Hornets rookie Anthony Davis (6'10''-F-93, college: Kentucky) is one step closer to a spot on the 12-man U.S. Olympic basketball team now that Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (6'10''-F-89, college: Oklahoma) will miss the London Games with a torn left meniscus.
But while Davis will accompany the U.S. team today to Washington, D.C., the formality of Griffins withdrawal still must take place before Davis is added to the U.S. roster, according to USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo .
Until we get official word, and we know what the reports are, but not to us if thats official, then Blake has to withdraw because he is an Olympian, and when and if that takes place, thats when we can officially add Anthony Davis to our roster, Colangelo said after the U.S. beat the Dominican Republic 113-59 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Davis, who arrived back in Las Vegas at 2 p.m. local time Thursday after attending the ESPY Awards Wednesday night in Los Angeles, reported to the team hotel, ate the pregame meal, then played the entire fourth quarter. He scored nine points in 10 minutes, and hit the only 3-point shot he attempted, on which he was fouled. He completed the four-point play.
Davis afterward did not know that the U.S. team would be bringing him to Washington. He said he was just filling in for Griffin until Griffin got healthy. Davis was unaware of the severity of Griffins injury.
Im not on the team yet; Im still an alternate, Davis said Thursday night. Until I hear something different, thats my mindset; that Im not on the team, just an alternate. I just came in and filled Blakes spot for tonight and see where it goes from there. No one has given me any indication of what Im doing.
I felt good tonight, very comfortable. Melo (Carmelo Anthony) told me to take deep breaths. It was just like college. Youre just out there playing ball. If you really love this game, youre going to be nervous, but just go out and have fun. Plus, it was great to beat Coach Cal (Kentuckys John Calipari, his college coach who coached the Dominican team). He just said, Great game. If you make the team hes going to come to London to support me. He said he should have let me shoot 3s in college, too.
Even before Thursday nights game Colangelo was presenting a calm exterior, yet there was little doubt on the inside, Colangelo was far from a tranquil individual.
And the stomach-churning escalated Thursday morning.
Davis went to the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, after launching a few jump shots after practice, but planned to return for Thursdays exhibition to be a spectator.
Instead, he was in uniform on the U.S. bench.
When he didnt make the Olympic roster, Davis planned to join the Hornets summer league team that begins its competition here Sunday night.
Hornets Coach Monty Williams wasnt sure Thursday night about Daviss Summer League status.
Weve got to wait and see; we havent talked to the USA people yet, so its not official, Williams said. I dont want to talk in hypotheticals, but any time you get a chance to play around all that talent, I dont care who you are, its going to have a positive effect on you.
Hes working hard. Weve got (strength coach Carlos Daniel) out there with him, and Carlos is going to spend the summer with him to get him stronger, quicker and ready to play. Hes going to get better either way. Ive heard all the stuff; Dell (Demps) and I talked today, but theres no official ruling yet until we hear something about Blake. Either way, I think for Anthony its a great honor to be thought of in that way. Theres some great young centers around the league who are pretty good, and theyre calling on him. That should tell people just how good he is.
As Team USA took to the court in preparation for its first appearance in the London Olympic Games on July 29, Colangelo had reason for concern.
The teams week-long training camp was a fractured exercise during which neither of the teams starting point guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams could participate, one (Paul) with an injury, the other (Williams) because he hadnt signed a new contract with the Brooklyn Nets until Wednesday, and therefore could not practice with his USA teammates.
For a club hoping to defend Americas basketball honor, and the 2008 Olympic gold medal won in the Beijing Games, continuity remains a far piece down the road.
I think the lack of having our point guards to be able to participate has been a little bit of a detriment in terms of brining cohesion to us, Colangelo said. Although we knew there were going to be a lot of distractions, we got squeezed on both ends of the calendar: the extended NBA season and playoffs and the Olympics are earlier this time than last. And everything hit on the same week. Our camp, free-agency, signings.
Were a little bit discombobulated. I think were trying to deal with all those issues, so its going to take us a while to get to where we want to be. Thats why we knew, we had a feeling our camp was going to go way beyond Las Vegas, extend into Washington, D.C., and one step at a time so we could build. But we need our players in their specific roles and we havent been able to do that because of all the issues.
The 2016 Team USA basketball team will likely be led by Kevin Durant (206-SF-88, college: Texas) as LeBron James (203-SF-84) will reportedly skip the Olympics According to multiple reports, Team USA's Olympic roster is starting to take shape but LeBron James may not be a part of the team. Like Stephen Curry (190-PG-88, college: Davidson), Russell Westbrook (190-PG-88, college: UCLA), James Harden (196-SG-89, college: Arizona St.), LaMarcus Aldridge (211-F/C-85, college: Texas) and Chris P... [read more]
The 2016 Team USA basketball team will likely be led by Kevin Durant (206-SF-88, college: Texas) as LeBron James (203-SF-84) will reportedly skip the Olympics According to multiple reports, Team USA's Olympic roster is starting to take shape but LeBron James may not be a part of the team. Like Stephen Curry (190-PG-88, college: Davidson), Russell Westbrook (190-PG-88, college: UCLA), James Harden (196-SG-89, college: Arizona St.), LaMarcus Aldridge (211-F/C-85, college: Texas) and Chris Paul (183-PG-85, college: Wake Forest), James will reportedly will opt for rest and withdraw his name from consideration from the USA Basketball player pool. James has already played in three Olympics and won two Gold medals, and after winning the title for Cleveland, skipping out on Rio seems perfectly reasonable. Also, James just completed yet another lengthy NBA season and can use the summer to recuperate and recover, instead of adding extra miles on his legs by playing in the Olympics. Despite James and other superstars like Curry not participating in this summer's Olympics, Team USA will still have plenty of talent. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving (190-G-92, college: Duke), Klay Thompson (201-G-90, college: Washington St.) and Paul George (206-G/F-90, college: Fresno St.) are "locks" to be on the team. Draymond Green (201-F-90, college: Michigan St.) has already accepted an invitation to join Team USA, which means that there are still six or seven roster spots left. Others who will likely make the final cut are Kawhi Leonard (201-F-91, college: San Diego St.), Jimmy Butler (201-G/F-89, college: Marquette) and perhaps Damian Lillard (190-PG-90, college: Weber St.) and Andre Drummond (208-C-93, college: Connecticut). But we won't know for sure until Team USA announces their official roster for their 2016 Olympic team at the end of June.
Damian Lillard won't play for Team USA in Rio Olympics - 1 day ago
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Damian Lillard (6'3''-PG-90, college: Weber St.) petitioned himself onto the list of Team USA candidates after initially being left off the list of finalists for the 2016 Olympics. But with the Americans down on point guards - Stephen Curry (6'3''-PG-88, college: Davidson), Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA), Chris Paul (6'0''-PG-85, college: Wake Forest) and John Wall (6'4''-PG-90, college: Kentucky) - Lillard won't be headed to Rio. Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanov... [read more]
Damian Lillard (6'3''-PG-90, college: Weber St.) petitioned himself onto the list of Team USA candidates after initially being left off the list of finalists for the 2016 Olympics. But with the Americans down on point guards - Stephen Curry (6'3''-PG-88, college: Davidson), Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA), Chris Paul (6'0''-PG-85, college: Wake Forest) and John Wall (6'4''-PG-90, college: Kentucky) - Lillard won't be headed to Rio. Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanova)'s selection was even more important than we realized. Just two other finalist point guards are unaccounted for: Kyrie Irving (6'3''-G-92, college: Duke) and Mike Conley (6'1''-PG-87, college: Ohio St.). I wouldn't be surprised if both play in Rio. Irving has long been part of the program, and he's a Mike Krzyzewski favorite after playing for Duke. The ball is likely in his court. Conley isn't as certain to be selected, but he'd provide depth. If the Americans carry three point guards, he's the guy - unless they go off the finalist board again, as they did with Lowry. Kemba Walker or Isaiah Thomas might make sense. Courtesy of: nbcsports.com
No 2016 Olympics for rehabbing Jazz guard Dante Exum - 5 days ago
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Utah Jazz fans can relax. Dante Exum(198-PG-95) won't be injured playing for his national team again this offseason. Exum and the Utah Jazz announced Saturday night that the 20-year-old point guard will not play for his Australian team this summer as he continues a successful rehab from the knee injury he suffered with the Boomers in a friendly last summer. Unfortunately for the Aussies and Exum, that means the 6-foot-6 playmaker will not be participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Ri... [read more]
Utah Jazz fans can relax. Dante Exum (198-PG-95) won't be injured playing for his national team again this offseason. Exum and the Utah Jazz announced Saturday night that the 20-year-old point guard will not play for his Australian team this summer as he continues a successful rehab from the knee injury he suffered with the Boomers in a friendly last summer. Unfortunately for the Aussies and Exum, that means the 6-foot-6 playmaker will not be participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Jazz are very pleased with the progress Exum has made in the months following his knee surgery at the end of last summer. Though gaining more international experience might've been good for Exum, the decision to remain in Utah to continue working on his fitness and developing his skill set could be considered a prudent move for him and the Jazz. Skipping out on the Olympics, albeit a tough decision because of personal reasons and national pride, will prevent Exum from being overextended too quickly this summer due to national team duties. "At this stage the most important thing for me right now is to continue training," Exum said via a press release. "It's been great to be back on the court competing, and I'm really motivated to help the Jazz have a successful season this year. My support and best wishes will be with the Boomers this summer, and I look forward to future opportunities to represent my home country." Exum was recently given the green light to participate in full-contact basketball activities, and he's progressed from playing one-on-one and three-on-three games to game-like five-on-five scrimmages with fellow Jazz players and others, including BYU alum Tyler Haws. Exum had surgery last September on his left knee to repair a torn ACL, which he injured on Aug. 4 while trying to make a move in the paint during an Australian exhibition game against Slovenia. That injury kept him sidelined throughout the 2015-16 season. The Jazz had been very optimistic about the progress Exum made earlier in the offseason after averaging 4.8 points and 2.4 assists as a rookie in 2014-15 after being picked fifth overall in the 2014 draft. Ironically, the Melbourne, Australia, native became just the 10th rookie in Jazz history to appear in all 82 games. Courtesy of: desertnews.com
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