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.
Carmelo Anthony says 2016 will be his last Olympics - 5 months ago
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Carmelo Anthony (203-SF-84, college: Syracuse) said after Sunday's gold medal win over Serbia that this will be his last Olympic performance and hinted that he could be done with international play as a whole. 'I know this is the end,' Melo said when asked what made his third gold medal so special. 'This is it for me.' Anthony, 32, has played in four Olympics for the United States. After settling for bronze in 2004, he was a member of the American teams that won three straight golds in 20... [read more]
Carmelo Anthony (203-SF-84, college: Syracuse) said after Sunday's gold medal win over Serbia that this will be his last Olympic performance and hinted that he could be done with international play as a whole. 'I know this is the end,' Melo said when asked what made his third gold medal so special. 'This is it for me.' Anthony, 32, has played in four Olympics for the United States. After settling for bronze in 2004, he was a member of the American teams that won three straight golds in 2008, 2012 and 2016. 'I stepped up to the challenge, but this is what it's about, representing our country on the biggest stage you can be on,' Anthony said. In a video posted to Snapchat after the game, Anthony said he was 'signing out of Team USA basketball,' which would mean he wouldn't play in other non-Olympic international tournaments. Courtesy of: si.com
Rio 2016: USA clinch third consecutive Olympic Gold - 5 months ago
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Team USA - Serbia 96:66 Team USA earned the third straight Olympic Gold. They cruised past Serbia in the championship game tonight. Kevin Durant (206-SF-88, college: Texas) was unstoppable with 30 points for the champions. Serbia were able to keep up with the USA for the bigger part of the first period. However Team USA capped the quarter on an 8:1 run to take a 19:15 lead. The North American side stepped on the gas in the second frame. Kevin Durant drained 18 points in the period as Te... [read more]
Team USA - Serbia 96:66
Team USA earned the third straight Olympic Gold. They cruised past Serbia in the championship game tonight. Kevin Durant (206-SF-88, college: Texas) was unstoppable with 30 points for the champions. Serbia were able to keep up with the USA for the bigger part of the first period. However Team USA capped the quarter on an 8:1 run to take a 19:15 lead. The North American side stepped on the gas in the second frame. Kevin Durant drained 18 points in the period as Team USA opened a comfortable 52:29 halftime lead. They extended the lead in the third term. The North American side dominated rallying to a 36-point lead at the final intermission. Team USA allowed Serbia to cut the deficit in the fourth frame cruising to a convincing victory. DeMarcus Cousins (211-C/F-90, college: Kentucky) finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Klay Thompson (201-G-90, college: Washington St.) added 12 points for the champions. Nemanja Nedovic (191-PG-91, agency: BeoBasket) answered with 14 points for Serbia. Milan Macvan (206-PF-89) tossed in 11 points in the defeat.
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