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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Musselman To Again Coach Venezuela National Team

Eric Musselman has completed a verbal contract to return to coach the Venezuela National Team this summer.

Musselman is currently head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League.

With Musselman on the sidelines last summer the Venezuela National Team finished fifth in the FIBA Americas Pre Olympic Tournament held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, and advanced to the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, to be played in Caracas, Venezuela, this coming July 2-8

Via RealGM Staff Report

2012 Nike Hoop Summit To Be In Portland

The Nike Hoop Summit, which has been held at the Rose Garden in Portland since 2008, has been scheduled for April 7, 2012.

"We are looking forward to another fantastic game, and we are proud to offer tickets at a very affordable price," said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO. "The Nike Hoop Summit has proved itself as a must-see event, and we look forward to the Portland community once again supporting this game."

The Nike Hoop Summit, the country's premier annual basketball game for high-school age boys, features America's top high school seniors playing against a World Select Team comprised of top international players 19-years-old or younger.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Nowitzki Regrets Playing In European Championships

Dirk Nowitzki said that in hindisight, playing for the German national team last summer was a bad idea and that he should have taken time away from basketball.

"Playing in the Euros, looking back now was obviously not the right decision, but it was a decision I made for my country," Nowitzki said. "But it definitely didn't help me get ready for the season. So I started working out basically late November, then I had a good three weeks or a month for five, six games a week, so it wasn't cutting it. I consider this week here, for me, as another week of training camp where I can use it and get better. Got a little fire back; a lot of guys say I'm done. I obviously read the stuff. Hopefully, I'll be back soon."

Nowitzki acknowledged Wednesday night that the knee, the same one he sprained last season and forced him to miss nine games, has caused him problems with movement, although he said it felt better now than it did three weeks ago.

"You saw it. I couldn't go by anybody off the dribble and that's part of my game," Nowitzki said. "Right now is just basically a pop-up shooter every time I caught it, and if I didn't have it [a shot] I had to swing it because I just couldn't make a move, couldn't go by anybody and just didn't feel comfortable."

Via Jeff Caplan/ESPNDallas.com

Irving Would Need Waiver To Play For Australian Olympic Team

Kyrie Irving played for the U.S. in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 championship and would need a waiver from FIBA, the international governing body of basketball, to be eligible for the Australian Olympic basketball team.

FIBA officials said Irving could be authorized to represent Australia, despite his previous participation with the USA national team, under two conditions: A) he is "going back" to his country of origin; B) this change is in the interest of the development of basketball in the country of the national team he wishes to represent (i.e. Australia).

As of Friday, FIBA officials could not provide names of any players who had been granted such waivers.

Via Mary Schmitt Boyer/Plain Dealer

Kidd Eager To Coach US Olympic Team

Jason Kidd would like to stay involved with the national program.

"I talked with Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] about maybe getting into the coaching end of it,'' Kidd said. "I want to stay connected with them in some form.''

No specifics have been discussed, but it's possible Kidd could get involved with the selection committee on who makes up the national teams at the junior and/or Olympic levels.

Via Dallas Morning News

LeBron Backs Popovich As Next Olympic Coach

LeBron James said Tuesday that Gregg Popovich, who has coached San Antonio to four NBA titles, would be a great choice for U.S. Olympic coach in 2016 if Mike Krzyzewski doesn't return.

"Absolutely," James said when asked about that possibility. "He knows the game. He knows the players. And he's coached enough stars at San Antonio. I think he'd be great (as Olympic coach). If Coach K decides he doesn't want to do it any more, I think Coach Popovich would be a great candidate. His resume speaks for itself."

Popovich was noncommittal when asked Tuesday.

"I don't even think about stuff like that," Popovich said. "I just worry about tonight."

Via Chris Tomasson/FOXSportsFlorida.com

Love Confident He'll Make Final USA Roster

Kevin Love expects to win a spot on the final Team USA roster.

"Tremendous honor," Love said. "Any time you get a chance to represent your country -- wearing USA across your chest, red white and blue, get out there and sing the national anthem, compete for a gold medal, all of that -- it's a big deal to me and allows me to be a little bit patriotic.

"I have a high level of confidence I will be able to make the team."

Via Minneapolis Star Tribune

Stoudemire 'Would Love To Play' For Team USA

Amar’e Stoudemire is not on the 20-man preliminary roster for the 2012 Olympics.

Stoudemire said there are no insurance issues holing him back, as reportedly there were with his contract in 2010 before the FIBA World Championship.

"It's definitely not my choice, but I would love to play," he said. "My loyalty is with USA basketball, as it always has been. If they want me to play, I'm totally open to playing and representing the USA. I'm totally ready to go."

Via ESPNNewYork.com

Team USA Releases Official List Of Finalists

Team USA released their 20 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.

Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets). Griffin was also officially added to the USA Basketball National Team roster.

The 2012 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, and serving as USA assistant coaches are Syracuse University’s Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, New York Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni, and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

“The USA Basketball Men’s National Team program has come a long way as the elite list of players who are now part of our program shows. The selected finalists are a very, very talented group; the depth of the talent is extraordinary. This selection decision was as difficult of a challenge as I’ve faced since I took on the USA National Team program in 2005,” said Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005.

“I feel like we have an outstanding blend of talents from the 2008 Olympic and 2010 World Championship teams that won gold. Reducing to the official roster limit of 12 players will be an even tougher decision, but we’ll evaluate how guys play during the 2011-12 NBA season and as we’ve done with our teams in the past, we’ll attempt to select the very best team we can.”

Via Press Release

Irving May Play For Australia At London Olympics

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was born in Australia while his father, Drederick, played professional basketball there, and as a result has dual citizenship. He has publicly flirted with the idea of playing for Australia in the 2012 London Olympics and reiterated Friday he hasn’t made up his mind.

“Still haven’t decided,” Irving said. “Really it will come down to whether or not I want to give up my whole summer.”

It also comes down to his future intentions with Team USA, which is led by his old college coach, Mike Krzyzewski. If Irving plays with Australia this summer, he would likely be ineligible to ever play with the Americans.

Via Jason Lloyd/Akron Beacon Journal

Oberto Set To Join Argentinian Team To Prepare For 2012 Olympics

Fabricio Oberto has decided to join Atenas de Cordoba to prepare for the London Olympics.

Rudy Gay Confirms Olympic Invite

Rudy Gay confirmed he will be considered for the US Olympic team.

Bynum Not Bothered By Team USA Snub

Andrew Bynum is not expected to be named to Team USA's preliminary roster.

Colangelo: Team USA 'Loaded' At Guard, Small Forward Positions

Jerry Colangelo pointed to Team USAís abundance of star guards and forwards when discussing the talent level of a potential 19-man roster.

Jabari Parker Named 2011 USA Basketball Athlete Of The Year

Jabari Parker averaged 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 21.4 minutes per game in the

Report: Team USA Preliminary Roster Set

USA Basketball is set to name 19 players who make up the preliminary roster for the 2012 Olympics.

Aldridge Hopes For Olympic Invite

LaMarcus Aldridge would like to be considered for the 2012 Olympic team.

Iguodala Among Olympic Team Finalists

Andre Iguodala said he was tabbed by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo this week.

USA Basketball To Announce Roster Pool For 2012 Olympics

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said the announcement will be made by Jan. 18.

LeBron: 2012 Olympians Deserve Comparison To Dream Team

LeBron James believes the 2012 Olympic team will compare favorably to the Dream Team.
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