Report: Anthony Davis severely sprains ankle, out of Olympics

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And Team USA loses another potential big man for the roster.

Recent No. 1 pick Anthony Davis severely sprained his ankle in a workout for the Hornets, which leaves him very unlikely to be ready when USA Basketball opens training camp Friday (July 6) in Las Vegas and he is now out for the games, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated added USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo heard about the injury yesterday but didn’t know the severity of it at the time.

Apparently, pretty severe. And certainly the Hornets do not want to take any risks with their new face of the franchise. He should be fully recovered before the start of training camp, but whether he plays at Summer League may also be up in the air.

Team USA is really thin along the front line for the Olympics. Already Dwight Howard was out due to his back injury, LaMarcus Aldridge pulled out early due to injury, then last week Chris Bosh removed himself as he tries to recover from his abdominal injury suffered during the playoffs.

That leaves Tyson Chandler as the starting and only true center on the team. Expect to see Kevin Love get a lot of time at the five. It also means the special workout coach Mike Krzyzewski is having before the start of camp with Lamar Odom and Blake Griffin matters even more. No word on if a new big like DeMarcus Cousins or Roy Hibbert will be added to consideration for the team.

For most of the Olympic tournament going small with Love at the five and LeBron James at the four will be fine for Team USA. That whole “LeBron as power forward” thing overwhelmed NBA teams, no international teams will have an answer. But when Team USA runs into the world’s second best team, Spain (likely facing off for the gold medal) it will matter. Spain stars Marc and Pau Gasol and brings Serge Ibaka off the bench. They have real size with skill.

Team USA will also be without Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Chauncey Billups do to injury.

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In a separate note, young 76ers guard Jrue Holiday has been added to the USA Select team. That is the team invited to Team USA training camp as practice partners for the London-bound team. It is also where Team USA officials get a close look at guys they may want to play for Team USA in future tournaments.

Watch Hassan Whiteside beat the Pistons at the buzzer with tip-in (VIDEO)

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The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.

That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.

Via Twitter:

Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again:

Kobe Bryant says LeBron James has earned the right to take a rest (VIDEO)

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Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.

Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.

Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”

Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.

Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.

“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.

The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.

Phil Jackson’s reaction to Kristaps Porzingis getting turned upside down feels about right

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New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.

That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.

Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.

Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.

Jimmy Butler won’t pick LeBron over Durant as toughest matchup in NBA, and for good reason

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Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.

He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.

Via Twitter:

The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.

Smart move, Jimmy.