Olympics Day 6 - Basketball

Dwight Howard wants to go to Rio, play in 2016 Olympics


Back surgery last year had Dwight Howard watching the USA Olympic Men’s Basketball Team win gold in London the same way you did — from your couch.

Howard would have been on the team — he won gold in Beijing in 2008 — but following Howard’s back surgery Tyson Chandler comfortably stepped into the role as center, plus the USA went small at times (which you can do with guys like LeBron James and Chris Bosh on the roster).

In less than four years the Olympics come to Rio and Howard told Mark Medina of the Daily News he wants to be in Brazil (via SLAM).

“No doubt,” he said…

“I was (upset) mad I couldn’t play in the playoffs and mad I couldn’t play in the Olympics,” Howard said. “I wasn’t too happy with the fact I had to have surgery and miss a lot of basketball.”

The main issue for USA Basketball now is to name a replacement coach for Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke coach who is stepping down from his national team role with a 62-1 record. Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers are considered the two frontrunners for the gig.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni was an assistant for Krzyzewski, but he blew off any questions about participating in the future, saying it was not on his radar. His involvement ultimately would be decided by whoever sits in the big chair.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.