LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus  Camby

USA Basketball wants to know if Aldridge is in or out


LaMarcus Aldridge is on the list of players that USA Basketball is considering for the Olympics this summer — a big man with an outside shot is a valuable asset in the international game.

Aldridge is also going to have surgery on his hip May 10. The short end of his recovery time from this injury has him ready to go around the start of the USA Basketball training camp (July 6 in Las Vegas).

USA Basketball wants to know what is going on, reports Chris Haynes at

Aldridge has said that he intends to try and make it back in time to compete for a roster spot on Team USA for the 2012 Olympics in London saying, “I could easily be back in time, but I’m not going to push my rehab.”

The problem is that the director of USA Basketball says he has yet to be notified from Aldridge’s camp informing him on if he’s officially out or not.

“In our minds, he’s (Aldridge) on our unavailable list,” Jerry Colangelo told “We haven’t heard from anybody telling us he’s going to try and play. I got to hear from somebody. An agent, a doctor, somebody. As of now, we’re going in thinking he’s unavailable.”

Team USA likely will have Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love and Chris Bosh as the regular front line guys, and against a number of teams can slide LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony to the four spot (just not Spain and the Gasols). Aldridge would provide depth and help along the front line.

But should he push his rehab for this? Will he be all the way back? He may not be able to give USA Basketball a good answer until a lot closer to the start of camp, he needs to see how rehab is going.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.