NBA Rumor: Olympics

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“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.”

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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.

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??

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

Dwyane Wade producing documentary on the Redeem Team

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

“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.

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.

“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.”

Matisse Thybulle to represent Australia at Olympics

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.”

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.

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.
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January 16, 2021 | 5:54 am EST Update

Andre Drummond addresses trade rumors

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.”
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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.

Luka Doncic upset after Mavs fail to call timeout in loss vs. Bucks

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.
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“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.”