World Cup Rumors
The French Basketball Federation, FFBB, announced that Rudy Gobert is the 2019 recipient of the Alain Gilles Trophy. The annual award goes to the French Player of the Year, male or female. NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row spent 2019 with the Utah Jazz and helped France capture bronze in the FIBA World Cup.
Playing with FIBA I was like a prisoner.” he mentioned talking about his tough experience in China. “I just got out of the cage, the cell. I am free now.” In the World Cup in 25 minutes per game, he averaged 14.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.4 steals per match. The Bucks certainly expect a larger contribution this upcoming season and Antetokounmpo himself is ready to deliver. “The rules, the way basketball is played in FIBA, the spacing. I felt like I was playing one against five every time I had the ball” he said looking back on the summer global competition, “It’s totally different here. I prefer NBA basketball.”
Matt Velasquez: Khris Middleton says he won’t say no if he’s invited to play for Team USA again next summer in the Olympics. Things didn’t go the way any of them wanted at the World Cup, but he’s open to returning.
Ryan Wolstat: Marc Gasol wouldn’t pick one championship celebration over the other. “Thanks for putting me in that position though.” Between that and his shoe quip, Marc brought the jokes to media day.
Mavericks’ head athletic trainer Dionne Calhoun reached one of his lifelong goals this summer – one that figures to be topped next year. Calhoun was chosen to be on the USA Basketball medical staff for this year’s FIBA World Cup in China and next summer’s Olympic Games in Japan. It’s a two-year commitment that he gladly accepted and that the Mavericks embraced. “It really is a dream come true,” Calhoun said. “It’s something I wanted to do ever since I knew I wanted to (be) in medicine.”
“It was a really great experience,” Calhoun said. “Pop was great. The folks on his staff, Chip Engelland, Ime Udoka, Will Hardy, they were great. Steve Kerr, awesome. Jay Wright from Villanova and Lloyd Pierce, Jeff Van Gundy, P.J. Carleslimo – they were great people, first and foremost, alongside being really talented coaches. “I’ve worked (Tim Grgurich’s) summer camp and the NBA predraft camp and now Team USA. Those are all unique opportunities where you get to spend time with players. You spend a lot of time with them. You’re in the trenches with them. For me, the relationships I’ve built with other players and the other medical staffs, that’s an opportunity you don’t normally get this sport. The experience as a whole is one of those life experiences that you just can’t replace.”