Olympic Games Rumors
More than 85 per cent of NBA players will be available for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualification tournaments, International Basketball Federation (FIBA) secretary general Andreas Zagklis has said. Speaking at an online roundtable interview on Wednesday, Zagklis said he also believed that top NBA players would have enough motivation to compete at the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games next year, reports Xinhua news agency. “It’s clear from the feedback we have received from our players around the world, including NBA players that they consider the Olympic Games as a highlight of their careers. So the motivation is there,” said Zagklis.
“As a coach, I don’t really like the fact that there are a couple of players like Marc and Serge who can reach the Finals because that would obviously complicate their selection for the Olympics,” Scariolo said to Radio Marca. “But I’m happy that each of them has a team and a role within their team that is promising to be interesting. Having them all joining teams very quickly is a reason for calm for all.” According to the 2020-21 NBA calendar, the playoffs begin on May 6 and will be finished on July 22. If the Lakers or the Clippers reach the Finals then Gasol and Ibaka won’t be able to make it to Tokyo.
“It’s not “bad – bad” news but the seventh game of the Finals – if there is a Game 7 – will be played one day before the opening of the Olympic Games,” Scariolo said. “So the timing is quite bad, that one of the two teams from Los Angeles, Marc or Serge reach the Finals. We are taking a lot of risk, but it’s just something I have in my mind”
Marc Gasol on Pau Gasol’s future: “Pau has to know first his foot is ok, and then decide. He wants to play in the Olympics and maybe keep playing after that, but the most important thing is his health.”
Slowing down might not be in his nature, but Luis Scola intends to retire after the 2020-21 season and participating in the Olympic Games with Argentina for the fifth time. He confirmed the approaching date in an interview with Italian magazine SportWeek released Saturday. “When will it end? In a year, after the Olympics. Only then I will decide what to do,” he mentioned referring to his playing days, “I could stay involved in basketball, but not as a coach, eventually, only for young players. I’m already receiving plenty of proposals, but none have been just as exciting as the idea of playing”.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday night it is unlikely the league will take a break next summer for the Olympic Games, a decision that could dramatically affect the tournament if it is able to be played. “We’ll consider it. I think it’s unlikely, at the end of the day, that, if we start late, we would stop for the Olympics,” Silver said in an interview with NBA TV inside the league’s bubble at Walt Disney World Resort. “Because, as you know, it’s not just a function of stopping for the period in which they are competing over in Tokyo. But they require training camp, and then they require rest afterwards.”
If the NBA season is going on during those tournaments, however, it could dramatically alter how they, and the games themselves, play out. While Silver acknowledged that, he also said that under the current circumstances there isn’t anything the NBA can realistically do about it. “There are so many incredible players, beginning with the USA team, we’ll be able to field a very competitive team,” Silver said. “I am a bit worried about some of the international teams, because, as you know, some of their stars play in our league, and their absence would make a huge difference for those national teams.