USA Basketball Rumors
Keith Smith: Some names you may recognize on Team USA AmeriCup qualifier roster: Isaiah Thomas. Joe Johnson. Brandon Bass. Treveon Graham. Josh Boone. James Nunnally. Dakota Mathias. Jordan Sibert. Cat Barber.
In addition to quickly learning the system of head coach Joe Prunty, Mathias is absorbing knowledge from NBA veterans Isaiah Thomas and Joe Johnson, two other guards on the U.S. roster, as he looks to improve his stock. “It’s been great,” Mathias said. “They’re veterans. They’ve been around. They’ve won a lot of big games. They’ve had great careers in the NBA. To be able to pick their brains and point out some things that they see on the floor, it’s huge.”
Before Mathias figures out his basketball future, he is focused on helping the USA finish up AmeriCup qualifying with two more wins. After growing up in Ohio, playing collegiately in Indiana and professionally in Spain before returning to the U.S., he will put on a USA Basketball jersey for the first time as a 25-year-old. “It’s going to be a great feeling,” Mathias said. “I think we’re all pretty anxious for it. We’ve been practicing pretty hard the last couple days. To finally take on somebody else will be a good change for us. I think we’re all really excited, and we’re going to put a good product on the floor.”
Nick Friedell: Kerr, with a chuckle, said Popovich had a message for him postgame: “He told me after the game that he had been considering Steph for the Olympic team, but he said after the way Steph embarrassed him tonight he’s no longer in consideration.” Ha.
With NBA players expected to make up the core of all three teams and the league’s playoffs scheduled to take place from May 22 to July 22, this concept would create an environment where players can limit travel and possible exposure to COVID-19 before going to Japan. Team USA is tentatively planning to open training camp the week of July 4, while the NBA playoffs are ongoing.