Mark Medina: Stephen Curry on if he still plans to play in the Olympics if it still takes place next summer: “Honestly, I have no idea. Very open-ended question, and I have no idea.”
More Rumors in this Storyline
Aaron J. Fentress: “If we win The Finals, I’m not playing in The Olympics.” – Damian Lillard. #RipCity
“As a coach, I don’t really like the fact that there are a couple of players like Marc and Serge who can reach the Finals because that would obviously complicate their selection for the Olympics,” Scariolo said to Radio Marca. “But I’m happy that each of them has a team and a role within their team that is promising to be interesting. Having them all joining teams very quickly is a reason for calm for all.” According to the 2020-21 NBA calendar, the playoffs begin on May 6 and will be finished on July 22. If the Lakers or the Clippers reach the Finals then Gasol and Ibaka won’t be able to make it to Tokyo.
“It’s not “bad – bad” news but the seventh game of the Finals – if there is a Game 7 – will be played one day before the opening of the Olympic Games,” Scariolo said. “So the timing is quite bad, that one of the two teams from Los Angeles, Marc or Serge reach the Finals. We are taking a lot of risk, but it’s just something I have in my mind”
The league wants to give fans (and players) their summers back. Starting the new season before Christmas would probably enable N.B.A. players to participate in the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021. And several of the league’s top international players, such as Italy’s Danilo Gallinari, Marco Belinelli and Nicolo Melli and France’s Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert, have said in recent weeks how important it is to them.
This would mean a return close to the NBA’s normal schedule, significant financial ramifications to start early, a potential finish before the 2021 Summer Olympics, and allow a window for stars to play in the Olympics, sources said. The NBA wants to continue to incorporate the play-in tournament that was utilized in the Orlando restart to determine the eighth seed in the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, according to sources. ESPN first reported that a Christmas start and playing fewer than 82 games would be discussed on Friday’s call.
Shams Charania: The NBA is targeting Dec. 22 for the start of the 2020-21 season and a 72-game campaign that finishes before the ‘21 Olympics, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Brett Brown won’t coach the Boomers at next year’s rescheduled Olympics if they go ahead, the former Philadelphia 76ers’ mentor saying he can’t commit due to uncertainty around his professional future. Former Boomers coach Brown had been roped for an Olympic cameo to replace Andrej Lemanis, who stood down after the side narrowly missed a medal at last year’s World Cup.
It was hoped Brown’s connection with Australia’s impressive list of NBA products would be the missing link to lead them to a maiden medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games. The coronavirus pandemic intervened though, the Games now slated for 2021 and Brown since losing his job at the NBA franchise headed by Australia’s star man Ben Simmons, who had indicated his desire to play in 2020.
Olgun Uluc: Brown on his decision to step down as Boomers head coach: “The uncertainties around the direction of my professional future unfortunately mean that I cannot commit to the time and preparation that this job deserves and requires.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday night it is unlikely the league will take a break next summer for the Olympic Games, a decision that could dramatically affect the tournament if it is able to be played. “We’ll consider it. I think it’s unlikely, at the end of the day, that, if we start late, we would stop for the Olympics,” Silver said in an interview with NBA TV inside the league’s bubble at Walt Disney World Resort. “Because, as you know, it’s not just a function of stopping for the period in which they are competing over in Tokyo. But they require training camp, and then they require rest afterwards.”
If the NBA season is going on during those tournaments, however, it could dramatically alter how they, and the games themselves, play out. While Silver acknowledged that, he also said that under the current circumstances there isn’t anything the NBA can realistically do about it. “There are so many incredible players, beginning with the USA team, we’ll be able to field a very competitive team,” Silver said. “I am a bit worried about some of the international teams, because, as you know, some of their stars play in our league, and their absence would make a huge difference for those national teams.
With the next NBA season not expected to start until at least Dec. 1, that calls into some serious question whether that could overlap with Olympic qualifying tournaments that some nations will need to endure in June 2021 and the Tokyo Games themselves the following month. And Kerr, who is slated to be an assistant under San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich for USA Basketball in Tokyo, said Tuesday that he doesn’t have any idea how the schedule will work. “Believe it or not, I haven’t had a single conversation with Pop about that,” Kerr said. “And the reason is because we don’t know. We’ve been talking almost daily now for the last couple of weeks and before that we were speaking once every few weeks. So, we haven’t even had a single conversation because there’s nothing to report.”
But one way the NBA could alleviate the potential for an Olympic problem is to get away from the player-friendlier scheduling models used in recent seasons that greatly lowered back-to-backs and eliminated the dreaded stretches of four games in five nights. If the league did that, it could buy some time and possibly make the Olympics fit on some player and coach schedules. “They’ve talked to us on our team calls that it might be a condensed schedule next year, more so than in the past,” said Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk, whose coach — Lloyd Pierce — is also scheduled to be a USA Basketball assistant next summer along with Kerr and Villanova’s Jay Wright.
David Robinson on Isiah Thomas: “If you have a reputation and you take pride in your reputation as a ‘Bad Boy’ it kind of means people aren’t going to like you. Can you be that surprised when people say ‘I don’t really want to play with the ‘Bad Boys?’”
What was it like playing the dream team? I heard the stories about how Scottie wanted you to himself, but what’s your side of the story? NBA: I didn’t expect that. The only way I knew about Michael and Scottie was because I was drafted. I was watching them the last three summers when I was with national team or getting ready for European or World championship. I would watch the Bulls live in the Finals, so once we got to Olympics and we had the United States in our group, I wasn’t expecting anything like that. I never met these guys. I didn’t know what was going on with them and management here in Chicago, I just got surprised by the intensity. I had some other things on my mind. My wife was about to deliver her first born. Our son, he was born two or three days later in the game against Germany. I’m not using it as an excuse, it did happen and I had a horrible game. I played much better in the Finals. When you get guarded by Michael or Scottie Pippen, I don’t think there are many players that would play good. At that time, the two best defenders in the world, maybe ever. – Toni
But as the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Gasol, though, decided to keep pushing his body because he wants to compete in the Olympics, which are now set for July 23, 2021. In Gasol’s eyes, the best way to hone his skills for the Summer Games would be to play next season, his 20th in the NBA. “My plan initially was to get healthy, heal and be able to play in the Olympics,” Gasol said. “But the Olympics has officially been pushed to July 23, 2021. Now see what happens with professional sports, professional basketball in my case, and when things kind of resume. … Then if I can get healthy, we’ll see what’s next and we’ll see what that next looks like.”
Butler indicated he’s not interested in playing for the USA Basketball national team at this stage of his career. The Heat duo of Bam Adebayo and Butler were named among the preliminary finalists to make the Team USA 12-man roster for the 2020 Olympics, which have been rescheduled for 2021 because of the pandemic. Butler won gold with Team USA in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “I told [Carmelo Anthony] that if he plays [in the Olympics], I play,” Butler joked during the Instagram Live interview. “Melo said that he’s not playing.”
Jordan has never hidden his dislike for Isiah Thomas. But that didn’t stop him from paying Thomas quite the compliment in the discussion of why Thomas was famously left off the Dream Team for the 1992 Olympics. “I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent,” Jordan said. “To me, if the best point guard of all time is Magic Johnson, and right behind him is Isiah Thomas. No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game.”
“Before the Olympics, [selection committee chairman] Rod Thorn calls me and says we would love for you to be on the Dream Team,” Jordan said. “I said, ‘Who’s all playing?’ “He said, ‘What’s that mean?’ I said, ‘Who’s all playing?’ He says, ‘Well, the guy you are talking about and you are thinking about is not going to be playing.’ It was insinuated I was asking about him, but I never threw his name in there. “You want to attribute it to me, go ahead. Be my guest. But it wasn’t me.”
“In 1980 I was on the Olympic team,” Thomas said on “Get Up.” “As a matter of fact, I was voted the Male Athlete of the Year in 1980 for the USA Olympic team. The only thing that’s missing from my résumé is not being on the Dream Team. Now, when the Dream Team was selected and I wasn’t a part of it, there was a lot of controversy around it. I still don’t know who did it, or why they say I didn’t make it.
“I know they say the criteria for making the team, I had fit all the criteria. And that’s a big hole in my résumé. That is the biggest hole in my résumé. That is the only thing on my résumé that I did not succeed at….I have succeeded at every level. I tried to do everything correctly and I thought I should’ve made the Dream Team. However, I wasn’t a part of it, that hurt me. And looking back, if I’m not a part of the Dream Team because of a lapse of emotion in terms of not shaking someone’s hand, if that’s the reason why I didn’t make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn’t selected.”
Thomas also said that during the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals, most of the Boston Celtics walked off the floor without shaking hands after losing to the Pistons. Only Boston’s Kevin McHale shook his hand after Thomas had stopped him at halfcourt, Thomas said. “To us, that was okay,” Thomas said. “Knowing what we know now, in the aftermath of what took place, I think all of us would’ve stopped to say, ‘Hey, congratulations. “Of course, we would’ve done it. But during that period of time, that’s just not how it was passed. When you lost, you left the floor.”
Dwyane Wade Edits: @DwyaneWade says they are working on releasing a Documentary on the “Redeem Team”, aka the 2008 Olympic team. This is gonna be dope.
He had wanted to play for Spain at the Olympics in Japan this summer but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the International Olympic Committee to postpone the event until 2021. “I was hoping before everything changed and got postponed, or cancelled, that I was going to have enough time to heal my injury, to get in an appropriate shape to be able to compete and play and still, at 40 years old, play my fifth Olympics this summer in Tokyo,” Gasol said in an interview with the Olympic Channel.
“Now I have more time to recover, but I will have to play competitively in order to get to the summer of 2021 at a high level and be able to compete and help my country, which is not a bad thing. “But the truth of it is that, in summer 2021, I’ll be 41, which is a challenge. “It is something that might excite me, being a very challenge-driven person and always very ambitious. “It is very much still a desire to be able to play my fifth Olympics and potentially that being my very last tournament.”
If he is able to make it back and to play for Spain in Tokyo, getting to the top of the podium would be an ideal way to sign off as a Spain player. “I don’t know if there is such a thing, you know, as a perfect ending,” he said. “Obviously winning an Olympic medal, a gold medal, would be, I think, the best possible way that you could think of. “I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I didn’t have the chance to play again, I’ve had an incredible career so I’ll be happy regardless.
Doug Smith: FIBA news release says men’s qualifying tournaments to be held between “June 22 and July 4, 2021 (exact dates pending IOC approval).” A bit later than perhaps expected, which may help with NBA participation but until NBA sets its 2021 timetable, nothing is for sure.
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.”
Robin Lopez: This should be a really short article, right?
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
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December 2, 2020 | 10:57 pm EST Update
But Houston remains intent on starting the season with Harden on the roster and trying to re-establish a relationship with him before considering a trade, according to a person familiar with the Rockets’ thinking who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Tim MacMahon: Eric Gordon on Rockets: “Our core guys are still here. I still have high expectations going into the season, no matter what all the outside noise is.” Does he feel James Harden is still on board? “That’s a question you have to ask him. He’s still with our team, so I assume so.”
Hours before the Warriors president of basketball operations spoke to the media Tuesday, a report dropped that Golden State had checked in with the Houston Rockets to gauge the availability of James Harden. When asked about his team’s interest in the 2018 NBA MVP, Myers turned quiet. “No, I’m not going to comment on everything that’s written about us, true or untrue,” Myers told the media. “I’m just not going to do that. I appreciate you have to ask, but if every call we made or didn’t make, I had to comment … I don’t think it’s productive on my side. “I understand why you ask these questions. Very fair to ask.”
Ted Leonsis: I am very grateful to @JohnWall and his family for all they have done for our franchise and our community. John was the first player picked in the NBA draft and the first player we were blessed to pick under our new ownership of the @WashWizards a decade ago.
The Wizards traded Wall to the Houston Rockets for Westbrook on Wednesday. On behalf of the Washington franchise, Brooks commented on the blockbuster trade. “Russell’s accomplishments and honors on the court speak for themselves, but his drive and will to win are what separate him as a truly unique player,” said Brooks, via David Aldridge of The Athletic. “As much as I’m looking forward to reuniting with hi, I’m equally sad to say good-bye to John. He is one of the toughest and most gifted players I’ve ever been around and we all wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”