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

 

LeBron James on Kyrie Irving: “Nothing but respect”

Getty
Leave a comment

Kyrie Irving is now a member of the Boston Celtics. Tuesday’s trade sent Isaiah Thomas to Ohio to join forces with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Irving gets to head east to Boston.

On paper, many believe Cleveland appears to have received the better side of the deal. I’m not absolutely certain that’s the case, as the Celtics were able to get a point guard on an extra few years while simultaneously giving themselves some flexibility in the years to come.

The Cavaliers should be in good shape, especially if Thomas’ hip is A-OK. They beefed up their wing depth with Jae Crowder, and added a 2018 first round pick from the Brooklyn Nets that will help them either draft in LeBron’s absence next summer or trade for another star this year.

Meanwhile, LeBron himself took to Twitter — as did many other NBA players — to respond to the trade.

In a tweet sent out on Tuesday night, Lebron said he had nothing but respect for Irving.

Via Twitter:

Well there you have it. We still don’t know whether James is going to stay in Cleveland past this summer, but we have to assume they are again favorites to make the Finals this year.

We will have to wait until the season starts until we find out whether Irving can make an impact on that arc with his new team in Boston.

Andrew Wiggins fires agent shortly after negotiating $148 million max deal

AP
2 Comments

Is Andrew Wiggins still going to sign a $148 million max contract extension? Probably!

The big question now will be whether in his previous agent, Bill Duffy, will receive a commission for negotiating that contract.

According to a report from ESPN, Wiggins filed paperwork with the NBA to separate his association with Duffy and representing firm BDA Sports.

The move comes as a shock to many in the NBA sphere, as it certainly is an oddity to release one’s agent directly after negotiating such a large new contract offer.

Meanwhile, it appears that Duffy has already contacted the players association to discuss his rights in a potential tampering case.

How juicy.

Via ESPN:

Duffy, the chairman of BDA Sports and one of the league’s most prominent player agents, told ESPN on Tuesday that he had recently been made aware of rival agencies and potential start-up enterprises who were recruiting Wiggins with inducements that included no commission fees on contracts.

“We are disappointed that Andrew made this decision, especially after a three-year partnership where we worked closely with Andrew and his entire family,” Duffy told ESPN. “Unfortunately, tampering is a common problem in our industry, and that’s part of the reason why I’ve already been in contact with the NBPA to discuss my rights in this matter. Obviously, whenever Andrew signs the max extension that we negotiated with Minnesota, we will work with the NBPA to make sure that our interests are protected.”

Wiggins and the team still have yet to formally agree to the extension, so it’s not really clear what will happen for any of the parties involved.

But if the recent Paul George tampering case and the Kyrie Irving/Isaiah Thomas trade isn’t enough to make you think the NBA offseason is completely wild, this one ought to do.

How NBA players reacted to the Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas trade

Twitter
2 Comments

The NBA is easily the best professional sports league in the United States. Was that ever up for debate?

After this offseason, it certainly is not. That also appears to be the opinion of several NBA players after Tuesday’s trade between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers saw Kyrie Irving head east and Isaiah Thomas pair up with LeBron James.

It is crazy to think that the two best teams in the Eastern Conference decided to swap star point guards with each other, and that is just the latest in a series of wild events here in the summer of 2017.

We’ve had players sign big new contracts with new teams, tampering charges being filed, and players dunking on local streetballers from speedboats.

What more could you ask for?

Here’s how the NBA responded to the news of the trade between the Celtics and the Cavaliers on social media.

NBA trade market proves stranger than fiction yet again as Thomas, Irving swap teams

AP
3 Comments

The two best teams in the Eastern Conference have swapped point guards. With Isaiah Thomas now member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving the starting point guard for the Boston Celtics, the fight for supremacy in the East now much more interesting and more complicated, not only for next season but in the years to come.

Here’s how the trade looks on paper: The Cavaliers received Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and Brooklyn’s 2018 first round draft pick. The Celtics received Irving.

At first glance, it appears that the Cavaliers came out on top. Yes, there is a question about whether Thomas’ hip will have healed in time next season, but the ability to grab not only Crowder but future first round pick compensation is huge.

If Thomas returns to his Top 5 MVP voting form, you have a deadly combination with the roster already in place for the Cavaliers. Set aside LeBron James for a minute — the ability of the team to mix Thomas with J.R. Smith, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson puts them in a prime position to continue do what they have done for years: dominate.

Meanwhile, adding Crowder to the wing not only gives the Cavaliers a bump in experience when it comes to their depth, but perhaps flexibility this season as well. Rumors have swirled around the team making a move and readjusting their front court, specifically around Love, and Crowder could be the key to that in the future.

From a long-term perspective, that depth gives Cleveland both wing experience and star power to cushion the blow if Lebron does decide to leave in the summer of 2018. The first round pick comes in heavy here, as it would help the Cavaliers rebuild if James is no longer in Ohio.

Did the Celtics give up too much? Perhaps. But not all has tipped in the scales for Cleveland.

Boston was already going to be less reliant on Thomas next season when it came to the offense. Signing Utah Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward was always going to make sure of that. Irving represents a superstar talent that many in the NBA regard as Thomas’ equal, if not his superior. There is no doubt a bit of heightism attached to that, but we will leave that as it is. Neither are particularly reliable on defense, so I have a hard time taking size into account.

There has been some rumors of trepidation on the part of the Celtics organization to pay Thomas’ next big contract due next summer. That seems like it could have played a role here, especially as Irving is signed through 2019, with a player option in the year after that.

Reports have been that Cleveland was previously insistent on getting rookie Jayson Tatum in this deal as well, which the Celtics smartly managed to avoid. With both Avery Bradley and Crowder no longer in Boston, Tatum will now be the backup plan along side Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown.

That is perhaps the biggest sticking point here. Yes, Bradley was also due a big contract next year, so shipping him off to Detroit did make some sense, even if the return was underwhelming. However, that trade was made at a time in which it was clear that Boston was going to keep Crowder. The Celtics didn’t get back a defender in this trade, so they will be relying on their young players to try to bolster that wing defense in his absence. That will proved to be tricky.

Still, this means the Celtics are both younger than they were a year ago while still having some of their star players signed to long-term deals. That could give them the edge over the Cavaliers in the coming seasons, even if LeBron decides to stay in Cleveland. At some point, Danny Ainge needed to bet on his developing players, and he’s all in now.

In a short lens it appears the Cavaliers have been able to move from place of no leverage with Irving’s public trade request to a position of strength. Grabbing wing depth and in All-NBA caliber player is great news, especially if you are taking him from one of your main conference rivals.

But Boston will certainly be a good team for years to come, especially now as they don’t have to consider the ramifications of giving Thomas a big new contract. Adding Hayward to the mix was crucial, but the development of their young players — Smart, Brown, and Tatum — will be a key storyline next season, especially when we reach the playoffs.

The Celtics aren’t complete losers here. They did gain a great player in Irving, and they do have some flexibility. Both Horford and Irving can opt out of their contracts at the end of 2019. If the core is not working as planned, the Celtics will be free to go in a different direction with something like $51.6 million coming off their cap. They still have the Lakers pick for 2018, so giving up the Nets pick to Cleveland doesn’t damage the team in context quite as much.

Above all else, it seems odd that a trade of this magnitude happened between the two best teams in East. This NBA offseason has been a weird one, and if this exact trade was proposed on your Twitter timeline you might have scoffed it off as unrealistic. Yet here we are, with Irving as a Boston Celtic and Thomas potentially set to get a big payday either from the Cavaliers or from another team in a year’s time.