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Cousins, Durant, George Led USA In Olympics PER

Aug 22, 2016 11:36 AM

DeMarcus Cousins led Team USA in PER with a mark of 26.4, slightly ahead of Kevin Durant's 25.5.

Team USA PER in 2016 Olympics
1. DeMarcus Cousins: 26.4
2. Kevin Durant: 25.5
3. Paul George: 24.8
4. DeAndre Jordan: 20.6
5. Kyrie Irving: 19.2
6. DeMar DeRozan: 18.2
7. Jimmy Butler: 17.3
8. Kyle Lowry: 17.0
9. Carmelo Anthony: 16.5
10. Klay Thompson: 11.3
*Harrison Barnes: 21.0 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)
*Draymond Green: 6.7

Team USA PER in 2012 Olympics
1. Carmelo Anthony: 41.6
2. Kevin Love: 40.0
3. Kevin Durant: 39.4
4. LeBron James: 35.9
5. Kobe Bryant: 27.4
6. Russell Westbrook: 26.4
7. Andre Iguodala: 25.9
8. Tyson Chandler: 25.5
9. Deron Williams: 24.3
10. James Harden: 23.9
11. Chris Paul: 23.0
*Anthony Davis: 28.1 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)

Team USA PER in 2008 Olympics
1. Dwyane Wade: 37.5
2. LeBron James: 28.9
3. Dwight Howard: 28.4
4. Chris Bosh: 28.4
5. Chris Paul: 22.3
6. Carmelo Anthony: 20.4
7. Kobe Bryant: 19.1
8. Tayshaun Prince: 17.1
9. Deron Williams: 13.8
10. Jason Kidd: 9.3
11. Michael Redd: 5.6
* Carlos Boozer: 15.6 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)

When Team USA sent a perceived B team to the World Cup in 2014, they still had four players with PERs above 30.0.

Team USA PER in 2014 FIBA World Cup
1. DeMarcus Cousins: 36.7
2. Anthony Davis: 31.6
3. Kenneth Faried: 31.0
4. James Harden: 30.2
5. Andre Drummond: 24.6
6. Kyrie Irving: 23.8
7. Klay Thompson: 22.1
8. Stephen Curry: 21.4
9. Rudy Gay: 18.7
10. DeMar DeRozan: 16.4
11. Derrick Rose: 7.3
* Mason Plumlee: 15.5 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: United States, NBA, National, National Teams

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Kevin Durant: I'm At My Best When I Don't Care If We Win Or Lose

Aug 19, 2016 12:56 PM

Kevin Durant feels like he's at his best as a player when he is more concerned with the process rather than the outcome.

“I was telling myself before I left my room that I’m at my best when I don’t care if we win or lose,” Durant said after his best game of these Olympics with 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists against Argentina. “It might be different for other players, but for me I’m more free and more aggressive in games and it’s more fun for me if I don’t care about the outcome.”

Durant typically writes, “Have Fun” and “Smile” on his sneakers but forgot to scribble that reminder before facing Argentina.

“It’s always embedded in me, always knowing that’s why I play the game. I had fun playing as a kid, so why change it?” Durant said. “I always try to tell myself, just smile out there and have fun. My smile is contagious and my energy and enthusiasm is contagious and I try to spread that to my teammates.”

Durant is pursuing his second gold medal.

“I know if I go out there and be who I am, the outcome will dictate itself,” Durant said. “Because I know I put the work in. I love the game. I study the game. So if I go out there and let that stuff take over instead of me getting in my own way mentally, good results will come out of it. I’m not saying I don’t care about winning and losing. Obviously, I prepare the right way. I work hard and I love playing the game with my teammates, but I can’t overthink the game too much.”

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, United States, NBA, National Teams

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LeBron James Remains Open To Playing In 2020 Olympics

Aug 17, 2016 12:10 PM

LeBron James isn't ruling out the possibility of playing for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"Every time I watch 'em, I wish I was out there," James said. "I did not retire from Team USA. I just did not play this summer. So I left the door open."

James announced shortly after The Finals that he wouldn't participate in the 2016 Olympics.

"I could use the rest," he told Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

James will be 35 for the 2020 games.

Rachel Nichols/ESPN (via Bleacher Report)

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, United States, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

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George, Durant, Butler, Cousins Lead Team USA In PER

Aug 16, 2016 11:09 AM

Paul George leads Team USA in PER with a mark of 27.0 amongst players who have appeared in at least 10.0 minutes per game through the end of the group stage. Harrison Barnes has a PER of 29.5 but he's only played 9.7 minutes per game over two games.

Team USA PER in 2016 Olympics
1. Paul George: 25.8
2. Kevin Durant: 23.5
3. Jimmy Butler: 23.3
4. DeMarcus Cousins: 23.1
5. DeAndre Jordan: 20.9
6. Kyrie Irving: 20.8
7. Carmelo Anthony: 19.6
8. Kyle Lowry: 19.4
9. DeMar DeRozan: 16.2
10. Draymond Green: 11.0
11. Klay Thompson: 8.3

Unlike in this year's Olympics, every player on Team USA in 2012 had a PER of at least 23.0 with four players posting marks above 35.0.

Team USA PER in 2012 Olympics
1. Carmelo Anthony: 41.6
2. Kevin Love: 40.0
3. Kevin Durant: 39.4
4. LeBron James: 35.9
5. Kobe Bryant: 27.4
6. Russell Westbrook: 26.4
7. Andre Iguodala: 25.9
8. Tyson Chandler: 25.5
9. Deron Williams: 24.3
10. James Harden: 23.9
11. Chris Paul: 23.0
*Anthony Davis: 28.1 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)

Team USA PER in 2008 Olympics
1. Dwyane Wade: 37.5
2. LeBron James: 28.9
3. Dwight Howard: 28.4
4. Chris Bosh: 28.4
5. Chris Paul: 22.3
6. Carmelo Anthony: 20.4
7. Kobe Bryant: 19.1
8. Tayshaun Prince: 17.1
9. Deron Williams: 13.8
10. Jason Kidd: 9.3
11. Michael Redd: 5.6
* Carlos Boozer: 15.6 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)

When Team USA sent a perceived B team to the World Cup in 2014, they still had four players with PERs above 30.0.

Team USA PER in 2014 FIBA World Cup
1. DeMarcus Cousins: 36.7
2. Anthony Davis: 31.6
3. Kenneth Faried: 31.0
4. James Harden: 30.2
5. Andre Drummond: 24.6
6. Kyrie Irving: 23.8
7. Klay Thompson: 22.1
8. Stephen Curry: 21.4
9. Rudy Gay: 18.7
10. DeMar DeRozan: 16.4
11. Derrick Rose: 7.3
* Mason Plumlee: 15.5 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)

On an individual PER level, Team USA in 2016 most closely resembles the 2004 team that had to settle for Bronze.

Team USA PER in 2004 Olympics
1. Shawn Marion: 26.1
2. Tim Duncan: 26.0
3. Lamar Odom: 23.5
4. LeBron James: 19.9
5. Allen Iverson: 17.1
6. Stephon Marbury: 14.2
7. Dwyane Wade: 13.7
8. Richard Jefferson: 8.1
* Carlos Boozer: 23.7 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)
* Amar'e Stoudemire: 19.0 (fewer than 10 minutes per game)

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: United States, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

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Paul George: USA Can't Keep Playing Like This

Aug 13, 2016 12:02 PM

The United States defeated Serbia by a final score of just 94-91 one game after also being seriously challenged by Australia.

“I don't know if two years ago was easy,” Kyrie Irving recalled. “It’s just – we’ve just got to find our rhythm. And once we do that, we’ll be all right.”

The United States' defense has been challenged by both Australia and Serbia.

“As good as we are, we can’t continue to keep playing like this,” Paul George said. “We’re still scoring 100 points taking one-on-five shots, but we’re too good for that. The toughest part is that each and every one of us is confident with the ball in our hands that we can make those shots. It just comes down to a trust factor, not letting one guy have that feeling that he has to do it alone."

Sam Amick/USA Today

Tags: United States, National, National Olympics, National Teams

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Australia Planned On Resting Starters, Using Only Half Of Playbook Against USA

Aug 11, 2016 11:30 AM

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis was prepared to limit his starters' minutes in the second half while also using only half of his playbook during their group stage game against the United States.

With a possible rematch with a medal at stake, there would be a competitive advantage in not showing the United States too much.

But Australia kept the game within single-digits into the final quarter with the United States winning 98-88. Australia actually had a 54-49 lead over Team USA at halftime.

The United States have won 71 straight games, last losing against Greece in the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: United States, Australia, National, National Teams

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Kevin Durant Cites 'Shoe War' As Factor In Withdrawing From 2014 World Cup

Jul 21, 2016 11:48 AM

Kevin Durant's decision to pull out of the 2014 FIBA World Cup following the injury to Paul George received scrutiny. 

Durant said he was distracted even after arriving for training camp and he "felt weird" after returning to Los Angeles following George's injury.

“I was tired. I felt like I wasn’t 100 percent in. And I can’t be here if I wasn’t 100 percent in. Coach K understood that. He showed me some grace and allowed me to continue playing USA Basketball and I’m very grateful for it,” Durant said. “It was hard, because I love Coach K and Mr. Colangelo, and USA Basketball so much and I didn’t want to disappoint them or let them down, but I felt like I needed time away and have time to rest. There was a lot going on that summer as well. I had the shoe war going on [between Nike and Under Armour], so, mentally, I was like everywhere.”

Durant signed a new deal with Nike worth $285 million over 10 years a few weeks later.

Durant will play for the United States in the 2016 Olympics.

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, United States, NBA, National, National World Championships, National Teams

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Kyrie Irving Completes USA's Olympic Roster

Jun 25, 2016 7:00 PM

Kyrie Irving has accepted the final invitation for the United States' 12-man roster for the 2016 Olympics.

Irving weighed the decision all week after the Cleveland Cavaliers won Game 7 of The Finals.

Irving, the MVP of the 2014 Basketball World Cup, averaged 19.6 points and 4.7 assists for the Cavaliers this season.

Here is the roster Mike Krzyzewski will coach in Rio:

Kyrie Irving
Klay Thompson
Kyle Lowry
DeMar DeRozan
Jimmy Butler
Kevin Durant
Harrison Barnes
Draymond Green
Paul George
Carmelo Anthony
DeMarcus Cousins
DeAndre Jordan

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers, United States, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

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Harrison Barnes Accepts USA Invite For Olympics

Jun 25, 2016 10:40 AM

Harrison Barnes has accepted an invitation to play for the United States in the 2016 Olympics.

Barnes will be a restricted free agent at the start of the offseason.

The Golden State Warriors will also be represented by Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, though Barnes could be on another team's roster by the second week of July.

Barnes joins Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Green at forward.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors, United States, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

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LeBron James Withdraws From Olympics

Jun 23, 2016 5:10 PM

LeBron James has informed USA Basketball he will not play in the 2016 Olympics.

James had played in each of the previous three Olympics for the United States.

James cited the amount of court time he's logged with six straight trips to The Finals.

James' agent Rich Paul informed Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo Thursday of James' decision. James contacted Mike Krzyzewski Thursday.

"I could use the rest," James told cleveland.com.

James stayed relatively healthy this season and the thought of him even playing in the Olympics a year was almost unfathomable.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, United States, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

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Team USA Finalizes 10 Of 12 Roster Spots For Olympics
The United States has set 10 of their 12 roster spots for their Olympic team with the final two spots reserved for Kyrie Irving and LeBron James to make a final decision on whether they will participate.

Brian Mahoney/AP

DeMar DeRozan Commits To USA For Olympics
DeMar DeRozan played for the United States in the 2014 World Cup.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Kawhi Leonard Withdraws From Olympics
Kawhi Leonard is not expected to play for the United States in the 2016 Olympics.

Jeff Goodman/ESPN

DeAndre Jordan Earns Spot On USA's Olympic Team
DeAndre Jordan was a first-team All-NBA selection at center this past season.

Marc Stein, Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Jimmy Butler To Play For USA In Olympics
Jimmy Butler has no previous experience with the United States as he emerged during the 14-15 season.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Carmelo Anthony Accepts Invite To Play For USA In 2016 Olympics
Carmelo Anthony has previously won a gold medal in 2008 and in 2012.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Kyle Lowry To Play For USA In Olympics
With Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook not participating, a spot at point guard opened up for Kyle Lowry.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Paul George Accepts Invitation To Play In Olympics
Jerry Colangelo promised Paul George an Olympic roster spot after he suffered his injury in August of 2014.

Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

LeBron James Expected To Withdraw From Olympics
LeBron James has been a member of USA Basketball since 2004.

Chris Mannix/The Vertical

Durant, George, Klay, Cousins Considered Locks For Team USA
Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard will also likely claim spots by June 27th.

Marc Stein/ESPN

James Harden Withdraws From 2016 Olympics
James Harden played for the United States in both the 2012 Olympics and 2014 World Cup.

RealGM Staff Report

Russell Westbrook Won't Participate In 2016 Olympics
Russell Westbrook won a gold medal with the United States in the 2012 Olympics.

RealGM Staff Report

DeMarcus Cousins Selected For USA's Olympic Team
The United States also selected DeMarcus Cousins for their 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Marc J. Spears/The Vertical

Andrew Wiggins Won't Play For Canada In Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Andrew Wiggins is set to start his third NBA season with the Timberwolves.

Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune

Jerry Colangelo Wants Mike Krzyzewski To Replace Him As USA Managing Director
Jerry Colangelo wants to continue working with Mike Krzyzewski after the 2016 Olympics, which will be his final edition as head coach.

Andy Katz/ESPN

McCollum, Gordon, Ingram Headline 25-Man USA Select Team
Gregg Popovich will oversee the Select Team this summer.

RealGM Staff Report

Kevin Durant Still Planning On Playing In Olympics
Kevin Durant was a member of the United States' gold medal winning team in 2012.

Royce Young/ESPN

Draymond Green Won't Be Deterred By Zika Virus To Play In Olympics
Draymond Green will play for the United States in the 2016 Olympics if he's included on the final 12-man roster.

Marcus Thompson/San Jose Mercury News

Stephen Curry Pulls Out Of 2016 Olympics
Stephen Curry will let his right knee heal that was injured in the first round of the playoffs.

Marcus Thompson/San Jose Mercury News