Storyline: World Cup

613 rumors in this storyline

Team director Jerry Colangelo told The Republic in July that Booker’s agent told him in May Booker wanted to focus on getting healthy and ready for the 2019-20 season. Booker addressed that by saying he did what was best for himself, his family, his career and his future. “You know me, I don’t look into none that too much,” Booker said. “… I think it’s obvious I’ve dealt with injuries, especially last year, dealing with three hamstring injuries and not wanting to go through that. Just focusing on this Suns team and getting where I want to go with this team is my main priority.”

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USA Basketball has kept its No. 1 spot in the FIBA world men’s rankings, even after a disappointing seventh-place showing in the World Cup that ended earlier this week. It’s now nine years and counting in the top spot for the U.S., which has held the No. 1 ranking since winning the 2010 world championship. World Cup champion Spain stayed No. 2, Australia leaped eight spots to No. 3, World Cup finalist Argentina rose one spot to No. 4 and World Cup bronze medalist France fell two slots to No. 5.

Utah’s Rudy Gobert and I had a brief chance to chat about this issue — again — after he and his teammates clinched the bronze medal for France in a victory over Australia in FIBA’s third-place game on Sunday. “I wish all the best players would come, but it’s never going to happen,” Gobert said of the modern N.B.A. player’s approach in the Load Management Era. “They think about themselves more than anything — and it’s understandable. It’s a business. We all have families to take care of.”

Patrick Mills: Well that’s awks. Not the ultimate award I was after, but I was told by @BasketballAus on the bus post game that I made the All-Star Five. Nek Minute… ??????? Throw it on the fire ?? WE’LL BE BACK #Tokyo2020 @AUSOlympicTeam

That’s right, not only did the once-mighty Team USA finish seventh at the World Cup (its lowest finish ever), but also not a single American made the all-tournament team. “I have tremendous respect for what Team USA represents,” Scariolo said. “Now people are having fun and disrespecting them. We have to be thankful to American basketball and the NBA. Now in this competition, they didn’t fulfill what they were expecting. “Let’s show respect. Whatever is decided in their house is going to be there. I can only say it’s an honor to be above them in the final ranking. I respect them so strongly next year.”


The Toronto Raptors center becomes the second player to win an NBA title and a FIBA world gold medal in the same year, joining Lamar Odom — who did it for the Los Angeles Lakers and USA Basketball in 2010. Gasol also became the 19th to win either an NBA or WNBA crown along with a gold medal, either of the Olympic or World Cup variety, in the same year. The first 18 all did it for the U.S. This time, Vamos España! “NBA champion and a World Cup champion as well,” Gasol said. “What can I say? How does it sound to you? I feel very fortunate to be in this position and be able to play this game and help these guys be part of history of Spanish basketball.”

Globally, there has been a lot of talk about Team USA’s absences, and the 32 players who withdraw their names from the preliminary roster. Fournier, 26 was critical of his competitors in the NBA: “It does [bother me]. To be honest, when you look at LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and all these guys… they came here already and won, so it’s fine. But for friends of mine like Tobias [Harris], I thought it was a great opportunity for him to see something different and compete. I think they don’t realize how beneficial this is for their career. It’s a great tournament, great basketball, super intense. I know you have to work on your game, but this is way better.”

A mere three months after helping the Toronto Raptors win the NBA Finals, Gasol has led Spain to the gold medal game at the World Cup. It’ll be Spain against Argentina on Sunday, with both nations looking for their second title. Spain won the world championship in 2006 when Gasol was a 21-year-old backup, and Argentina won the inaugural tournament in 1950. “I’m so deep in the rabbit hole right now that I don’t get to see much light,” Gasol said. “You’re so focused on your opponent, your next rival, recovering, doing whatever’s necessary to win games that you don’t look at the big picture. It’s been great. I’m very fortunate. “I knew that committing to the national team this summer would not be easy physically. But it’s so worth it, and not just because we’re in the final game.”

Popovich said it’s too early to think about what USA Basketball needs to do before getting ready for the Tokyo Games. But he warned — just as two-time gold medalist Kobe Bryant did on Friday — that the days of American romps to gold are done. “There are a lot of great teams in the world,” Popovich said. “It’s not written in stone that the United States is supposed to walk to a championship. That’s pretty old-school thinking. Even the teams that have won in the past had a lot of close calls.”

The loose ball foul against Andrew Bogut is the one most will point to – he sure did – with the centre apparently making contact with Marc Gasol, who would hit a pair of free throws to give Spain a one-point lead. Patty Mills would split a pair on the other end, sending the game to overtime. “They’re furious. They’re crushed and furious,” Longley said. “Where their fury is directed, I can’t tell you. Probably all over the place. It’s very quiet in there. That’s the team we lost to in Rio, but we felt like we deserved to win it. We felt like we played well enough to win it. Yeah, it’s pretty quiet in there.”

Spain was waiting for its opponent in the 2019 FIBA World Cup final on Sunday at Beijing and Argentina completed the pairing in the gold medal match by defeating France, 80-66, on Friday at China’s capital. Manu Ginobili was in attendance for both semifinals, but thoroughly enjoyed his country triumph in the second contest. Former teammate Luis Scola put in the work on the court with a 13-10 double-double at halftime and 28 points coupled with 13 boards in the end of the match.

“You have to remember on the Redeem Team we needed a hell of a fourth quarter to beat Spain. That was a hell of a team we had. We still needed a real late push to beat Spain in that gold medal match. So I say that to say, put the best players that you think are going to make the best U.S. team out on the floor, we are still going to have challenges. It’s not going to be a cakewalk. The days of the 92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone. They’re over, so it’s going to be tough.”

Of the 35 players originally selected for the U.S. player pool, only four are in China for the World Cup. The U.S. lost to France in the quarterfinals, ending a streak of seven major international tournaments — four Olympics and three World Cups — where the Americans captured a medal, the last five of them being gold. “I can only say, you can’t help but notice and remember who you thought you were going to war with and who didn’t show up,” Colangelo said. “I’m a firm believer that you deal with the cards you’re dealt. All we could have done, and we did it, is get the commitments from a lot of players. So with that kind of a hand you feel reasonably confident that you’re going to be able to put a very good representative team on the court. “No one would have anticipated the pull-outs that we had.”

Myles Turner: From 1-12 top to bottom this team this roster has sacrificed so much for our nation. our summers, our bodies, our mental. We came up short can’t nobodies more upset than us but I refuse to tolerate any Slander for our play you cannot question our heart, Our character, or are spirit we layed it all out on the line each and every game. Don’t disrespect us this coaching staff or USA Basketball as a whole but respect the world basketball is an international game these countries are talented. JB, Khris, JT, Dmitch, Mason, Marcus, Kemba, D White, BrooK, HB, Joe it’s been an honor I’d go to war with any of these fellas any given night. #Godspeed fellas let’s head home with a Dub 🇺🇸

“To hear Donovan be so passionate about wanting to play (was great),” Ingles said. “I was like, ‘Oh, are you going to pull out because everyone else is?’, and (Mitchell said), ‘No, I’m going to play for my country.’ He’s obviously like really proud to do that. Obviously Rudy is (too). I know in the past with (former Jazz guard) Ricky (Rubio of Spain, who’s now with Phoenix), and playing against Ricky for so long, there’s genuine love (for playing on the national team). “You’ve got to respect, to a certain extent, guys’ decisions (not to play) because there is career (impact). Some guys are in contract years this offseason, and there’s a lot that goes into it. I think for us, for me, it’s – I’m all Australia right now, and as soon as we’re done with that I’ll switch right off and go to Jazz mode.”

The exciting thing, however, is that they beat the USA by being among other things taller. Coach Gregg Popovich had to play small against Rudy Gobert, but the small ball didn’t affect at all the French game plan. “We knew, and we didn’t want to adjust to that,” explained Batum after the game. “We wanted to keep him on the court. Because… he is our best player. He is the back-to-back defensive player of the year. We know what he can bring in defense and offense as well. That’s why the coach kept him on the court. We knew that his defense would help us. And he also help us on offense. He got better, and that will be the next step for him. He has shown some improvement, he moves better, he knows how to get inside, and if he gets to be like we want him to be, it will be the next step.”

Rudy Gobert has now got some “bragging rights” over his Utah Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell following the historic win of France over Team USA in the World Cup quarterfinals. However, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will leave trash talk aside for now since he can imagine how much this defeat hurt his teammate. “I don’t think that’s the way I am,” Gobert said. “I like to talk a little trash. But this kind of competition….I just lost to Australia. I love Joe but I wanted to stop him. It hurts. I think this experience is going to make Donovan better. We have to go hard when we go for the national team, but we also have to go that way with Utah. I’m excited for both.”

Team USA coach and five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich didn’t want to hear any discussion about the squad’s numerous absences, following the eliminating loss to France in the World Cup quarterfinals. A result that marked USA’s first defeat in an official game in 13 years. “I think it’s a disrespectful notion,” Popovich said following a question to USA guard Donovan Mitchell on if he wanted to see some other NBA players at his side. “To even bring up something like that up: ‘Hey if you guys had this guy and had that guy’. That’s disrespectful to France or whoever else is in the tournament. France beat us. It doesn’t matter who is on the team. I couldn’t have been more proud of these 12 guys who sacrificed their summer to come here. Having never played together before. They put themselves in the arena and competed and they deserve credit for that. Just like France deserves credit for winning. It’s not about ‘well, the USA didn’t have their other guys’. There’s no such thing as ‘other guys’. These are the guys who are here. They did a great job and I’m very proud of them.

You would expect a celebration after France’s wins but that was not the case. There were smiles but things were pretty quiet and there was a reason for that. France had beaten the host country and their longtime nemesis Spain back in the 2014 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals. Nobody really remembers that, however, since Serbia beat France in the semifinal. And Even Fournier remembers it: “We have won the quarterfinals, but if we lose the next one, we will return to Paris like suckers. We have seen it when we were beaten by Serbia back in the 2014 World Cup and then we relaxed. It’s obvious that it’s an experience that will help us”.
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July 2, 2020 | 10:53 am EDT Update
The next edition of the NBA 2K video game series already has two cover athletes in New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. A third iteration of the game will honor late Los Angeles Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant. The new version, called the “Mamba Forever Edition” will be a special copy available for both current and next-generation consoles for $100. Bryant will be featured on the covers of both games, with him in his No. 8 jersey for current generation consoles and next-generation console editions will feature Bryant in his No. 24 jersey.
July 2, 2020 | 9:18 am EDT Update
Do you have a timetable? Like when you say, ‘I’m done’. Jamal Crawford: I don’t know if I have a timetable but I would think for me, it would probably be at some point next season. Like it may not be the beginning of next season, maybe a team that fighting for the playoffs later on in the season. And at that point, probably if it doesn’t happen, I would probably say, ‘Okay, that’s it’.
Storyline: Jamal Crawford Retirement?
Booker became a first-time All-Star this season, and was averaging 26.1 points, 6.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor when the league shut down. Williams envisions Booker aiming to make another push for league-wide respect during this restart. “He wants to go to Orlando and cement himself as one of the better players in the league in a different way,” Williams said. “He made the All-Star team. Now he’s probably got his eyes set on All-NBA, and he’s more than capable.”
Monty Williams did not confirm nor deny if he typically enjoys roller-coaster intergalactic adventures. But the Suns coach emphasized that he will not be partaking in any during his team’s stay in Orlando beginning next week. “We’re not going to ride on Space Mountain and do the Disney thing,” Williams said Wednesday during a videoconference call with local reporters. “This is freakin’ ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Gladiator’ stuff that we are trying to will onto other teams, and that’s the mindset.”
The New Orleans Pelicans star and the 2019 No. 1 overall pick has been named the NBA 2K21 cover athlete on next-generation consoles. “Realizing that I am going to be on the cover of NBA 2K21 was one of those moments that I am still processing,” said Williamson over a Zoom chat with Sports Illustrated. “I dreamed about being on the cover and for 2K to give me this honor, it means a lot because I have always played 2K with teammates and all my friends growing up. 2K has always been there with me. Looking at each cover and thinking maybe one day I could possibly be on the cover of one of these and for it to actually happen is a lot to process.”
If basketball icon LeBron James gets his way, NBA arenas and other sports venues around the country will be mega polling sites for the November general election. James and his voting rights group, formed this spring with other black athletes and entertainers, are joining with other professional basketball leaders and Michigan’s top elections official to push for mega voting sites to accommodate in-person balloting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More Than A Vote, the James organization dedicated to maximizing Black turnout in November, shared its plans with The Associated Press on Wednesday after the Detroit Pistons became the second NBA franchise to announce plans to use its arena for voting later this year. In Georgia, Fulton County elections officials this week approved the Atlanta Hawks’ proposal to use State Farm Arena as a polling site. Plans call for the arena to serve as a countywide early voting site ahead of Election Day.
July 2, 2020 | 3:44 am EDT Update
Back in 2010, James met with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls in addition to the Knicks and Heat as he contemplated his future. It’s easy to forget that James was said to be seriously considering the Knicks at the time. In fact, there was even a strong rumor that LeBron was going to choose the Knicks. So what happened? Bill Simmons said on his podcast that the Knicks’ meeting with James was a “disaster.” “They had a legendary meeting. Donnie Walsh was in the wheelchair, and (James) Dolan was Dolan. And it was just a complete – they didn’t have anything prepared. And it just couldn’t have gone worse, by all accounts. It was a disaster,” Simmons said.
The Decision was incredibly ill-advised and self-indulgent, but we all knew it was coming. Gilbert’s scathing reaction was somewhat predictable, since he found out LeBron was leaving at the same time as the rest of us. But that rally was so over-the-top. I will never forget the look on Pat Riley’s face when they panned to him in the stands. He looked mortified. Riley told me years later he was so busy making sure all the contracts for LeBron and Chris Bosh were in order that he didn’t pay much attention to what the team had planned. It showed.
As coronavirus cases rise in different regions across the United States, commissioner Adam Silver has made clear that the league is monitoring the numbers as it prepares to head for Orlando. Silver has described to league executives on conference calls recently that his goal is for the Disney World campus to be the safest place in the U.S. “We have confidence in the plan that we’ve built,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told players and teams on a call this week, according to sources. “It was designed for this.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Operating the three-month completion of the NBA season at the Walt Disney World Resort will cost the NBA more than $150 million, sources told ESPN. The league is housing 22 teams plus support staff at three resorts, has arranged for seven practice courts and is playing games at three arenas during the quarantine. It is also providing meals, daily coronavirus testing and other medical support, security, transportation and entertainment for more than 1,500 people during the height of the event.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble

Victor Oladipo not sure about playing

Indiana Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo isn’t ready to commit to playing at the NBA restart in Orlando even though Wednesday is supposed to be the deadline for the 22 participating teams to declare their traveling list of 35. Except, league sources tell IndyStar, it’s not a firm deadline. “Nothing is locked in like a normal roster deadline,” one of the sources said.

Nikola Jokic feeling 'great'

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This rumor is part of a storyline: 263 more rumors
Paul shared details on that night in what was the catalyst for the domino effect that before the night ended would lead to the NBA season suspension. Like many of the fan base, Richardson and Miles were watching and noted seeing Paul approach Joe Ingles at center court to ask where Rudy (Gobert) was. Even after nearly four months, the events of March 11th remain confounding for Paul who explained his feelings at the moment. It was crazy, and I tell you a little bit about it, but to tell you the truth it’s crazy man I’m doing a documentary about it, like a movie, like a movie about a sports stop with Antoine Fuqua and Brian Grazer. We doing a whole thing about that like getting perspectives from athletes of what happened.Man, listen, I ain’t never seen nothing like it. Never seen nothing like it.
Jared Weiss: Walker isn’t concerned about going into COVID hot zone: “I think we’re going to be pretty safe and secluded in the bubble.” Kemba: “I’m a single man with no kids, so I’ma be fine. All I do is stay in the house anyways, so there’s nothing wrong with me staying in the room. I’m actually looking forward to it cause I’m ready to play basketball. And it’s going to be set up so we can have fun.”
Here is how the coaches voted in The Athletic’s anonymous poll. When players received votes at more than one position, they were slotted at the position where they garnered the most votes. It is no surprise that Gobert and Antetokounmpo received the most first-team votes at their respective positions and led all vote-getters in total overall points. Gobert, the reigning two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, ranks fourth in rebounding (13.7 per game) and sixth in blocks (2.0 per game). Antetokounmpo is the top defender on the Milwaukee Bucks, who lead the league in defensive efficiency. The Greek Freak also ranks third in the league in rebounding (his 13.7 boards per game edging Gobert’s average by 0.027 boards per game).
Jamahl Mosley, a Knicks coaching candidate, is in his sixth season on Rick Carlisle’s Mavericks staff. The 41-year-old has emerged as one of the league’s top young assistants destined to take the next step. However, it was legendary coach George Karl — not Carlisle — who gave Mosley his first job in the NBA, hiring him to work out Nuggets players in 2006 for the paltry salary of $25,000. Mosley, a 6-foot-8 star power forward at the University of Colorado, was with Karl from 2006-10, going from player developmental coach to bench assistant coach in their last two seasons together. “I thought he had a great connection with today’s player,’’ the retired Karl told The Post from his home in Denver. “He was hungry. He was big in player development, then toward the end of his time, we gave him scouting reports, game-plan responsibilities. He was really good with basketball intellect and really good with players. That’s the combo you need in today’s world and changing attitudes of the young players.”
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search

Storyline: Media Layoffs
July 1, 2020 | 9:33 pm EDT Update
“It’s two-fold,” Neil Olshey said Wednesday. “On one hand, I’m excited to see our guys play again. You know, the season ended so abruptly, we were just getting healthy. We were three days from getting ‘Nurk’ (Jusuf Nurkic) back and Zach (Collins) was on the horizon — he was about three weeks out from returning. At that point, Trevor (Ariza) was in the starting lineup, so the exciting thing is to see the guys out playing basketball again. I missed basketball.”
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Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Neil Olshey: “Guys have stayed. They are dialed in. They are locked in. They’re ignoring whatever the strength of schedule we’re going to face down there. And they’re going down with the mindset that Day One, this is playoff basketball for us. We’re training and preparing and we’re going to give it our best shot. One of the things that has been consistent with this group is that this is a group of closers. We’ve always been better the second half of the year. It’s a testament to the character of the guys we have and our coaching staff not burning guys out and keeping them engaged and I think you will see that when we get to Orlando.”
Gansey’s short-term plan is to scout players from afar with the hope he and the Pacers can reach an agreement for next season, a conversation that may not happen until after the NBA playoffs in October. “I can look at some other G League players and players who were on (two-way contracts) this year,” Gansey said. “You know, there are guys who have played overseas and I can do some scouting on some of these college guys and guys who are going to enter the draft here pretty soon.”
July 1, 2020 | 7:17 pm EDT Update