Nov 03, 2014 12:59 PM EST
Kevin Durant withdrew from World Cup of Basketball after watching Paul George horrifically break his leg in a Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas.
At the time of the announcement, Durant claimed that George's injury had nothing to do with his decision to withdraw.
“It took everything out of me seeing that,” Durant later told friend Randy Williams and a Nike executive at his camp of George. “Everything I had to play for Team USA, that injury stripped it away from me.”
After Durant is shown reacting on court to what he called a “freak accident,” the scene shifts to conversation with Durant in which he says, “When you see something like that, so gruesome, in front of you, of course you’re going to think, ‘This could happen to me.’ ”
Oct 05, 2014 1:35 PM EDT
Carmelo Anthony is open to playing for Team USA in what would be his fourth and final Olympic games in 2016.
“If I do play, that’ll be my final one,” Anthony said. “That will be four Olympics for me. I want to play. I want to play. I haven’t talked to nobody about it yet. I heard (Kevin Durant) said he wanted to play. I know LeBron (James) said that’s too far ahead, which it is. A couple of years from now, you never know what’s going to happen. I would love the chance to get back out there.”
After earning a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Anthony helped the national team capture gold in Beijing and London.
Sep 29, 2014 3:36 PM EDT
Kevin Durant intends to rejoin USA Basketball for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Durant withdrew from the 2014 World Cup citing exhaustion.
Durant was previously with USA Basketball for the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.
Sep 15, 2014 2:17 PM EDT
The United States won the World Cup of Basketball while avoiding Spain in the championship game, and it was hardly a relevant moment in the mainstream sports' culture. USA Basketball also advanced their winning streak, with their most recent loss dating back to 2006.
The championship game was aired against Week 2 of the NFL season.
As one GM told Yahoo Sports, "[Outside of the U.S. team], there's more talent and more interest from basketball fans in the NBA summer league than this event."
After the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the World Cup of Basketball and Olympic Games are destined to become an under-22 developmental tournament.
"We need to get our vets out and move our younger players in," one NBA general manager told Yahoo Sports. "The support's there for the change, and it's getting stronger."
Mike Krzyzewski's run as head coach of USA Basketball has allowed him unique access to top level recruits such as Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor.
Sep 14, 2014 11:47 AM EDT
Mike Krzyzewski believes his experience as a college coach in which the NCAA tournament is a single-game elimination format is a strong attribute for his job as head coach of the United States.
"We know that we're watched closer than anybody," Krzyzewski said. "And I'm the most prepared [coach] to do that, because we've been closely scrutinized for at least 25 years in college basketball. Actually it helps that I'm coming from that environment.
"Another thing I think that helps when we're in these competitions is that one-and-done is what we live all the time, whether it's an ACC tournament or an NCAA tournament. I've been in 150 to 200 one-and-done games."
Sep 13, 2014 1:35 PM EDT
Rudy Gay took an elbow to the top of his mouth in the third quarter of Team USA's win over Lithuania on Thursday.
"I've got a fracture in my jaw, a broken tooth and am going to probably need a root canal," Gay said. "The top is where I got hit. It's painful. It's uncomfortable, and it still bleeds, so I've got to continuously gargle. It is what it is, man.
"I think (the elbow) had a little bit to do with (the situation afterward)," Gay said. "It was a dirty play, man. It was a dirty play."
Gay had to receive treatment into the night before traveling to Madrid for the gold medal game.
Sep 05, 2014 1:21 PM EDT
Derrick Rose is shooting 8-for-32 (25 percent) from the field in games for Team USA but the Chicago Bulls' guard is remaining upbeat about his health and game.
"I’m loving the way that I’m playing," Rose said. "Of course missing shots, that’s part of the game. But just conditioning-wise and how I’ve been playing defense and low turnovers the last couple games, I’m loving the way that I’m playing. I just have to continue playing defense, get in a better rhythm and knock this rust off along the way.
"I've exceeded my expectations. I’m not sore. My knees are good. I know a lot of people are concerned about that, but I think I’m playing well."
Rose recently played five games in a span of six days. He is averaging 5.4 points in 17.8 minutes.
"Missing layups, that's little rusty stuff that normally comes with not playing for two years," Rose said. "My thing is I know that why I’m missing is because of conditioning. I’m in good condition. But to be in condition to play defense like that fullcourt and still have legs under you for the shot, that’s my thing. But I’m not worried about it at all."
Both Tom Thibodeau and Mike Krzyzewski downplayed Rose's shooting woes.
"He hasn’t played in a long time (regarding shooting), so that was to be expected," Thibodeau said. "The more he plays, the more his timing will come around. Right now he’s missed some layups that are usually automatics. That will come I think as he finds the rhythm of the game."
Sep 01, 2014 1:43 PM EDT
Derrick Rose says he has no issues as a reserve player for the U.S. national team after appearing to be the favorite to start earlier in the summer.
"We have a deep team," Rose said. "And that’s what makes us so good.
"My role is coming off the bench right now. I'm fine with it. I know no second unit can win when I'm on the court or stick me when I'm on the court."
Rose is using the Team USA experience to improve his basketball shape.
"I’m just trying to put that behind me," Rose said of any trepidation he's feeling as he ramps up his comeback from the two devastating injuries that limited him to 10 games over the past two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.
"I know the questions are going to come and they're going to be there the whole year. So I can’t get tired of it. I’m feeling good right now. Just trying to get in better shape, get in better condition, so that when I do need to score the ball, then it’ll be there."
Aug 28, 2014 10:01 AM EDT
James Harden and Anthony Davis are the only holdovers from the 2012 Olympics team that will play for the United States in the World Cup.
“Right now, I think I would look to Harden as that leader,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said as his team continues to prepare for the tournament in which the winner earns an automatic berth in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “Harden is kind of a natural leader and he seems to be willing to accept that role. And you can just kind of feel it and sense. He’s the one.”
Harden's career trajectory changed dramatically after he was traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets.
“It’s so many things these last couple of years that’s been thrown at me, from me being traded, to people talking, just everything,” Harden said. “I try to focus on myself and how can I be a better basketball player. It’s still basketball at the end of the day. I try to do it to the best of my ability and continue to work hard.”
Harden declared himself the best player in the world recently.
“I think everybody feels that way. Every NBA player. Even growing up, growing up youngins have dreams that they want to be the best basketball players in the world,” Harden said. “As a basketball player, or any athlete, you got to have confidence, you’ve got to have confidence the whole time. You just go out there and do your job and have confidence that your abilities are good enough. Whatever is thrown at me, I just try to take it for what it is and just have fun.”
Aug 25, 2014 1:02 PM EDT
Kyrie Irving will start at point guard when Team USA players Slovenia in its final tuneup before the FIFA World Cup.
Mike Krzyzewski is considering using Irving and Derrick Rose as alternating starters at point guard.
"We'll see as thing goes on," Krzyzewski said after Monday's two-hour practice. "We might alternate 'em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes."
Krzyzewski could also use Irving and Rose on the floor together.
Aug 25, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
Kyrie Irving will start at point guard for Team USA in the final exhibition game against Slovenia on Tuesday night.
Damian Lillard, Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver and Gordon Hayward were left off the World Cup roster.
Derrick Rose has been sidelined from Team USA with ‘‘general body fatigue’’ since a victory over Brazil on Saturday night.
Aug 19, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
Team USA has as many as 10 players still battling for the final six roster spots.
Derrick Rose had seven points, four rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes in an exhibition game in Chicago.
Aug 15, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
USA Basketball has canceled its all-day trip to Senegal that was scheduled for Aug. 27.
DeMarcus Cousins is listed as day-to-day.
Nemanja Nedovic did not suffer a fractured foot and he hopes to play for Serbia in the World Cup of Basketball.
Rudy Gay will compete for one of the final 12 roster spots that goes to Spain for the World Cup.
Jerry Colangelo said that Kevin Durant didn't seem himself last week during USA Basketball's training camp in Las Vegas.
Aug 07, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
Kevin Durant is poised to withdraw from Team USA heading into the World Cup trip to Spain.
Blake Griffin weighed continuing with USA Basketball until the end of the World Cup on Sept. 14 or being rested for the upcoming Clippers' season.
Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and James Harden are the three holdovers from the 2012 Olympic team.
Team USA cut John Wall, Bradley Beal and Paul Millsap from its roster on Monday, according to sources.
Aug 04, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
Adam Silver said he doesn't expect a major change in the participation of NBA players in international competitions following the injury to Paul George.
Ognjen Kuzmic has a stress reaction in his left leg and will be sidelined for about four weeks.
While there was no additional damage besides the fractures, doctors believe Paul George likely will miss all of next season.
Paul George was taken to the hospital and the remainder of the game was canceled.
Manu Ginobili had a highly productive season as the Spurs attempt to extend his career.
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