USA Basketball Men's National Team Blue And White Game

USA Basketball announces training and exhibition schedule in advance of 2014 FIBA World Cup

1 Comment

USA Basketball announced its training schedule in advance of the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and it will include exhibition games versus Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Slovenia, along with training camps in Las Vegas, Chicago, and New York.

From the official release:

“Our training sessions and our exhibition games are vital in our preparations for defending our gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman and national team managing director. “We have again scheduled a challenging lineup of exhibition opponents for our USA Men’s National Team. We’re excited to give USA fans and basketball fans in general the opportunity to see their USA National Team play in Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and Gran Canaria.”

“The 2014 USA National Team tour will offer our players and coaches the opportunity to get familiar with each other and to gain critical international game experience against a variety of differing styles,” said USA and Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Playing games at the Thomas & Mack Center, the United Center, Madison Square Garden and in Gran Canaria will be memorable for fans and valuable preparation for our team prior to competing in the FIBA World Cup.”

“The 2014 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Cup, featuring a total of 24 national teams, is slated to be held Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. The 2014 USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Team will play its preliminary round games in Bilbao, Spain, after being drawn into Group C along with teams from the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Turkey and Ukraine.”

The USA team will consist of players selected from the group that was named to the squad back in January:

LaMarcus Aldridge; Carmelo Anthony; Bradley Beal; Tyson Chandler; DeMarcus Cousins; Stephen Curry; Anthony Davis; Andre Drummond; Kevin Durant; Kenneth Faried; Paul George; Blake Griffin; James Harden; Gordon Hayward; Dwight Howard; Andre Iguodala; Kyrie Irving; LeBron James; Kyle Korver; David Lee; Kawhi Leonard; Damian Lillard; Kevin Love; Chris Paul; Derrick Rose; Klay Thompson; Russell Westbrook; and Deron Williams.

The complete USA Basketball training and exhibition schedule is reprinted below.                                                                                                                       

July 28-August 1                   Las Vegas Training / Exhibition Game – Las Vegas, Nevada

July 28-31 (12-3 p.m.)             USA Team Training                                University of Nevada-Las Vegas

August 1                                   USA Basketball Showcase                       Thomas & Mack Center, UNLV,

Blue-White Exhibition Game                  Las Vegas, Nevada

 

 

August 14-16                         USA Training / Exhibition Game – Chicago, Illinois

August 14-15                           USA Team Training                                Chicago, Illinois

August 16                                 USA vs. Brazil                                         United Center, Chicago, Illinois

 

 

August 18-22                         USA Training / Exhibition Games – New York, New York

August 18-19, 21                     USA Team Training                                New York, New York

August 20                                 USA vs. Dominican Republic                  Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

August 22                                 USA vs. Puerto Rico                                Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

 

 

August 24-26                         USA Training / Exhibition Game – Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), Spain

August 24-25                           USA Team Training                                Gran Canaria, Spain

August 26                                 USA vs. Slovenia                                     Gran Canaria Arena, Gran Canaria, Spain

 

 

August 30-September 14      FIBA Basketball World Cup – Spain

Aug. 30                                    USA vs. Finland                                      Bilbao, Spain

Aug. 31                                    USA vs. Turkey                                      Bilbao, Spain

Sept. 2                                     USA vs. New Zealand                              Bilbao, Spain

Sept. 3                                     USA vs. Dominican Republic                   Bilbao, Spain

Sept. 4                                     USA vs. Ukraine                                     Bilbao, Spain

Sept. 6                                     Round of 16                                            Barcelona, Spain

Sept. 9                                     Quarterfinals                                           Barcelona, Spain

Sept. 11                                   Semifinals                                               Barcelona, Spain

Sept. 13                                   Bronze Medal Game                                Madrid, Spain

Sept. 14                                   Gold Medal Game                                    Madrid, Spain

 

Evan Fournier “hated” being left off the French national team

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Evan Fournier #10 of the Orlando Magic sets up the offense during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Amway Center on November 11, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
1 Comment

One of the most surprising developments of the summer came when Evan Fournier, coming off an excellent year with the Magic, was left off the French national team that went to Rio to compete in the Olympics. Fournier himself doesn’t have a good answer for why he wasn’t included, according to an interview with the French magazine L’Equipe (translation via EuroHoops.net).

“I hated not being in the Olympic Games,” he said. “I had suspected that I won’t make the cut a week before I was informed about it. I was reading interviews where only Rudy (Gobert) was mentioned among the players who didn’t play in the OQT but would go to Rio. In the end, I received a voicemail by Vincent Collet that briefly explained the reasons I was left out.”

Fournier said he didn’t have much communication with the national team, except for when head coach Vincent Collet asked him for tickets to a Magic game.

“The only time I’ve heard from the Federation this year was during a visit from Patrick Beesley (French NT technical director) in Orlando where he told me the dates of the qualifying tournament and Olympics. He didn’t tell me ‘If you do not come in Manila, then you do not come in Rio’. The second time was from an sms by Vincent Collet. It was our only contact outside competitions in the last three years. He was asking me for tickets to a game for his friends. I never closed the door to the French national team but these events sent me a clear message. That i’m not in the project. It’s that simple and it hurts.”

It’s a little bizarre that Fournier, at 23 years old and one of the better basketball players from France, isn’t on the team and a clear reason hasn’t been given. But it sounds like that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Jamal Crawford rocks Seattle pro-am defender with fake behind-the-back dribble (video)

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27:  Jamal Crawford #11 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts to a foul called on his team in a 108-98 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Seattle pro-am always produces great highlights.

Here’s another.

Jamal Crawford pretends to go behind his back with his dribble, leaving his defender off balance and whining about a carry. In a pro-am. However you can try to preserve your dignity, I guess.

51 Q: Tom Thibodeau can coach, is he ready to run a franchise?

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 12: Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls yells to his players in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Five in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena on May 12, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Bulls 106-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

The Minnesota Timberwolves were probably not going to get Tom Thibodeau without the promise of organizational control. After his contentious relationship with the Bulls’ front office led to his exit after five seasons in Chicago, he took a year-long sabbatical from coaching and observed how other organizations run their operations from both a coaching and a front-office standpoint. He was in high demand as a coaching free agent and could essentially name his price, and if he wanted personnel control too, he could have it. That’s what ended up happening in Minnesota, and Thibodeau will be the latest test case in whether the two-in-one model works. Thibodeau’s coaching ability is indisputable. How he’ll fare as an executive is a different question entirely.

The Timberwolves had a solid offseason after a rumored draft-night trade for Jimmy Butler fell apart. Given Thibodeau’s history of stubbornness and intractability, it was a valid fear that he’d take the same approach to roster-building as his former mentor Doc Rivers has in Los Angeles, simply bringing back all of his old mainstays from the Bulls days. With Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Pau Gasol and Kirk Hinrich on the market, the opportunity was there to get the band back together, spending too much money in the process and hindering the development of maybe the most promising young core in the NBA in the name of more wins in the short term.

But Thibodeau didn’t do that. Instead, he and GM Scott Layden plugged some holes with value deals. Getting Cold Aldrich for three years at $22 million gives them a more than serviceable backup center, and they landed Brandon Rush on a one-year deal for $3.5 million to provide some outside shooting. They didn’t do anything to sacrifice long-term flexibility and didn’t sign anyone that will get in the way of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins or Zach LaVine getting plenty of playing time.

The idea of a coach making personnel decisions is a dicey one for several reasons, not least of which being that it’s harder to have the emotional detachment to trade a player if you see them every day in practice. But the Chicago team Thibodeau inherited in 2010 was a readymade contender that needed a coaching upgrade. This Minnesota team isn’t there yet, and even his ability to get more wins than expected out of any roster he’s given won’t make them truly competitive in the upper echelon of the Western Conference playoff picture, at least not yet. So far, his moves reflect an understanding of that reality.

The first big roster decision Thibodeau will have to make during the season will be the point guard situation. Thibodeau loves Kris Dunn, whom he drafted at No. 5 overall in June, and Dunn provides shooting that Ricky Rubio does not. If Dunn takes the starting spot in training camp, Thibodeau will have to look long and hard at moving Rubio. Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad could also wind up on the block, depending on how the rotation shakes out, and how Thibodeau fares at getting a return on his trades will be worth monitoring.

With that said, it’s pretty hard to screw up a core that includes Wiggins and Towns, and Thibodeau seems to know what he has in those two. As long as he can put complementary pieces around them and keep their development up to pace on the court, this experiment should prove to be a success.

Julius Randle lacerates hand, to be re-evaluated in two weeks

Julius Randle
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
2 Comments

Julius Randle suffered a season-ending injury in his first NBA game.

His third pro season includes an even earlier setback.

Lakers release:

Lakers forward Julius Randle suffered a laceration to his right hand (webbing between middle and ring fingers) yesterday while practicing. He received seven stitches and will be re-evaluated in approximately 14 days.

Thankfully, this doesn’t sound as major and happened well before training camp. Even if he needs twice as long to heal after his announced reevaluation, he’ll be ready for the preseason.

The key is getting Randle fully recovered. His ball-handling ability for a power forward is a key facet to his game, and a cut in his hand could impede it.