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 new head coach Ettore Messina announced the preliminary squad for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, when Italy will play in Turin to earn a spot for Rio 2016. This the list of 24 players for coach Messina: Awudu Abass (199-SF-93, agency: Players Group) (Acqua Vitasnella Cantu) Pietro Aradori (194-SG-88) (Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia) Andrea Bargnani (213-F/C-85) (Free Agent) Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) (Sacramento Kings) Bruno Cerella (194-G/F-86, agency: Players Group) (EA7 Armani Mi... [read more]
The new head coach Ettore Messina announced the preliminary squad for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, when Italy will play in Turin to earn a spot for Rio 2016. This the list of 24 players for coach Messina:
D'Tigers Aiming for Glory in Rio 2016 - May 7, 2016
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The Nigerian national basketball team, D'Tigers are aiming to reach greater heights at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero scheduled to begin on Friday, August 5, 2016. It will be recalled that the D'Tigers recorded a feat by being the only African nation to ever qualify for the Summer Olympics through the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2012. D'Tigers beat the world elite teams of Lithuania and Greece to reach the Olympics proper. However, due to several factors,... [read more]
The Nigerian national basketball team, D'Tigers are aiming to reach greater heights at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero scheduled to begin on Friday, August 5, 2016. It will be recalled that the D'Tigers recorded a feat by being the only African nation to ever qualify for the Summer Olympics through the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2012. D'Tigers beat the world elite teams of Lithuania and Greece to reach the Olympics proper. However, due to several factors, D'Tigers went on to set the worst record in the history of the Olympics as they were thrashed 156-76 by the all conquering Dream Team of the United States of America. The Dream managed just one victory over fellow Africans Tunisia to end up in 10th position at the end of the basketball event. Immediately after the London Olympics, the Nigeria Basketball Federation under Tijani Umar rang changes in the technical crew as well as the playing personnel and there was positive result as the D'Tigers emerged champions of Africa in 2015. Ahead of the 2015 FIBA Africa Championship in Tunisia, the NBBF replaced Ayo Bakare with a foreign tactician, Will Voigt (agency: Warren Sports International ) while some players were also dropped from the team. The move to sign the former Head Coach of Bakersfield Jam in the National Basketball Development League was a tactical one as he has coached two players that represented Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics - Diogu Ikechukwu (204-C/F-83, college: Arizona St.) and Alade Aminu (210-F/C-87, college: Georgia Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) while he was in the D-League. Courtesy of: dailytrust.com.ng
Chris Paul withdraws from Team USA consideration for 2016 Olympics - Mar 29, 2016
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At the 2012 Olympics in London, Chris Paul (183-PG-85, college: Wake Forest) went to see the volleyball, the swimming, the track. He brought Russell Westbrook (190-PG-88, college: UCLA) with him to root on Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings. He sat in the cheering section for Michael Phelps. 'What we do is such a small thing compared to what the people do who protect our freedom,' Paul said. 'But when I put on that USA jersey it always gave me goose bumps because you realized you... [read more]
At the 2012 Olympics in London, Chris Paul (183-PG-85, college: Wake Forest) went to see the volleyball, the swimming, the track. He brought Russell Westbrook (190-PG-88, college: UCLA) with him to root on Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings. He sat in the cheering section for Michael Phelps. 'What we do is such a small thing compared to what the people do who protect our freedom,' Paul said. 'But when I put on that USA jersey it always gave me goose bumps because you realized you were part of something so much bigger than yourself.' Paul's first experience with USA Basketball was in high school, when he played for the North team at the Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was on the squad that lost to Greece at the 2006 World Championship in Japan-'I remember sitting at my locker,' Paul recalled, 'trying to figure out how we were going to go back home"-and he was a leader of the group that redeemed itself with gold medals in '08 and '12. 'Coming from where we were,' Paul said, 'that was the best feeling.' After more than a decade of contribution to USA Basketball, Paul told SI.com on Monday that he is withdrawing from consideration for this summer's Olympic team, likely ending his international career. 'I feel my body telling me that I could use the time,' he said. Few NBA players have expended more this season than Paul. Although his traditional stats do not vary much from his career norms-19.9 points and 9.8 assists in 33.2 minutes-he has piggybacked the Clippers in Blake Griffin's absence. Since Griffin was initially injured on Christmas night, Paul has accounted for nearly half of L.A.'s assists, keeping the team fourth in the Western Conference. Last week, ESPN Stats & Information suggested that he has been 'the most important offensive player in the NBA' over the past three months, given the wild disparity in the Clippers' production when he is on and off the court. Paul, the best point guard of his generation, has a hard time recalling a summer when he was not either injured, recovering from injury, or playing for Team USA. The Olympics are synonymous with other touchstones in his life. His wife, Jada, became pregnant with their son, Chris Jr., right after the '08 Olympics and gave birth to their daughter, Camryn, right after the '12 Games. 'Just a few days ago, Little Chris asked me, 'Daddy, will you play in the Olympics again?'' Paul said. 'Part of me wanted to say yes, because he's never been part of it. But I told him, 'I want to spend more time with you.'' Paul, a fixture at his son's Little League complex and basketball gym even during the NBA season, opted to stay home. Drafted two years after LeBron James (203-SF-84), Carmelo Anthony (203-SF-84, college: Syracuse) and Dwyane Wade (193-G-82, college: Marquette), Paul and the others helped bring back USA Basketball, one card game at a time. 'I think we once played cards 35 nights in a row,' Paul joked. Whether or not James, Anthony and Wade continue their international careers-or follow Paul's lead-a new generation is on the way. 'Of course, you'll have Steph (Curry) and those guys,' Paul said. 'Someone else I think would be great is Kyle Lowry (183-PG-86, college: Villanova). I love watching him play. You need that grit.' Oddly, Lowry is not on the list of 30 finalists, but Curry, Westbrook, Mike Conley (185-PG-87, college: Ohio St.), John Wall (193-PG-90, college: Kentucky), Kyrie Irving (190-G-92, college: Duke) and Damian Lillard (190-PG-90, college: Weber St.) are. The NBA has no shortage of premier point guards ready to take the torch. As Paul spoke Monday, he was on his way to Staples Center, for a game against the Celtics. He thought about the Olympic rings he earned in '08 and '12, which his wife recently unearthed while cleaning out his closet, and he sounded wistful. 'Tonight, we'll play the Celtics, and the fans in Boston will cheer hard against us,' Paul said. 'The fans in L.A. will cheer hard against them. The thing I'll always remember about Team USA is that everyone cheers for you.' Courtesy of: si.com
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