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Kemba Walker scored 23 points, Myles Turner added 15 points and 14 rebounds, and the U.S. topped Australia 102-86 on Thursday before a crowd of 51,218 – billed as the largest crowd ever to watch a basketball game in Australia.
Donovan Mitchell: Lets go!🇺🇸
Shams Charania: Houston’s PJ Tucker is withdrawing from USA Basketball ahead of FIBA World Cup because of an ankle injury, and will prepare for Rockets training camp, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
So for Pop-watchers of a certain age, it’s hard to resist rewinding to the height of his reverence for the Jazz every time Popovich huddles with the budding Utah star Donovan Mitchell these days — a frequent occurrence on the U.S.A. Basketball practice floor. A picture of coach and player after a recent intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas, side by side and backs to the camera, slammed home the point: Mitchell has begun a six-week course of higher learning under Popovich.
“I hope so,” Jazz Coach Quin Snyder said in a telephone interview. “Both Donovan and I have been excited for this opportunity, not just the chance to compete for his country but to play for Pop. I think he has an appreciation for the fact that he’s playing for the greatest coach that’s ever coached.”
Popovich still isn’t sure what he has roster-wise, but he can point to at least one luxury as he finally settles into his dream job as Mike Krzyzewski’s successor: Mitchell’s rise alongside the All-Star guard Kemba Walker will enable the United States to field an elite starting backcourt at the FIBA World Cup in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15. “Just try to throw yourself completely into it,” Snyder said he told Mitchell. “And try to communicate with Coach as much as you can. Be a sponge.”
Marc Stein: Team USA’s PJ Tucker on yesterday’s 19-point loss in a 10-minute scrimmage against a team of mostly G Leaguers: “Nobody gave the whole perspective of what happened. They just threw the score up and said, ‘They lost.’ It was two quarters after we’d been playing two hours..”
Marc Stein: More of Houston’s Tucker on the matter: ” We didn’t play a game. That was two quarters of practice and whatever. We come in today and nobody talked about it.”
James Ham: Draymond Green just dropped by Team USA camp.
Kyle Lowry: Go USAB!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸
Yet the mere mention of the word “scrimmage,” for a U.S.A.B. contingent in Las Vegas, inevitably evokes images of what happened to George. That’s the reality even when both player and program can gratefully say, on this unpleasant five-year anniversary, that they have rebounded as well as anyone could have hoped. “It was a travesty when it took place, and it just put us back on our heels,” Jerry Colangelo, U.S.A.B.’s managing director, said Thursday on the eve of Friday’s scrimmage. “But time has a way of healing. The fact that Paul came back all the way and it didn’t affect his career, it kind of minimized what transpired.”
U.S.A.B.’s struggles to attract stars for this summer’s World Cup bid have been a persistent N.B.A. story line over the past month. Those troubles, though, are more often attributed to player apathy toward a non-Olympic tournament, along with general concerns about workload and travel amid the league’s rising “load management” movement, rather than fretting about a George repeat. “No, sir,” Boston’s Kemba Walker said when asked if he viewed George’s story as a cautionary tale before accepting U.S.A.B.’s invitation to be the face of this World Cup squad.
All of that would have been hard to imagine on Aug. 1, 2014, seeing George, with his right leg placed in an air cast and teammates like Plumlee all around him so visibly shaken, taken out of the Thomas & Mack on a stretcher. “Hard to watch,” Walker said, recalling the broadcast he watched that night while traveling in Atlanta. “Sad.” Said Colangelo: “If Paul had gone down for the count, it would have been tragic for him and for us. Thank God it didn’t go down that way.”
The 15-member USA National Team training camp roster and the 14-member USA Select Team will open training camp Aug. 5 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. Daily practices will be held Aug. 5-8 and will be capped by a USA Blue-USA White exhibition game that is scheduled for Aug. 9 (7 p.m. PDT) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which will feature members of the World Cup training and USA Select teams.
USA National Team members expected at the World Cup training camp include Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat); Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Jaylen Brown(Boston Celtics); Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); P.J. Tucker (Houston Rockets); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); and Thaddeus Young (Chicago Bulls).
The 14-man USA Basketball Select Team includes Jarrett Allen (Brooklyn Nets); Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings); Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns); Jalen Brunson (Dallas Mavericks); John Collins (Atlanta Hawks); Pat Connaughton (Milwaukee Bucks); Craig; De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings); Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets); Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic); Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies); Mitchell Robinson (New York Knicks); Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs); and Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks).
Brian Windhorst: Julius Randle has withdrawn from Team USA training camp due to a family issue. The Nuggets’ Torrey Craig has been added to the Select Team to replace Landry Shamet. Players report tomorrow in Vegas.
Jaren Jackson Jr.: Thank you @usabasketball for the opportunity🇺🇸🇺🇸 it’s a blessing🙏🏾
Ben Golliver: USA Basketball’s updated World Cup training camp roster: Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart; Donovan Mitchell, Jaylen Brown; Khris Middleton, Harrison Barnes, Jayson Tatum; Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, PJ Tucker, Thaddeus Young; Andre Drummond, Myles Turner, Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee
Shams Charania: Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young has been invited to participate on Team USA’s training camp roster for World Cup, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Mitchell will also attend Team USA’s national team training camp Aug. 5-9 in Las Vegas. He hopes to earn a spot on the final 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup in China, but his goal is to come back to Utah a much-improved player. “A lot of it, I’m just keeping it to myself with just being a better playmaker and a better player overall, being more efficient, and those are the obvious things, and then being in better shape,” Mitchell said. “Hopefully making the USA team will help with that.”
Chris Haynes: Sacramento Kings young star guard De’Aaron Fox has been invited to join Team USA’s Select Team at training camp in Las Vegas this summer, league sources tells Yahoo Sports.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Clippers guard Landry Shamet has been invited to participate with the Select Team at Team USA’s National Team camp in Las Vegas in August, league source tells ESPN. Shamet will join the younger group that includes No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson.
At least two of the Warriors’ five All-Stars have some clarity on their offseason plans. Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are not expected to play with the U.S. Men’s national team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup from Aug. 31 through Sept. 15. “Probably not this year,” Cousins said following practice on Wednesday. “I got a lot of catching up to do this summer. That will be my main focus is that. So probably not this summer.”
Thompson did not sound as definitive as he walked through an arena hallway following practice on Wednesday. Thompson mused, “I don’t even know what I’m getting for tonight, bro.” Thompson then added, “my focus is on winning this game tomorrow.” Still, it appears unlikely Thompson will play, according to a source familiar with his thinking. Thompson has appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals. He wants to focus on his pending free agency and a planned trip to China as part of his work with Anta from July 12 through 22.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes will participate in USA Basketball’s August training camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China, league sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Detroit’s Andre Drummond will participate in the Team USA training camp in August, league sources tell ESPN. Team USA is putting together a roster for the FIBA World Cup in China in September.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton has accepted an invitation to the 18-man Team USA training camp in August, league source tells ESPN. Team USA is fielding a roster to bring to the FIBA World Cup in China in September.
Scott Agness: Pacers center Myles Turner plans to participate in Team USA training camp (Aug. 5-8), source told @TheAthleticIND.
Tim Bontemps: Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley will play on the Select Team at Team USA training camp in Las Vegas this August, league sources told ESPN.
Tony Jones: Utah guard Donovan Mitchell is expected to receive an invite to Team USA training camp in preparation for the World Cup, league sources tell The Athletic. @Marc Stein reported his name as a roster possibility this weekend
If Walker plays, something he said he would like to do, he will come up against Japan in the group stage, with the Akatsuki Five, Turkey and the Czech Republic set to battle it out with the Americans for a place in the second round. “It will be an honor, of course, it will be the first time in my professional career that I will get the opportunity to compete for the U.S.A. team,” he said. “It will be an honor to play against Japan. I love playing against different competition, especially guys from another country, so I am looking forward to it.”
Marc Stein: Team USA, of course, will be coached by San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Houston’s James Harden is another top name USAB hopes to secure for its 12-man squad.
Marc Stein: Houston’s James Harden is expected to be on the Team USA roster at this stage, according to one source briefed on the situation. @usabasketball training camp starts in two months in Las Vegas.
Marc Stein: As @NYTSports reported in April, USA Basketball officials also have planned to gauge Zion Williamson’s interest in filling one of the 12 roster spots as he inches closer to his NBA debut next fall. @ZionW32 will be selected No. 1 overall by New Orleans in the June 20 draft
Marc Stein: Yet another name gaining momentum for a Team USA roster spot for this summer’s @FIBAWC in China: Utah’s @spidadmitchell
“He was remarkable, spectacular, off the charts, what he did to qualify USA for the world championships,” Popovich said of Van Gundy, who has worked as a television analyst since being fired by the Rockets. “He put together about five different teams, of mostly different players every time, and had a short amount of time to get ready. If they didn’t do well, the U.S. doesn’t go, and he deserves a lot of credit for doing that. I’m very grateful to him for what he did.”
Marc Stein: By winning 78-70 tonight in Uruguay after a double-digit loss at Argentina, Jeff Van Gundy’s @usabasketball squad comprised mostly of @nbagleague players has clinched a spot in the @FIBAWC in China in September — when Gregg Popovich will make his debut as U.S. coach
Head coach Gregg Popovich has named former player and friend Steve Kerr as an assistant coach on Team USA for the next two summers, an indication that the Golden State Warriors coach is emerging as an option to become head coach sometime in the future. USA Basketball made the announcement Thursday. Popovich also named Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and Villanova head coach Jay Wright as assistants. Popovich and this coaching staff will work with the national team for the 2019 World Cup in China and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“This is an incredible opportunity and one I’m extremely grateful for,” Kerr said in a statement. “I had the good fortune to participate in our USA Basketball program as an amateur, and to have the chance to return to the world stage three decades later and work under Pop, one of my former coaches and a mentor, is a tremendous honor.” Kerr played for Team USA in the 1986 World Championships in Madrid while he was a player at Arizona. He hasn’t been a part of Team USA since 1988 as he’s focused on his NBA playing, front office and coaching career. Popovich bringing him into the fold will give him experience with the international game that could be put to use later.
The N.B.A. coaches Steve Kerr and Nate McMillan, and Villanova Coach Jay Wright, have been chosen as U.S.A. Basketball assistant coaches under the national team’s new head coach, Gregg Popovich, according to two people familiar with U.S.A.B.’s selections.
The U.S. is another step closer to qualifying for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Frank Mason III scored 16 points and the U.S. beat Uruguay 114-57 on Friday night in the Americans’ first game of the second round of qualifying for next year’s World Cup. The Americans took command with a 15-0 run late in the first quarter, and finished the game shooting 61 percent. Chasson Randle scored 15 points and Derrick White added 14 for the U.S., which is 6-1 in qualifying. Results from the first round carry over, and Friday’s win puts the Americans in a very strong position.
There are three “windows” for second-round games – one that started Thursday and runs through Monday, another going from Nov. 29 through Dec. 3, and then the final one from Feb. 21-25. G-League players will represent the USA in those windows. The World Cup begins Aug. 31 and NBA players will return for that.
The USA will continue its training through Sept. 13 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. The USA, playing in the first competition window of FIBA World Cup Qualifying second-round games, will meet Uruguay on Sept. 14 (7 p.m. PDT) at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion, then meet Panama on Sept. 17 in Panama City. The USA roster is capped by Bryce Alford (Oklahoma City Blue); Dwayne Bacon (Charlotte Hornets); Henry Ellenson (Detroit Pistons); Reggie Hearn (Grand Rapids Drive); Isaiah Hicks (New York Knicks); Dakari Johnson (Free Agent);Frank Mason III (Sacramento Kings); Ben Moore (Fort Wayne Mad Ants); Chasson Randle (Capital City Go-Go); Travis Trice (Milwaukee Bucks); Jameel Warney (Texas Legends); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).
San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White has been named to USA Basketball’s World Cup qualifying team.
James Ham: Hearing Frank Mason (@Frank Mason) made the USA Men’s World Cup qualifying team. One of 12 playing against Uruguay on Sept. 14 in Las Vegas.
Featuring 10 players who played for NBA teams in 2017-18, and the return of two players boasting of previous World Cup Qualifying game experience, USA Basketball announced today 14 players who will vie for a roster spot with USA’s September World Cup Qualifying Team. The hopefuls will open training camp on Sept. 6 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. The Las Vegas training camp will be used to determine the 12-man team for the USA’s first competition window of FIBA World Cup Qualifying second-round games. The U.S. will square off against Uruguay on Sept. 14 (7 p.m. PDT) at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion, then meet Panama on Sept. 17 in Panama City. The player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team Committee.
Returning to contend for a USA roster spot after previously playing with USA World Cup Qualifying Teams are guard Reggie Hearn (Grand Rapids Drive) and center Jameel Warney (Texas Legends). Hearn played with the USA’s November 2017 and June 2018 World Cup Qualifying Teams, and while getting the starting nod in all four games, averaged 12.3 points a game. Warney played for U.S. in the November World Cup Qualifier and averaged 11.5 points and 8.0 rebounds a game. Both players were also part of the USA AmeriCup Team that finished 5-0 to claim gold in August 2017. Warney, who was selected the 2017 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year, earned AmeriCup MVP honors after posting 12.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, while Hearn contributed 10.0 points a game. Rounding out the U.S. training camp roster are Bryce Alford (Oklahoma City Blue); Dwayne Bacon (Charlottw Hornets); V.J. Beachem (Free Agent); Jordan Crawford (New Orleans Pelicans); Henry Ellenson (Detroit Pistons); Isaiah Hicks (New York Knicks); Dakari Johnson (Free Agent); Frank Mason III (Sacramento Kings); Ben Moore (Fort Wayne Mad Ants); Chasson Randle (Capital City Go-Go); Travis Trice (Milwaukee Bucks); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).
Sirius XM NBA: John Wall is hoping a new @USAbasketball head coach means a different result for him, but @chris_spatola says Wall might not be as close to making Team USA as he thinks pic.twitter.com/G7a9G6t31M
Now it appears all might be not be as it appears with Robinson’s immediate future, with Heat President Pat Riley providing insight on the 3-point specialist’s plans in advance of training camp. “I’m really proud in the fact that Duncan Robinson has been invited to play in the international series,” Riley said of the September window for World Cup qualifying, “but he decided to stay here because he wanted to make our team, he wants to force us into giving him a real contract.”
It will be Colangelo and Gregg Popovich, who officially took over for Krzyzewski after the 2016 Rio Olympics, to choose those guys. Colangelo said there was initially an expectation on his part to step away from the program in 2016 along with Krzyzewski. But after Popovich said he would be willing to coach the team on one condition — that Colangelo stay at the helm — those plans changed. “So, in my mind, that gets me through 2020,” Colangelo said. “And then, we’ll see.”
Mavs assistant coach Jamahl Mosley was one of nine assistant coaches at the USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp this week in Las Vegas. “To me this camp was great,” Mosley said. “We got the guys a chance to recognize, come together and start building a family with USA Basketball. Just getting together and being around these coaches is — I said it before — it was an honor and an privilege. I can’t even put into words how fantastic it’s been.”
Memphis Grizzlies star Mike Conley wasn’t able to fully participate in Team USA training camp this week as he continues to recover from heel surgery last January. But he says he’s feeling good and still on course to be ready by training camp in September.
Josh Lewenberg: Kyle Lowry wouldn’t answer questions unrelated to USA Basketball, not-so-subtly dodged every trade or Raptors-related question. “I’m here for USAB,” he repeated.
Josh Lewenberg: Do you have a relationship with Kawhi? Lowry: “No.” Have you spoken to him? KL: “I don’t know.” You don’t know if you’ve spoken to him? KL: “No.” What do you mean? KL: “I don’t know if I’ve spoken to him.”
Josh Lewenberg: Lowry, asked when he’ll be ready to look ahead: “When it’s time to. When it’s time I have to be there and go to work I’ll be ready to go to work and I’ll be ready to make my comments and things like that.”
Chris Haynes: Portland guard Damian Lillard has returned home from attending Team USA minicamp, league sources tell ESPN. Due to other summer commitments, it was understood he would only attend first portion of camp.
Tom Orsborn: Pop declined to take any questions about anything other than USA Basketball. His assessment of what he saw on the court Thursday: ““We found people who wanted to knock heads, wanted to compete, wanted to get up and down, so we did it.” #Spurs
Jon Krawczynski: Exactly what Butler had addressed has not been specified. But it is clear it was his choice to have the procedure. He is not at USA Basketball in Vegas this week.
Jovan Buha: Team USA has arrived
Tim Bontemps: Just as notable as the players at Team USA practice in Vegas are the list of guys who are not: Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, Bradley Beal, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, DeAndre Jordan, C.J. McCollum, Gordon Hayward.
NBA: Kevin Durant’s #NBAKicks! #USABMNT
Sole Collector: #SoleWatch: @James Harden wearing the Adidas Harden Vol. 3 at USA Basketball minicamp (via @nba) pic.twitter.com/VctBUmDQty
Brian Mahoney: Rod Thorn wins USA Basketball’s Edward S. Steitz Award, given for contributions to international basketball.
While Kawhi Leonard pulled out of the non-mandatory USA Basketball mini-camp taking place in Las Vegas this week, there was still something Raptors-relevant to come out of the first day. Namely, DeRozan met up with Kyle Lowry, and the pair of former teammates took a quick pic for the NBA twitter account.
Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner will be in Las Vegas this week for USA Basketball mini-camp as planned, leagues sources told VigilantSports.com.
Marc J. Spears: Warriors forward Draymond Green will miss @usabasketball mini-camp, a source told @TheUndefeated.
Tom Orsborn: Team USA minicamp comes at a good time for Pop. “Basketball is his life, especially now,” NBA coaching great Don Nelson said. “After losing his wife, I think it’s important for him to stay busy. I think this (minicamp) is a perfect scenario.” #Spurs is.gd/lKfmMY
Chris Haynes: Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard will not attend USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas this week, league sources tell ESPN. He will use time to prepare for transition to new team.
Sam Amick: In other Team USA news, the Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan is expected to take part in Vegas camp this week with his new NBA/international coach, Gregg Popovich. So while Kawhi won’t attend, the other superstar half of that trade is expected to be there.
But U.S.A. Basketball officials are bracing for Leonard to invoke his right to pass on the non-mandatory sessions, as LeBron James and Stephen Curry have done, as he continues his recovery from the mysterious quadriceps injury that led to the unraveling of his relationship with the Spurs. Leonard, after all, might dread the glare of the spotlight more than Popovich. “He’s a maybe,” Colangelo said of Leonard’s attending the camp.
USA Basketball and Griffin have never been able to properly mingle. However, the window isn’t closed. On April 6, Griffin, along with Detroit Pistons teammate Andre Drummond, were among the 35 players named to the USA Basketball 2018-20 roster. Training camp in preparation for the 2019 USA World Cup in China and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be July 25-27 in Las Vegas. And Griffin has every intention of participating. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Griffin told The Athletic. “I mean, the Olympics, in general, is something I’ve always wanted to do at least once.”
Josh Lewenberg: As of now, Kawhi Leonard is expected to be in Vegas for this week’s USA Basketball camp (as are DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry). To what degree he plans on participating in practices (if at all) is up in the air, I’m told.
Harrison Wind: Nuggets point guard Isaiah Thomas will not attend Team USA minicamp next week in Las Vegas, @BSNDenver has learned. Thomas was one of 35 names included in the player pool that the USA Basketball men’s national team released in April for the 2020 Olympics.
LeBron James will not participate in USA Basketball’s minicamp in Las Vegas next week, multiple sources familiar with James’ plans told ESPN.
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August 24, 2019 | 12:26 pm EDT Update
France came back from a 16-point deficit to beat New Zealand 95 – 81 in its first preparation game in China, ahead of the World Cup. Nando De Colo scored 19 points while Frank Ntilikina and Rudy Gobert added 12 points apiece for the French side. Corey Webster contributed 11 points, Tohi Smith-Milner 11 and Tom Abercrombie 10 to New Zealand.
Scott Agness: Pacers forward @Doug McDermott will be inducted into the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame tonight in Omaha, along with Anthony Tolliver. McDermott played there from 2010-14 and was voted National Player of the Year his senior season.