Team USA has already lost some guys who would have played key roles at the London Olympics — Dwight Howard in the middle and Derrick Rose at the point.
Now another key contributor could drop out, reports David Aldridge at NBA.com (via Hoopshype).
Dwyane Wade sounded slightly less than 100 percent certain he’ll be in London no matter what, even after accepting the invite to what would be his third Olympics after being prodded by his 2008 Beijing teammates (“Kobe was like, ‘if my old self is playing, you can,'” Wade said — and I’m sure Kobe said ‘self’ there, aren’t you?) into putting the band back together one last time.
“I told them, I said, listen, I’m just going to see how I feel,” Wade said last week. “This is about being healthy — I think, for all of us, going into the summer healthy — and taking it from there.”
That actually seemed to catch USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo off guard.
“You could, today, probably come up with 10 or 11 that look pretty solid unless something happens,” he said by telephone. “Wade’s one of those guys, but if he feels like he doesn’t have anything left or doesn’t think he can go, then we’ll make a decision as to who replaces him. We do have a lot of flexibility because we have guys who can play so many positions.”
With our without Wade, the USA will be gold medal favorites, with a team likely to include LeBron James, Kobe, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and on and on. Spain (with the Gasol brothers plus Serge Ibaka on the front like and veterans everywhere else) is the biggest threat to the USA.
In the end, and with some urging from Converse/Nike, I bet Wade goes. If he doesn’t it almost assures recently-added James Harden would make the team as the other two guard (with Kobe). Harden brings playmaking and a game that fits well in international ball, but he still is not Dwyane Wade.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).