NBA Rumor: Olympic Games

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Spanish national team head coach Sergio Scariolo said that Pau Gasol will need to spend a certain amount of period playing competitive basketball to be fully ready to participate in the 2021 Olympic Games. “Obviously, being in Tokyo involves playing a few months of competition in a team,” Scariolo said in an interview with AS after the completion of the 2022 EuroBasket Qualifiers. Spain closed the February window with two wins vs. Poland and Israel to finish the stage with a qualifying record 4-2 in Group A.

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.

Most of the top American talent has signaled interest in playing at the Olympics, and also, players such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown of Boston (who were on the 2019 team) are now among the best in the NBA. Colangelo said Team USA is continuing to hear of interest from the best the U.S. has to offer, with no whispers of anyone backing out, in part because it’s too early — who knows which teams are going to make deep playoff runs? The Americans are targeting a training camp starting about July 4 in Las Vegas.

The Spanish and Argentinians, who battled in the World Cup finals in Beijing, are both in group C. Fourth-place Australia is in group B. “The three Olympic preliminary groups appear well balanced, and there are a good number of teams who have legitimate shots at the gold medal in Tokyo, ” Popovich said in a news release. “It was a fair draw,” Colangelo said. “The bottom line — you’ve got to win your games. I said it then and I’ll say it now: Had we been healthy (in China), we would’ve won the whole thing. We owe the world after that one.”

What’s kind of the latest that you’re hearing from different athletes around the NBA who who are whoever USA Basketball pedigree who’ve been with you in the past? Jerry Colangelo: Chris, I would say with rare exception, everyone has indicated they would participate. Now, what does that really mean? I mean, it’s easy to say, yes, count me in at this particular point in time. But until we get much closer to, you know, the summer months, we’re not going to know officially, but I will tell you one way we’ve protected ourselves: You know, I think we had like 42 on our national team roster, to give ourselves good coverage, we’re actually increasing that number to close to 60. And it’s just to be sure that everyone is following protocol, as far as the mandate from the Olympic group that they have to be in the drug program. They have to be they have to pass certain standards. And so we have a large pool to select from.

Jerry Colangelo on Olympics Games: “We are diligently working on trying to get as much flexibility as we possibly can not just for us. That’s true for every country who’s involved. You know, what rules existed in the past existed in the past, the unusual times call for unusual changes. And all we’re asking for is flexibility, the ability to submit a final roster at the very last minute, and number two to be able to replace people because of COVID. So I’m hopeful all I could say is it’s in the works. All the governing bodies are clued in, and let’s see if they make the right decision.”

Patrick Mills to play in upcoming Olympic Games

Interviewed by ESPN, San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills has confirmed he will participate in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, with a clear goal in his mind. “Oh, it’s crystal clear, mate. No hesitation at all. I think everyone is well aware of that, throughout the program, the team, obviously Goorjan, players as well… there’s no doubt about it. Not a single ounce of blood in my body says otherwise. I’m fully committed, and it obviously comes from a very genuine place and the goal that we have as a team… and we are very determined to accomplish it. We have an absolute chance to achieve that in Tokyo. Everyone who’s a part of that program right now, from the head coach all the way to the equipment manager, everyone’s gotta be locked in and feel the exact same way as we feel: determined, fire burning inside, desire to do everything we possibly can to win this gold medal”, Mills said.

“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.

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.

Next NBA season unlikely to stop for Tokyo Olympics

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.

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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

Australia will not send athletes to Tokyo Olympics

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.”

Canada refusing to send athletes to the Olympics if not postponed


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.”

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.
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This rumor is part of a storyline: 3 more rumors
Clearly, it is not money that motivates him. “I think it’s just who I am. I’m always my toughest critic. I always just push myself to be better than what I was before. It’s kind of like I’m just competing against myself in a way. I don’t have that enemy or guy around the league that I look up to and I want to be better than. Like, ‘oh, his numbers…’ I don’t have that,” he said. “I kind of go up against myself on a nightly basis, on a yearly basis. How can I be better than what I was before? What do I need to improve on? I have just kind of always had that since I was younger. That’s always kind of stuck with me.”
There are also Beal’s free throw numbers. He’s averaging career-high attempts (8.2/g) and shooting a career-best percentage (90.2%). Just three years ago, Beal was averaging 4.5 attempts and shooting 79.1 percent. “My goal coming into this year was to be 90 [percent],” Beal said. “I tell myself every time I step up to the line, I say 90. I just say 90 to myself. I’m shooting with confidence, stepping up and then knocking them down. They’re free points.”
Coaches in the East voted on the rest of the roster. In later years, the league would give coaches the authority to fill out the roster as they saw fit, but in those days, they were still obligated to meet positional needs. Jamaal Magloire, who was averaging a double-double with New Orleans, made the one All-Star team of his career. Same for Metta Sandiford Artest (then Ron Artest) and Milwaukee guard Michael Redd. “Jamaal Magloire is an All-Star. LeBron James is not,” Hall of Fame basketball writer Marc Stein opined in a column for ESPN.com. “Nah, there’s nothing wrong with the rules the NBA uses for voting in its All-Star reserves.”