Basketball Wiretap

Kevin Durant Describes 2016 Team USA Experience As 'Therapy'

Aug 22, 2016 11:11 AM

Kevin Durant ended an emotional summer in which he left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors by winning a gold medal in the Olympics.

USA Basketball provided Durant a sanctuary, playing basketball while bonding with new and old friends.

“It was therapy for me after making a big change in my life,” Durant said. “It made my life easier … I knew [a backlash] was coming. It was definitely different for me, but to come here in an environment where people accepted me and didn’t care about anything except being my buddy, that’s what I needed.”

Durant isn't sure if he'll return for Tokyo in 2020.

“I can’t say right now,” Durant told The Vertical. “I’ll be 31, going on 32 …”

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, National, National Olympics

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Jerry Colangelo: Other Countries Need To Become More Competitive

Aug 22, 2016 10:49 AM

Jerry Colangelo was asked if the close games were a product of other teams catching up or the Americans simply not playing to their potential.

“A combination of all of it. But what I’m just saying is you look around, you look at the programs that may be big-time programs going forward," said Colangelo. "People are talking about Canada, people are talking about Australia, they’re talking about Argentina losing their (older) players. Some of the programs are going up, some are going down, but the healthiest thing for the game of basketball is to have competition around the world that makes it even more intriguing. But we’re just going to continue to do everything that we do to stay on top.”

The United States has won gold in the Olympics in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

"We’ve been helping in basketball around the world for 50 years," Colangelo said. "We’ve taught the world the game. We’ve taught their coaches, players — look at the number of (international) players in the NBA, look at the number of international players in college today, in the states. So we’re all for that. I want to see the level raised."

 

Colangelo began rehabilitating the USA Basketball program in 2005.

“I’m all for raising the bar for global basketball,” he began. “The more interest in basketball on all levels, I’m for. I’m a lifer in the game. I love the game. Basketball is the No. 2 sport in the world, (but) we just need to see these other countries get their acts together and become more competitive.

“I’d love to see that. Everyone would love to see that. I’m not going to be making excuses for anyone about our (dominance). Someone said to me (after the game), one of the officials said to me, ‘You know next time you play, you ought to play with four.’ And I said, ‘No, maybe the other teams better get their act together and compete.’ ”

Sam Amick/USA Today

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics

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Dunc'd On: Olympics Review + Best/Worst Contracts 2014-16

Aug 22, 2016 4:35 AM

Full wrap-up of the Olympics, including the medal round games, how Team USA turned it around, our MVPs and All-Tournament teams, and a review of how the NBA prospects in the tournament looked.  Then, (1:02:00) part 2 of the best and worst contracts since the lockout, looking at the 2014 - 2016 offseasons.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) and Danny Leroux of RealGM and the Sporting News (@DannyLeroux). 

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.

 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics, Dunc'd On

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USA Wins 2016 Olympics, Beats Serbia 96-66

Aug 21, 2016 4:29 PM

The United States have won the gold medal in the 2016 Olympics, beating Serbia 96-66. Kevin Durant scored 30 points to lead the United States against Serbia.

The United States have won gold in three straight Olympics since winning bronze in 2004, which led to a massive overhaul of the program under Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski.

After some close games in the group stage, the United States comfortably beat Argentina, narrowly got past Spain in the semifinals before putting the championship game out of reach early in the third quarter. Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated points out that while the 2016 team went 8-0, their point differential was +182 compared to +257 in 2012 and +223 in 2008. 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics

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Spain Beats Australia 89-88 To Win Bronze Medal

Aug 21, 2016 3:18 PM

Spain defeated Australia 89-88 to win the Bronze medal.

With Australia winning by one point, a controversial foul was called on Patty Mills on a drive by Sergio Rodriguez in the closing seconds of the game. Rodriguez made both free throws to give Spain the lead.

Pau Gasol led Spain with 31 points and 11 rebounds on just 15 shooting possessions. Nikola Mirotic had 14 points and seven rebounds.

Mills led Australia with 30 points.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: National, National Olympics

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Dunc'd On: Olympic Quarterfinals + Best/Worst Contracts 2011-13

Aug 18, 2016 2:39 AM

We review the Olympic quarterfinals, in order AUS/LTU, SRB/CRO, USA/ARG, ESP/FRA, look ahead to USA/ESP, and then (33:00) part 1 of the best and worst contracts since the lockout, looking at the 2011 - 2013 offseasons.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) and Danny Leroux of RealGM and the Sporting News (@DannyLeroux). 

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.

 

 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics, Dunc'd On

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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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Raduljica, Bogut, De Colo Lead Olympics In PER

Aug 16, 2016 10:29 AM

After the first five games of the 2016 Olympics with the group stage complete, Miroslav Raduljica leads all players in PER with 35.8. Andrew Bogut ranks second with a PER of 29.6 followed by Nando De Colo at 27.2, Mantas Kalnietis at 27.1, Pau Gasol at 27.0 and Matt Dellavedova at 27.0 amongst players who average at least 10 minutes per game.

2016 Olympics PER Leaders

1. Miroslav Raduljica: 35.8
2. Andrew Bogut: 29.6
3. Nando De Colo: 27.2
4. Mantas Kalnietis: 27.1
5. Pau Gasol: 27.0
6. Matt Dellavedova: 26.5
7. Paul George: 25.8
8. Thomas Huertel: 25.7
9. Tony Parker: 24.3
10. Kevin Durant: 23.5
11. Jimmy Butler: 23.3
12. Chris Goulding: 23.2
13. DeMarcus Cousins: 23.1
14. Marko Simonovic: 21.9
15. Patty Mills: 21.7

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: National, National Olympics

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Dunc'd On: Time to Panic for Team USA, Revisiting '72 Olympics Controversy

Aug 14, 2016 6:01 PM

Team USA has now struggled three straight games.  What are their issues, and how can they be fixed?  We also discuss the outlook for the medal rounds, the great Argentina/Brazil game. Then, we review the ending of the famous 1972 Olympic Final between the US and USSR and evaluate the US claim that they were robbed.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) and Danny Leroux of RealGM and the Sporting News (@DannyLeroux). 

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, International, National, National Olympics, Dunc'd On

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Paul George: USA Can't Keep Playing Like This
The United States defeated Serbia by a final score of just 94-91 one game after also being seriously challenged by Australia.

Sam Amick/USA Today

FIBA Again Trying To Add 3-On-3 Basketball To Olympics
Patrick Baumann said the International Olympic Committee will decide in June if 3-on-3 will be played at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Jeff Zillgitt/USA Today