Dan Feldman

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski gives Kobe Bryant #10 a high five late in the fourth quarter against Argentina in the Men's Basketball semifinal match on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the North Greenwich Arenaon August 10, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Mike Krzyzewski: USA Basketball double-checked with Kobe Bryant before naming Olympic team

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Kobe Bryant withdrew from Olympic consideration just a couple days before USA Basketball named finalists for the Rio roster. He then followed through on his plan to retire, leaving the Lakers with a memorable final game.

Even after all that, Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said Kobe still received some Olympics consideration.

Arash Markazi of ESPN:

I dunno. It always seemed Kobe withdrawing from consideration was a coordinated announcement because he got tipped off that he wouldn’t be selected. If so, this is just another way to boost Kobe’s image.

But Team USA had a surprisingly high number of players pull out — to the point Kobe might have made more sense than expected when he withdrew. He still wouldn’t have been one of America’s 12 best players, but the gap between his ability and the player he would’ve supplanted would’ve been smaller.

DeMarcus Cousins: Comment about not understanding Kings’ draft night was twisted into negative

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins walks up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday, March 5, 2016, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 104-94. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
AP Photo/Darren Abate
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Another DeMarcus Cousins controversy, another instance of Cousins saying we all misunderstood his words.

The latest: Cousins said of the Kings’ draft-night moves, “I don’t really understand what’s going on. I just control what I can control; I let them do their jobs.”

Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports:

Despite expressing his support for the team’s additions of more defensive-minded veterans in Arron Afflalo, Matt Barnes, Garrett Temple and Anthony Tolliver, and also describing first-round pick Skal Labissiere as “very impressive,” Cousins was disappointed with the backlash to his overall comments about doing “my job.”

“I’m trying to figure out what I said wrong. Of course, they’ve twisted it into something negative, in some type of way,” Cousins told The Vertical. “I’m clueless. It’s to the point now, where I don’t want to say anything about any situation. Then I’ll be the bad guy about that as well. Anything I do. Anything I do, it’s … it’s whatever, man.”

Most players have learned to avoid this situation by just offering praise by default. Cousins, for whatever reason, has not.* Add a history of criticizing his own team, and he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

I can’t say what was in Cousins’ mind when he said,”I don’t really understand what’s going on.” I interpreted it to mean he — like many of us — didn’t understand Sacramento’s draft-night plan because it seemed non-sensical on the face. If he meant he didn’t understand because it’s not his role to understand, OK, I guess. Kings executives should probably explain their strategy to their franchise player, but that’s their problem.

*If it’s because he’s bluntly honest, great. I’m all for that. If it’s because he’s a poor communicator, that’s also fine. He’s a basketball player, not a public-speaking specialist. But he should also realize that’ll lead to complications like the one here.

Florida delegate brags about LeBron James’ Heat championships at Republican convention roll call in Cleveland (video)

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen speaking on a screen from New York City, on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Sick burn, bro.

(hat tip: SB Nation)

Report: Suns to play Spurs and Mavericks in Mexico City

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 21:  Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs drives the ball past Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 21, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Spurs defeated the Suns 117-89.  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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The NBA has scheduled one game in Mexico City each of the last three seasons.

The league will increase its presence south of the border this year.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

It seems the NBA is targeting Mexican fans with teams in closer proximity. Previous scheduled Mexico City games:

  • 2015-16: Celtics-Kings
  • 2014-15: Rockets-Timberwolves
  • 2013-14: Spurs-Timberwolves (moved due to fire)

There’s nothing wrong with the Celtics, Kings and Timberwolves playing in Mexico City — especially considering Sacramento’s and Minnesota’s attendance — but featuring Phoenix, Dallas and San Antonio is definitely a higher-upside approach.

Quote of the Day: Myles Turner slides ‘headfirst’ into DMs

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Pacers rookie Myles Turner came on strong late last season.

Let’s hope he builds on that success and gains a bigger profile, because he seems pretty funny.

Turner on sliding into DMs, via SLAM:

If you’re really thirsty and you really need to quench your thirst, you’ve got to do it. But at the same time, you’ve just got to be careful what you say. Because, even if you’re saying hi, it makes you look like hecka thirsty.

I wouldn’t even lie about that. I slide in headfirst.

hat tip: Ben Gibson of 8 Points, 9 Seconds