."
The 2020 Olympics. Should we be expecting you to suit up for Australia’s basketball team in Japan? Ben Simmons: If everything goes smoothly and correctly, that’s where I want to be. I definitely want to represent Australia in the Olympics. It’s a dream. And if I’m able to bring a medal and help this team and do something right for the country and bring a positive light to it, I would love to do that. And I want to do that alongside Patty Mills, hopefully [Andrew] Bogut, [Aron] Baynes, Dante [Exum], Joe Ingles, all those guys. I want to do that with them, and I think we can do something special.
Tim Reynolds: And in Orlando today, Aaron Gordon said "Of course. Of course. I would love to be in Tokyo. Goes without saying."
Mark Medina: Will Klay Thompson play in the 2020 Olympics? "I have to consider my health ,first and foremost, because of what I had to endure the last few months." But Klay would like to play if he's healthy
Tim Reynolds: Draymond Green is serious about the 2020 Olympic team. “I’m actually kind of planning my wedding around it,” Green said. “So hopefully I make the team.”
Mark Medina: Draymond Green said he wants to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He's planning his wedding around it.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both said Sunday they wanted to do it. On Friday, Anthony Davis was a yes and LeBron James a maybe. What’s all of this mean to the man responsible for piecing together Team USA’s roster? “The reality is the World Cup, although it’s very big around the world, it doesn’t have the same status in the States,” Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo told The Athletic. “Our focus is apparently on the Olympics, and I expected a different response.”
Mark Medina: Paul George on if he will play in 2020 Olympics: "I would love to. Hopefully, God willing, I can get through a season healthy. When that times comes, I’d love to be a part of the Olympics and represent. But this comes first obviously and getting through this year."
Jovan Buha: Kawhi on the 2020 Olympics: "Yeah, I do wanna play. I'm taking it one step at a time. Right now it's getting the Clippers to the Finals."
Tania Ganguli: LeBron is asked if he'll join Team USA next summer. Long pause. "I don’t know. I would love to. I have to, I want to stay healthy as well. That’s most important. I was not happy about how we did this summer." Added that he applauds the individuals on this year's team.
The 2014 World Cup was memorable for Curry and Thompson because they bonded off the court in Spain, something they don’t get to do much normally. Thompson said it would be a dream to share a backcourt with Curry in Tokyo. “That would be amazing,” Thompson said. “Amazing. Because even when we played in the World Championships together, we were barely on the floor together.” Thompson is the latest star to express a desire to play in the Olympics, joining Curry and Damian Lillard.
Despite their intentions, Curry and Thompson playing in the Olympics can’t be considered a lock. If the Warriors somehow went on a deep run into the postseason, it would be their sixth straight year doing so. Turning around and going to Japan to play more might be untenable. Thus, an early postseason exit might be required for their hopes to be fulfilled. Plus, Thompson’s availability will be contingent upon his recovery from a torn ACL.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is committed to playing for Team USA in next summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo. "That is the plan, for sure," Curry said in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "You know, obviously knock on wood, you don't want any injuries or things like that to interfere."
This would mark Curry's first appearance in the Olympics, an experience he is looking forward to, when asked specially by Nichols if he was committing to the team. "Definitely wanna go," Curry said. "I've never been on the Olympic team. I've been on two World Cup Championship gold medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it."
Curry says he is confident that the Americans can still reign supreme when they put their best players on the floor. "We're still the best," Curry said. "If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us in the Olympic stage and the commitment's been there, and I think it'll be there next year."
Despite being around a year out from the Olympics getting underway, Lillard is confident he can help claim the gold medal. “I plan on being a part of that. I plan on playing,” Lillard said exclusively to news.com.au. When asked about adding an Olympic medal to his trophy cabinet, Lillard was emphatic: “Definitely”.
Tim Reynolds: Draymond Green tells CNBC that he’d like to play in the Olympics next year. “I do hope to play. And I think a lot of guys will want to play. You know, this schedule this year was a little treacherous with the games that was in America and also traveled to Australia ...
Australian basketball star Dante Exum is tentatively eyeing off a Boomers return at the 2020 Olympics. As Andrej Lemanis' side prepare for their World Cup opener against Canada on Sunday, the Utah Jazz guard is pushing for a return to full fitness for the start of the NBA season.
The 24-year-old says he's spoken to the Jazz about his desire to continue playing for the national team and he has hatched early plans to be part of the Boomers' Olympic campaign in Tokyo. "I just want to get a healthy season, that's my main focus for now," Exum told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday. "But granted, if I'm 100 per cent healthy, I'll definitely put my hand up."
August 18, 2022 | 8:28 am EDT Update
After being traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Clippers last February, Powell proceeded to play three games before sustaining a left foot fracture. His recovery took weeks, which only allowed him to suit up in the team’s last four games including the Play-In tournament. The veteran admitted that it was a tough experience of not being able to have an on-court familiarization with his team in the previous campaign. “It’s kind of a tough hill to climb on, only playing for three games and then coming back for the playoffs, it’s tough,” Powell said, via David Yapkowitz of 213 Hoops. “I really didn’t get a full chance to show what I bring to the table, just a little bit of a spark there.”
Former Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter Freedom explained why the NBA is “really mad” as its hypocritical business ties to communist China are exposed Wednesday on “The Ingraham Angle.” KANTER FREEDOM: Everything the NBA does is either for money or a publicity stunt. It’s been like that for years, so I’m not really surprised. They could care less about the players, about the coaching staff and the fans as long as the league image is profitable.
Enes Kanter Freedom: And finally, they are really mad because someone finally from the inside who played 11 years in this league — [is] going out there and exposing them one by one. And that is unacceptable… What is unacceptable is how they can bow down to the biggest dictatorship out there in the world. So that hurt my heart. I was like, “You know what? Enough is enough. Someone has to call out this hypocrisy.” And I did it.
Vanessa Bryant’s ongoing civil trial against Los Angeles County has gotten so gory and gruesome at times that Bryant felt compelled to stay out of the courtroom during testimony three times in the first three days, including one time after she got up and left the room in distress. In one exchange, a witness described “pieces of flesh hanging from trees.”
“Didn’t it open (the victim’s) brain cavity?” the attorney asked. “Yes,” said the witness. “The cavity was opened, and the cavity that contains the brain was exposed.” “And the brain tissue was vacated, correct?” the attorney asked. “Missing?” “Correct,” the witness replied in front of a federal jury of five men and four women.
August 18, 2022 | 2:54 am EDT Update
The Lakers remain active in trade talks and would part with their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in the right deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said in an appearance on Sports Center (video link). Those picks “have a lot of value in the marketplace” if they’re unprotected, Wojnarowski states. He adds that L.A. would be willing to give them up in a trade for Kyrie Irving, but the Nets haven’t been interested.
Those around the team were confident that James signing an extension was likely, considering how much he’s enjoyed playing for the Lakers and living in Los Angeles. The primary complication in James’ decision was that he has been privately adamant that the Lakers still need to improve the current roster and trade for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources have told The Athletic.