USA Basketball reached out to Joakim Noah, but he wants to play for France

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Thumbnail image for Noah_no1.jpgWith the thin front line USA Basketball this summer — a lot of top names said no then Amar’e Stoudemire, Brook Lopez and David Lee couldn’t play — Jerry Colangelo was calling everyone and anyone. JaVale McGee got multiple chances to make the team. Lamar Odom was the starting center. They were looking around.

That included a call to Joakim Noah. But Noah said no, he wants to play for France, according to an interview in a French paper (translated by Hoopsnotes).

“Cameroon (where his great-father is born) and Sweden (land of his mother) also called me,” Joakim Noah said to the Journal du Dimanche. “I was pleased to be contacted by Team USA, which searched valid centers. It could have given me the possibility to play with great players. But I repeat it: I want to play with France, it’s my dream.”

“That would make my great-mother really happy and I want my family to be proud. This summer, I was in a difficult situation. But I’m coming next year and I will use my blue jersey.”

Next summer France will play in a qualifying tournament for the 2012 Olympics in London. In Turkey, France was without a number of NBA players — including Tony Parker — who will make that team much more formidable in future events.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.