“The program is only as strong as its players will take it,” Mills says, before repeating himself. “I don’t say that necessarily as a good thing. We definitely have got some work to do in this area, I believe, but for now it’s full focus on Tokyo, and a gold medal would do wonders for our program, as at least a starting point. There’s a prestigious feeling within our program that needs to be a joint effort between the playing group and Basketball Australia to make sure when — we’ve lost ‘Bogues’ [Andrew Bogut], obviously — I step away, when Joe Ingles steps away, ‘Delly’ [Matthew Dellavedova], [Aron] Baynes — that that program is still elite, if not even more levels up, as it should be.”
More Rumors in this Storyline
Tatum said the NBA is working closely with the International Olympic Committee and FIBA, the sport’s global governing body, to ensure there is “the best possible schedule for everybody involved.” And it’s possible that the finalizing of Olympic rosters could be pushed back to allow NBA players the maximum amount of time before making decisions on whether to play or not. “It’s my expectation that our federation, FIBA, together with the IOC, will also work with us on potential accommodations, even in terms of when rosters would otherwise need to be submitted, recognizing that they’re going to need to be more flexible and work with us this season given how much uncertainty there is around the virus,” Silver said earlier this week.
The NBA’s best players will feature at next year’s Tokyo Olympics even though the season could end just days before the Games get under way, FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said on Wednesday. The new NBA season will start next week, on Dec. 22, with the regular season wrapping up on May 16 before the playoffs between May 22 and July 22.
He said the Olympic qualifying tournaments had been delayed by a week to late June following talks with the IOC to accommodate the late NBA season. “I believe this means we will have at the Olympic qualifiers more than 85 percent of the NBA players available and all teams will have finished in time for the Games,” he said. “I think we will have the best players available at the Olympic Games and FIBA are satisfied with that.”
Jared Dudley: Can’t play 50 games .. Thats a hard no for the players! Has to be a min of 72.. the real question is what change in a week? The league kept saying January January.. Everybody knew how big Christmas was and Olympics being late July months ago.. TV just mentioned it now??
Marc Stein: FIBA has moved its Olympic qualifying tournament for the 16 countries that would be playing for the final four spots in Tokyo — which affects numerous NBA players — to June 29-July 4 … one week later than it would have been this year and as late as the IOC would allow
Marc Stein: The availability of certain NBA players and coaches, however, understandably remains TBD. If the Milwaukee Bucks or the Toronto Raptors are still playing in late June, to name two examples, Greece and Canada would likely miss out on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nick Nurse
Marc Stein: NBA players may only be offered a 50-game season, I’m told, if the union insists on a mid-January start rather than the Dec. 22 proposal, because the league’s television partners do not want the 2020-21 season to stray past mid-July … or clash with the Tokyo Olympics
Marc Stein: A 50-game season would reduce player salaries significantly in 2020-21, since NBA pay adheres to a regular-season schedule The NBA’s 72-game model calls for teams to play roughly 14 games a month through May, followed by the playoffs through mid-July — before the Olympics begin
Kevin O’Connor: Sources: The NBA held a call this afternoon with team GMs & presidents to detail the plan for a 72-game season set to begin December 22 & end before the Olympics in July. The league intends to schedule games in a way that reduces travel by 25% with teams playing MLB style series.
Boston Celtics center Vincent Poirier said that if he was presented with a dilemma between winning a gold medal in the Olympics with France or the NBA championship, then he’d go with the former. “I take the Olympic title,” Poirier said in an interview with Konbini Sports when asked to choose between the two. “French Olympic champions are rare. If I’m one of the 12 players who win the gold at the Olympics, I will be a legend.”
Vincent Poirier: “I never played in the Olympics and I’d love to participate. I’m quite stressed. I’m going to be 27 so in the next Games I’ll be 31. We don’t know how it’s going to go but I think everyone wants to go. If the NBA players aren’t there, we won’t have the Olympics as we are used to seeing them, without the whole Team USA.”
Nigeria Basketball Federation: “Having Bam in the National team is a possibility that we are considering as a federation ahead of the 2020 Olympics and beyond” “We are excited about how far he has gone and what he can achieve in his career with DTigers if he chooses to play for Nigeria”, Kida said.
Marc J. Spears: Adam Silver says “it’s not clear what’s going to happen with the Olympics.” Silver adds “basic protocol” to fight against the coronavirus with wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, washing hands and cleanliness is working.
Countries competing in the basketball events at next year’s Tokyo Games now know when their respective tournaments will get underway following today’s announcement by the International Olympic Committee.
The men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be staged at the Saitama Super Arena. The men’s competition is to tip off on July 25 and conclude on August 7, while the women’s tournament will begin one day later on July 26 and finish on August 8.
Tim Reynolds: Gregg Popovich – the coach of the USA Basketball men’s team – says he’s been checking the coronavirus response in Japan, and is optimistic when it comes to the hope for an Olympics in Tokyo next summer. Filling a roster around the NBA schedule, he concedes “will be trickier.”
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.
He’s eyeing another shot with the same Boomers core after steering them to fourth at the 2016 Olympics and last year’s World Cup. “I’m excited for 2021 because (before the postponement) we were going from the World Cup, to a 2020 NBA season and then straight into an Olympics,” he said. “So having this extra time now until the next season starts and then going into the Olympics will give everyone a chance to get their bodies into great shape and be ready to go.”
Once his immediate future is sorted out, Maker is keen to represent Australia at next year’s Tokyo Olympics. “I want to play for Australia,” Maker, who was born in Kenya and moved to Australia with his family as a one-year-old, said. “I grew up there so it will be great to put on the green and gold.”
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the swift development of vaccines and effective treatments for COVID-19 are priorities towards achieving the Tokyo Olympics next year. Abe says recovery from the coronavirus pandemic only in Japan would not be enough to hold the Games because it involves spectators and athletes from around the world. He reiterates that the government hopes to hold the Tokyo Games “in a complete form” with spectators as a proof of human victory against the coronavirus.
Mills, who is approaching his fourth Olympics, is using the lure of gold in Tokyo to drive his motivation to keep fit while in isolation in San Antonio as he awaits news on whether the NBA season can resume and whether his San Antonio Spurs, ranked 12th in the western conference, will have the chance to try and snatch a playoff-spot. “Everything gets pushed back but the mindset stays the same,” Mills told The Age.
Patty Mills: “We are coming like a bat out of hell for this gold medal in Tokyo and that will still be our mindset. We have to adjust our approach a little bit. On one hand it gives some guys the ability to rehab certain niggling injuries they might be going through, on the other hand in a Bogut situation you understand and acknowledge [that he might retire] but knowing him, knowing the opportunity that is out there to create history. It’s something he’s fully aware of.”
FIBA has pushed back the dates for the four remaining qualifying tournaments to June 29 through July 4, 2021, meaning they would end 19 days before the rescheduled start of the delayed Tokyo Olympics. The host nations – Canada, Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia – are unchanged.
But if the 2020-21 NBA season starts later than usual, which is a distinct possibility because of the coronavirus pandemic, that might mean some players – such as Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Serbia’s Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets – might be busy with playoff games at the same time. And under normal circumstances, NBA free agency would conflict with those dates as well.
The Games have been postponed until 2021, forcing Canada to wait a little longer for its chance to qualify. “We were anxious to play together to try and make it to the Olympics,” Joseph said. “We felt like we had a good shot with everybody playing but it doesn’t change the course, we’re all going to stick together and hopefully we’ll all be there next year.”
“I don’t care what others do over the summer, they can do whatever they want. But for us, the Italian national team is family. I see it as spending two or three months each year with my friends, the people I love, family. That’s why I really want to win something with Italy,” he said.
It’s too early to tell when NBA will return and where the Dellavedova family will land next, but for now, there remains one concrete goal in place. A long-awaited medal for the Boomers in Tokyo. “We’ve been keeping in touch and that’s one of the things that has helped keep me motivated. We want to go out on a good note with that group. With the Olympics being pushed back we have the commitment to each other to stay in great shape and make the most of what is the last opportunity together.”
“It had a huge impact in Europe. If you see interviews that I did or Dirk [Nowitzki] or Pau Gasol, we all were affected by the Dream Team,” Parker said while interviewed by ESPN’s Marc J. Spears in the Roundball Rap. “Manu Ginobili. We all talk about it. That was the point that we where ‘wow basketball is cool’ and ‘I want to go to the NBA’. That was the first time I saw them in real life, because before it was the tapes.”
Dwyane Wade is producing a documentary on the “Redeem Team,” the United States men’s national basketball team that won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. “It’s something that we’ve been working on for the last year or so,” Wade said on the Platform Basketball podcast. “For me, that was a big year, 2008. I had to kind of redeem myself, because everybody thought I was done.”
Wade added that the ‘Redeem Team’ was truly an incredible group. “That was an amazing time, man, and, like, that team, dog? Oh my gosh. That team was special,” he said.
The medical community in Japan is moving toward a consensus that holding next year’s Tokyo Olympics may hinge on finding a coronavirus vaccine. Japan Medical Association president Yoshitake Yokokura said in a video media conference on Tuesday that the Olympics were possible only if the infections were under control, not only in Japan, but globally.
“In my view, it would be difficult to hold the Olympics unless effective vaccines are developed,” Yokokura said. He did not say whether he opposes the Olympics without vaccines.
Yoshiro Mori, a former prime minister and now president of the organizing committee, told the newspaper Nikkan Sports there would be no more delays if the games can’t be held in 2021. “No, in that situation, it will be canceled,” he said. “In the past, when there were such problems, like wartime, it has been canceled. This time, we are fighting an invisible enemy.” Mori added: “This is a gamble for mankind. If the world triumphs over the virus and we can hold the Olympics, then our games will be so many times more valuable than any past Olympics.”
Sergio Scariolo confirmed he is in talks with the Spanish Basketball Federation for a contract extension until 2024. “Indeed, we are in talks for a contract extension until the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Both sides are willing to continue their collaboration. I am very happy for that, but we still need to finalize the deal,” Scariolo said in an interview with Eurosport.
The online auction, which ends May 16th, features 86 items ranging from sneakers, to warm-ups, to jerseys, to a 14-karat gold ring with eight diamonds engraved with Bryant’s name to represent Team USA’s 8-0 record in the 2012 Olympics en route to the gold medal.
The Nigerian basketball community was as stunned as the rest of the world when news broke that Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie was in the process of acquiring a Nigerian passport, which could see him represent the African nation at the next Olympics.
An NBBF official told ESPN that conversations had been going on for at least a year about the Nets star, who doesn’t have any obvious connection to the country. “His name has been under consideration since last year,” the official said. “We started talking about two years ago because we had some areas where we have weaknesses and the point guard area was a major one.”
Acquiring the Nets guard is another piece to their puzzle and may certainly not be the last. NBBF president Musa Kida explained: “New Orleans Pelicans centre Jahlil Okafor is also reportedly interested in fighting for a shirt. There are many top players out there who are eligible to play for us while some may also be thinking of naturalization as allowed by FIBA rules.”
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is in the process of acquiring a Nigerian passport in order to be eligible to play for the Nigerian national team, a source told ESPN on Saturday.
Shams Charania: Sources: Nets‘ Spencer Dinwiddie is acquiring a Nigerian passport to play for the Nigeria national team. Dinwiddie didn’t receive Team USA Olympic invite; now joins Nigeria roster under Mike Bown that includes Al-Farouq Aminu, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu, Ekpe Udoh.
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, will likely open on July 23, 2021, according to people familiar with the matter.
The I.O.C. said a final decision could come in weeks, but it is now much more likely to be announced earlier, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of guidance issued by the I.O.C. The Japanese state broadcaster NHK on Saturday also reported the July 23, 2021, date as the new target.
Glen Grunwald, the CEO of Canada Basketball, began to wonder then about the fate of a season that had held so much promise. “It’s been like a cascade, right? You heard about the virus in China and you start thinking about the pandemic movies that you’ve seen in the past, and you think. ‘That’s not going to happen,’ and then it just keeps rolling downhill and keeps getting bigger and bigger,” Grunwald said Tuesday.
Among Canada Basketball’s highlights for 2020 was the opportunity to play host to a men’s last-chance qualifying tournament in June in Victoria. Coached by Nurse, the Canadian team was expected to feature a who’s who of NBA players. “FIBA is fully intent on running it here in Canada in Victoria [next summer],” Grunwald said, adding Victoria’s organizing committee is also on board for the postponed event. “I think it’s a good outcome of a bad situation,” he said. “There’s obviously a lot of details to be worked out, but I think it’s very positive for our men’s program.”
“I know FIBA want NBA players to be able to participate in the Olympics, and I know the Olympics want the NBA, the best athletes, to be participating as well,” Grunwald said. “So I’m sure they’re going to try and work the schedule around where NBA players will be available. But again, all the details need to be worked out.”
Dan Woike: Just spoke with Team USA men’s basketball managing director and Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo about the 2020 Olympics postponement. “I’m glad now that it’s been postponed. It could’ve been a nightmare under any circumstance.” Story coming
For now, Colangelo is committed to remain in his role through 2021. So is the coaching staff; U.S. coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs is the head coach, with assistants Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks and Jay Wright of Villanova.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that he has “hit the pause button” on planning for the next Olympics. Colangelo noted that there’s nothing now to do besides waiting to see exactly when the games in Tokyo will be held in 2021 — and if the new schedule will conflict with the NBA schedule. “It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? We either have NBA players or we don’t,” Colangelo told The Associated Press. “And if we don’t, we’ll look at the other options.”
“We’re hopeful that this is going to take place in the same timeframe next summer as it was scheduled for this summer,” Colangelo said. “There are a lot of things that have to be done totally out of our control. We’re a follower in this situation. We’re dealing with the NBA, FIBA, the USOC, the International Olympic Committee, etc., etc. Here’s what we have to wait for now: What are the dates? Once they set the dates, then we will go into action.”
Tim Reynolds: USA Basketball statement: “The decision to postpone the 2020 Olympics was a difficult decision and it was the correct one. USA Basketball is in full agreement and support of the decision made by the IOC and the Japanese government to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.”
Boomers star Patty Mills has reached out with a message of support to Australia’s Olympians as they deal with the prospect of a delayed Games. The triple Olympian applauded the Australian Olympic Committee’s “proactive“ move on Monday to prepare for a 2021 Games and call for a delay of the proposed July-August event in Tokyo because of the coronavirus.
One of the contenders to carry the flag at Tokyo’s opening ceremony, Mills did his best to rally his fellow Olympians as they came to grips with the situation. “Just like every Olympic athlete around the world I’m absolutely gutted this crisis has affected the largest international sporting event in the world,” he said in a video he posted on Twitter. “Do not be discouraged by this adversity; as an Olympic athlete your goal remains the same; to represent our country the best way possible and strive to be your very best.”
Mills has been in isolation in the United States since the NBA was sensationally shut down following Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert’s positive test nearly two weeks ago. “Stay at home and keep your distance; the better we can control this virus the better we can look after each other,” Mills said.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee leaders said, “It’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising,” after surveying more than 1,780 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls about the coronavirus’ impact on their training and, potentially, the Tokyo Games.
“We are now confident that we have heard a wide range of viewpoints and understand the diversity of challenges our athletes face,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland and Chair Susanne Lyons said in a joint statement accompanying the survey results. “We regret that there is no outcome that can solve all the concerns we face. Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can’t be overcome in a satisfactory manner.”
The survey, sent to about 4,000 athletes with a 45 percent response rate, yielded results that included: Nearly 65 percent of athletes said their training has been severely impacted, or they can’t train at all. Nearly two-thirds of athletes feel that continuing to train would either put their health at risk or aren’t sure if it would put their health at risk. Nearly 70 percent of athletes said they would feel comfortable competing if the World Health Organization deemed it safe. 68 percent said they did not think the Games could be fairly competed if continued as scheduled. Nearly 93 percent reported a preference for postponing the Games versus canceling them outright.
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr, a Team USA assistant, on the possibility of the Summer Olympics being canceled: “Everything’s up in the air. We’re all sitting here wondering what’s going to happen, and so is the rest of the world.”
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, 🇨🇭 on March 20, is postponed to a date yet to be confirmed.
That, however, would have the games interfere with the schedule of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. But Dudley said he’s hearing that those are getting pushed back. “That’s the word I think the NBA is getting that they’re gonna postpone it till 2021,” he said.
Sergio Scariolo talked to El Transistor shortly after the NBA shut down all activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, about the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Spanish NT head coach addressed the issue, stating that at this timeframe, the Olympic Games cannot take place as initially planned. “Everything is subject more to the general feeling than to the data, but on a personal level, it will be difficult to think about the Olympics being held… I see it as borderline impossible”, he mentioned.
Do you still plan to participate with Team Canada in the Olympics? Dillon Brooks: Yeah, absolutely. We are going to make a run. Hopefully, we can beat that virus so we can get over there and play. But I want to make history. I know we have a lot of guys in the league right now like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray and Tristan Thompson and Kelly Olynyk. We all want to make history.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he would want Kevin Durant on his U.S. Olympic team roster only if the Brooklyn Nets forward is completely ready for game action. Popovich made his remarks Friday night after Durant’s longtime business partner, Rich Kleiman, told The Washington Post earlier this week that it was “definitely a possibility” that Durant would play in the Tokyo Olympics.
Alex Schiffer: Asked if he would have reservations about Kevin Durant playing for Team USA, Gregg Popovich said he would want him “absolutely ready to go,” if he were to play. Said he understands Durant has a career to worry about outside his international one.
Alex Schiffer: Kenny Atkinson doesn’t want to speculate on Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving playing in the Olympics. Said those are conversations for down the line.
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on the possibility of Klay Thompson returning in time for the Tokyo Olympics: “It’s still a possibility. We haven’t really discussed it.”
Marc Stein: Thompson, though, remains in contention for a spot on the United States’ 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics. @usabasketball will finalize that roster in June and Klay is said to be making good progress in his recovery from a torn left ACL in Game 6 of last season’s NBA Finals
Instead of holding tryouts for the 12 roster spots on the Olympic team, Colangelo and national team head coach Gregg Popovich will instead just pick the 12 players who will make up the Olympic roster. Colangelo made the announcement on SiriusXM NBA Radio Wednesday morning with Frank Isola and Amin Elhassan.
“We took the players that we felt had equity, in other words they had played for us in previous competitions, and we added some players,” Colaneglo said. “Basically they’re all there because they were asked a simple question, ‘are you in or are you out?’ They all said ‘we’re in.’ So we have a whole group of 44 who all want to play. That’s how I look at it. Pop [Gregg Popovich] and I are going to not have a tryout, we’re not going through that again. We’re just going to pick 12 players.”
Colangelo also shared a bit about how the team will be chosen, which doesn’t entail just picking the 12 best players in the league. “You never know how these things are going to play out. We’re not going to necessarily — I keep saying this, and I’ve been consistent — you don’t take the 12 best players necessarily. You take the best 12 that make the best team.”
Marc Stein: More on @usabasketball heading into the Tokyo Olympics: China’s coronavirus crisis obviously creates a new potential obstacle to the two games it hoped to play there in July. USAB will name its 12-man roster in June and hold a domestic training camp in early July — all else TBD
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
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Instead of sulking with his successor standing on the sidelines in street clothes, Drummond gave everyone — Cleveland’s front office, Bickerstaff, the rest of the NBA — something to think about, even if he didn’t enter the night specifically looking to prove a point. “I play the same way each and every night,” Drummond said. “The trade, it is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about that. If I do get traded, I don’t control that either. I’m just here to play basketball with whatever jersey I have on. That’s all I can focus on right now.”
Bickerstaff also hears the trade chatter. He’s talked with Drummond about it. “The optics are obvious,” Bickerstaff admitted. “But Dre and I have developed a great relationship up to this point. It’s a relationship that’s built on trust and honesty.” Drummond was asked about his reaction to the deal. He used the term “happy,” calling Allen and Prince “very, very good players.” And he backed up those words.
“The reason I’m having so much fun is I’m in a new environment, I’m in a new city and I love the guys that are here,” Drummond said. “It’s hard not to play hard here, having 12 guys that want to give it their all each and every night. It makes it fun to be out there.” Before the front office takes the next (logical) step toward unclogging the frontcourt by moving either Drummond or cheaper veteran JaVale McGee, who is also on an expiring contract and will garner interest, it’s worth considering how that would affect the team’s chances of staying competitive.
Justin Kubatko: The @Cleveland Cavaliers Andre Drummond has recorded his 43rd career game with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, breaking a tie with Hakeem Olajuwon for the third-most such games since the ABA-NBA merger: 109 – Moses Malone. 51 – Dwight Howard. 43 – Drummond. 42 – Olajuwon. 41 – Charles Barkley.
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic animatedly expressed his dismay that coach Rick Carlisle didn’t use the team’s final timeout during a critical possession in the final minute of a 112-109 road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. The possession, which occurred with the Mavs trailing by two points, ended with Kristaps Porzingis badly missing a contested 3-pointer with 10.4 seconds remaining. After the Mavs took a foul seconds later, Doncic angrily gestured toward the Dallas bench, repeatedly forming a T with his hands to indicate that a timeout should have been called.
“It’s Coach’s decision, but if we would have made the shot, everything would be good,” said Doncic, who had 29 points, 9 rebounds and 13 assists in the loss, accounting for 61 of the Mavs’ 81 points when he was on the floor. “… But I don’t know. It’s Coach’s decision to call a timeout or no, so I think it’s good.” Doncic said he had not discussed the situation with Carlisle yet and declined to say if he intended to have that conversation with his coach. “If we talk, we’re going to talk,” Doncic said. “It’s not going to be in the media. It’s between us.”