LeBron James will not be part of Team USA this summer when it heads off to Spain to try and earn a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics (winner of the World Championships automatically qualifies). After three straight trips to the Finals for the Heat, plus the London Olympics in that mix, LeBron is taking a summer off.
One way or another, team USA will be in Rio — but LeBron isn’t sure yet if he will be with them.
He is in the pool of players considered for the games, which was released by USA Basketball Thursday. But LeBron told Fox Sports Florida he’s not sure is he will play in Brazil in 2016.
“I don’t know where I stand for 2016,” James said before Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. “Obviously, if I’m healthy in 2016 that summer, if I can get to leading our country by playing, then that would be great to be a part of that.
“But I can’t commit to it right now.”
LeBron has been to the last three Olympics for the USA, picking up a Bronze in Athens and golds in Beijing and London.
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If he gets a third gold he would have more than any other USA Basketball player in history — Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and others have two, but not three. For a guy at the point in his career where he is trying to define his legacy, that could be a real motivation.
But it’s too early for him to commit right now.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.