Tag: Team USA


Report: Mike D’Antoni will not return as Team USA assistant coach


We mentioned this in our story telling you Mike Krzyzewski will be back as head coach of Team USA for the 2016 Olympics — there might be some changes to his staff.

One bit of news is in — Mike D’Antoni is out as an assistant coach, reports Marc Berman at the New York Post.

According to the source, D’Antoni, who now coaches the Lakers, turned down the job as he didn’t want to make another four-year commitment because of his family….

“He wants to stay married,” the source said.

D’Antoni has enough on his hands as coach of the Lakers.

D’Antoni was a coach with Team USA since 2006, and was with Krzyzewski through the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 ones in London — both gold medals for Team USA.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim (and his zone defense) will be back. No word yet on whether or not Nate McMillan will stay on the staff, nor who will replace him.

Krzyzewski will be announced as the coach at a press conference scheduled by Team USA on the Duke campus Thursday.

Now, enjoy the comments on this post where Lakers fans take it in a completely different direction.

Jerry Colangelo will continue as head of USA Basketball

File photo of U.S. basketball Chairman Colangelo and the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team posing in Las Vegas

Facing an uncertain future as to how teams will be constructed beyond 2016, and after a 62-1 run for the men’s team under his watch, Jerry Colangelo is coming back once again to run Team USA basketball. From USA Today:

“I’ve decided I’m going to continue,” Colangelo told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m committed to our organization during this transition period. I want to make sure, as good as things are, that once the baton is handed over to someone it’s in even better shape. That’s the plan for these next four years.”

via Jerry Colangelo wants to return as USA Basketball chairman – USATODAY.com.

Colangelo has done about as good a job as can be imagined, not only bringing back the wins that Americans expect on the international basketball stage, but bringing back a level of character. Team USA has been tough on its selections for who gets in, and how they affect the chemistry. There were even reports that Colangelo and company bodied up LeBron in 2008 to tell him to knock off the nonsense.

Colangelo has managed to not only get high quality guys, but consistent commitments from the best players. Under his watch, the brand will remain powerful enough to get the big boys back.

The biggest challenge for Colangelo will obviously be the selection of a new coach. Coach K has already made it clear he’s done. So the program will have to find someone to not only fill in, but be the kind of pillar to help manage the transition if Colangelo were to step away after Rio.

Side note: I wasn’t aware Colangelo was also the chairman of the Hall of Fame. The guy is pretty much the Godfather of Pro Basketball. Well, you know, he and Worldwide Wes.

Quote of the Day: The ’72 U.S. Olympic team is not changing their minds about the silver


“I was always taught not to take anything that didn’t belong to me,” Ratleff said Friday. “If I see a golf ball on the course and it’s not mine, I don’t pick it up. We know we did not win a silver medal. Those aren’t ours.”

via 40 years later, Team USA still defiant over controversial Olympic loss « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog.

That’s Ed Ratleff speaking on the subject of accepting a silver medal 40 years after the U.S. Olympic team declined to accept them after a controversial (*cough* dirty *cough*) ending which saw a random FIBA official (and founder) walk onto the floor and get involved in the ending. It’s a stellar piece from NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner and it should remain in the lore of American basketball.

It speaks to an American attitude, an American approach, and the power that that unfortunate ending still holds over the players today.

(Interesting side note: Guess what else Ratleff was around to witness first hand?)


Video: Team USA Blooper reel, starring millionaire superstars acting the fool

File photo of U.S. basketball Chairman Colangelo and the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team posing in Las Vegas

I’m comforted by the fact that despite their earning of millions of dollars, playing in the most competitive form of the sport on the planet, and constantly being concerned with their brand, their business, and their empire… these guys are really, really goofy.

Here’s a blooper reel from Team USA released, which has a handful of legitimately hilarious moments.

My favorite part, without question, is Andre Iguodala calmly and with zero emotion or change in inflection saying “Oh-for-four… oh-for-five…0h-for-seven…” to Anthony Davis shooting jumpers. It is spectacularly funny, especially if that was in practice before Davis hit a three in an exhibition game. That would only make it better.

LeBron James is still very much the class clown he’s been known to be, complete with the dancing, but I think the best moment of him is him grabbing the microphone and pretending to eat it. The “graararrarr” noise is just pretty hilarious.

I’m also a big fan of the reserved humor of Russell Westbrook. Overall, I give the film two thumbs up and look forward to the sequel.

FIBA head says no to under-23 Olympics basketball

(From L) US centre Anthony Davis, US gua

David Stern and the NBA owners are going to have a much tougher hill to climb to sell the idea of an under-23 Olympics tournament than they thought. They can’t just lock everyone out until they get their way this time.

The players hate the idea and spoke out unanimously against it. Fans hate it — and showed they liked the current format by tuning in with the biggest ratings for the gold medal game in more than a decade.

And FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann shot down the under-23 idea in no uncertain terms in an interview on FIBA’s web site, something first noticed by Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com.

Baumann’s first reason is that if you think the USA has an unfair advantage sending its NBA players, that’s nothing compared to the under-23 gap.

From a global perspective, the progress of the talent in all other countries doesn’t go at the same speed or the same pace as the USA. They don’t all have a school system like the USA. So the ability for the rest of the world to produce a lot of talent is not the same as the USA. As a result of that, lowering the age to U23 at the Olympics could actually widen the divide between the USA and the rest of the world.

There is also a more general issue of what the Olympic Games represent. The NBA, the IOC and FIBA, we have all earned a lot – not just in financial terms – from professional athletes being at the Olympics since 1992. This is the case with regards to the way basketball has grown, from where we were then to where we are now.

So it would be premature to make changes in the quality of basketball at the Olympics, especially before having maximised the potential of the World Cup. So it’s too early to make any changes in the Olympic programme.

FIBA’s main man does talk about boosting the profile of the existing World Cup of Basketball and of petitioning to add 3-on-3 basketball for the next Olympics games. But he’s not touching the tournament age limit.

You can bet Stern and the owners are still going to try and push it, still try to pump up the World Cup by partnering with FIBA, by trying to offer the one thing they have the most of — money.

NBA owners see all the money the Olympics generate and they want a piece of it for using “their” players. They would never phrase it that way, but that is the reality of their actions on this. They see the money and they want a cut, and they think partnering with FIBA can get them that. (Well, not Mark Cuban, he wants the NBA to strike out on its own with an international tournament.)

They all miss on how the Olympics is a much bigger stage to promote their product than one they could create themselves in a World Cup — there were 40 current and former NBA players in the Olympic tournament and they were the cream of the crop, including 21 in the gold medal game. The World Cup of Basketball will never be the platform and draw the Olympics are based both on tradition and on the fact that the Olympics are more than just hoops.

And that really is the best part of the Olympic experience for basketball — it is part of something bigger than itself. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and Kevin Durant are hanging out with cyclists and rowers at the opening ceremonies, they are showing up to watch beach volleyball, they are representing our nation the right way.

Sometimes it’s about more than money. Or, at least it should be.