Tag: London 2012

Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, Olympics

Could ‘Melo’s role with D’Antoni cost him a spot on Team USA?


Mike Krzyzewski and the coaches of Team USA have some very tough decisions ahead of them as they trim the list of 20 candidates down to 12 who get to suit up in London this summer for the Olympics.

Look at the power forward spot. You only really need three and the guys on that finals list include Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Carmelo Anthony. (Yes in the NBA ‘Melo is a three, but in international ball where you need a stretch four he plays mostly in that spot.)

One of the guys getting input on those cuts — Mike D’Antoni. The deposed Knicks coach. Anthony didn’t go to Knicks management and say “fire this guy” but his clashes and effort made it clear one of them had to go. And the elite players always beat the coach in the power struggle. Always. Then Anthony has admitted he is trying harder for D’Antoni’s replacement Mike Woodson.

But with Team USA D’Antoni has more power and putting together a team that fits well matters. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com spoke with an international basketball source about this very issue.

Among the greatest honors and marketing opportunities NBA stars have is to play with Team USA in the Olympics, and a person with ties to international basketball told CBSSports.com that Anthony’s role in D’Antoni’s demise — however unintended — did not sit well with USA Basketball authorities. D’Antoni, of course, is an assistant coach with Team USA. Anthony is by no means a coach killer, but his hold on a prominent role with the team in the London Olympics could be jeopardized by how his body of work with the Knicks is viewed by Team USA officials….

“I don’t even think Carmelo is thinking about this, but I think it’s going to hurt him,” the international basketball source said. “I don’t think he’s playing as well as the other power forwards are right now. He’s not a bad guy, but he needs to start playing better because the USA team is looking at that, and Mike is an assistant. It should not be given to him.”

I think in the end Anthony is there in London, and not just because Nike wants it. Although that helps. But ‘Melo’s game fits very well in international ball — he may have been Team USA’s third best player in Beijing four years ago. He can play inside and out and — with team USA — has been great about molding his game into the team concept.

If Team USA really is about winning, they need to bring Anthony. (Of that group listed above I’d leave Griffin home because his jumper is not nearly as steady as the other three.) But if they don’t the drop-off is not that steep.

Tuesday And-1 links: Kyrie Irving will not play for Australia

Cavaliers Irving reacts to making a three point basket in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge game during the NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando
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Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

Kyrie Irving is not going to be on Team USA in London in 2012, but he had a standing offer from Australia (he was born in a land down under while his father played professionally there so he is a dual citizen). After talking it over with Mike Krzyzewski, Irving has decided not to play for Australia in 2012 in hopes of playing for Team USA in 2016.

The Bulls are likely going to be without C.J. Watson for a few games due to his ankle injury. Great, just what Tom Thibodeau needs, an excuse to play Derrick Rose more minutes.

Tyson Chandler’s wrist is probably going to bother him for about six more weeks, but he is just going to play through it.

There are a lot of efforts to get Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando, but none funnier than this.

In case you missed it, both Nene and Danilo Gallinari were back on the court for the Nuggets last night.

Zach Randolph participated in a full scrimmage Monday, he is close to coming back.

Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles has put his home up for sale. He has another year on his contract and there have been no rumblings about his job being in jeopardy, so read into this what you want.

Legendary NBA photographer Andy Bernstein talks about his career, his favorite subjects and more. This is a great read.

Barack Obama said that Michael Jordan is the greatest NBA player ever. What did you expect the Chicago guy to say?

The Bobcats Reggie Williams had his knee drained and likely will not play Tuesday.

Al Horford is starting his rehab but is a month away from being re-evaluated.

Fifty photos of NBA players just being dads.

The fact Clipper Darrell and the Clippers are no longer tied to one another is just stupid. Bad for Darrell, and bad for the Clippers (both PR and opportunities missed). Watch this video, clearly this is hurting him.

LeBron James’ mom reached a plea deal in regards to her summer altercation with a valet.

Spurs guard TJ Ford is going to do a rehab stint in the D-League.

Kobe Bryant, Ricky Rubio already started Olympics trash talk

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Minneapolis

The Lakers were in Minnesota Sunday night as part of their Grammys road trip (the event that kicks them and the Clippers out of Staples Center for a couple of weeks) and that means Spanish friends and teammates Ricky Rubio and Pau Gasol were hanging out talking in the hall after the game.

Then Kobe Bryant walked past, congratulated Rubio, as Marca.com caught on tape. Then they started talking (as transcribed by Hoopshype).

Kobe to Rubio and Gasol: “You talking about London?”
Gasol: “Oh yeah.”
Rubio: “You’re gonna be there?”
Kobe: “Yeah.”
Rubio: “You know you’re getting the silver medal. You know that.”
Kobe: “[expletive]. I’m taking bets! [laughs] If I win I get the keys of Barcelona.”
Rubio: “I bet what you want.”
Kobe: “I take it!”

Bring it on.

Kobe and Team USA beat Spain in the gold medal game four years ago in Beijing (118-107), with Kobe taking over late. These two teams are favored to meet again (anything else might be a disappointment) but Spain will have what should be a better team with a more mature Rubio and Marc Gasol, plus they have added Serge Ibaka.

And Spain has a little swagger after winning EuroBasket last summer. This is going to be fun.

Amar’e Stoudemire disappointed to be left off Team USA

New York Knicks' Stoudemire celebrates a basket against the Charlotte Bobcats during their NBA basketball game in New York

Back in the summer of 2010, Amar’e Stoudemire was going to be part of the Team USA squad that went on to Turkey and the FIBA World Championships and won gold (qualifying the team for the 2012 Olympics).

But then he signed an uninsured $100 million deal with the Knicks — nobody would insure Stoudemire’s knees so New York took a flier on him. Not like they had a lot of choices. But to reduce the risk they asked him to pull out of his national team obligations, and he obliged.

Now that has come home to roost — Stoudemire was not among the 20 players named as finalists to be members of Team USA this summer for the London Olympics. Here were his comments, via the Bergin Record.

“It’s definitely not my choice,” Stoudemire said. “I would love to play. If USA wants me to play I’m totally down with playing. If they need me, I’m there.” In 2010, the Knicks told Stoudemire, who has had multiple knee surgeries, to withdraw from the World Championships because they couldn’t insure his contract.

Teammates Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler are on the list. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is an assistant on the team.

You can certainly make a case for Stoudemire to be included on the team, but the fact is the squad is already so stacked at forward they will be cutting very good players. Guys like Andre Iguodala and LaMarcus Aldridge may well not make the roster. In a case like that, it’s hard to argue Stoudemire demands a spot on the roster.

However you build it, U.S. Olympic team will be very good

Krzyzewski & Kobe Bryant

We don’t know exactly what the U.S. Olympic team will look like in London. We know the pool of players — the 20 finalists — the roster will come from. And we know a couple other things:

Mike Krzyzewski and staff have some hard choices ahead of them.

This team will be very, very good.

The pool of finalists is loaded with guys who could help the United States win gold in London. Every last one of them. There is a reason the USA will be the prohibitive pre-games favorite to win it all. Here is what Coach K told reporters on Monday, via Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.

“This will be the most talented of the three teams that I’ve had the opportunity to coach,” Krzyzewski said in a conference call with reporters on Monday. “They’re all older. They’re better. A number of them are at the prime times of their careers. I like the balance … we eventually could have with youth, guys in their prime.”

It will be hard to get it down to 12. Here is my guess right now (obviously injuries and play the rest of the season will alter what all of us, including Coach K, are thinking):

Guards: Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant (Cut: Erick Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Chauncey Billups). I would love to have Gordon’s shooting but I can’t put him over Kobe or Wade at the two. Same at the point where Westbrook is good but not better than the other three.

Forwards: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love. (Cut Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge.) Carmelo’s game has always been a great fit with the international style of play, LeBron and Durant are the two best scorers on the planet. I keep Bosh and Love over guys like Griffin and Aldridge because they have more range and consistency on their outside shot, and bigs who can step out like that matter a lot in international ball.

Centers: Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler. As I and others have said, I want Chandler mostly go have some real size inside if and when the USA meets Spain for the gold medal, as most expect. Spain has size (Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka) that the USA has to match. If you want to just go with Howard you can bring back a forward like Griffin or Aldridge, or add a guard to the roster.

Either way they have the talent to win the gold. This team should rival any the USA has put together in terms of pure talent.