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Michael Jordan On Tape Admitting He Told Rod Thorn He Wouldn't Play With Isiah Thomas

May 26, 2020 12:07 PM

Audio of Michael Jordan has been published by Jack McMullum saying he wouldn't play for the United States in the Olympics if Isiah Thomas was also on the team.

"Rod Thorn called me, and I said, 'Rod, I won't play if Isiah Thomas is on the team,'" Jordan said in a 2011 interview.

"[Thorn] assured me," Jordan said. "He said, 'You know what? Chuck doesn't want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team.'"

Jordan contended in an interview in "The Last Dance" that he didn't influence the selection or omission of Thomas.

"Before the '92 Olympics, Rod Thorn calls me and says, 'We would love for you to be on the Dream Team,' Jordan said in the documentary. "I say, 'Who's all playing?' He says, 'What does that mean?' I say, 'Who's all playing?' He says, 'Well, the guy you're talking about or you're thinking about, he's not going to be playing.'

"I respect Isiah Thomas' talent. To me, the best point guard of all time is Magic Johnson and right behind him is Isiah Thomas. No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game. Now, it was insinuated that I was asking about him, but I never threw his name in there."

Thorn backed up Jordan's account.


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

Jerry Colangelo, Gregg Popovich Remain Committed To Team USA Through 2021

Mar 24, 2020 4:48 PM

Jerry Colangelo and Gregg Popovich remain committed to Team USA into 2021 after the Tokyo Olympics were officially postponed.

"The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there; we're all-in and we're committed," Colangelo said. "It's important to deal with the unknowns and this virus. This too shall pass, and we'll be back for everyone's well-being."

The NBA's potentially altered schedule cause their season to overlap with the Olympics. 

"We will follow the leader. We have to wait to see how everything is laid out and we'll make the adjustment," Colangelo said. "Our players are NBA players first, let's face that."

Team USA could be comprised of players from NBA teams who have already been eliminated from championship contention. 

"Changing the window for the NBA is easier said than done. There's a lot of logistics and contracts to deal with," Colangelo said. "Same for the Olympics. You have to assume it will be around the same dates."

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

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

Team USA Continuing To Plan With Expectation Olympics Won't Be Canceled

Mar 17, 2020 9:13 PM

Steve Kerr said the Team USA staff are continuing to plan as though the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held.

Kerr said he has been in contact with Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich in recent days.

"Pop and I have spoken a couple of times over the last week or so," Kerr said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. "And everything's just up in the air. There's no sense of whether things are going to be delayed or anything. We're all kind of sitting here wondering what's going to happen, and so is the rest of the world. We're just going to plan as if this is going to happen, and we're going to try and put together a roster, and that's all we can do."

Nick Friedell/ESPN

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

LeBron James: My Participation In 2020 Olympics Based On Body, Family

Feb 11, 2020 8:56 AM

LeBron James has played in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics, but sat out the 2016 games. James is on the preliminary roster for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and will presumably be allowed to make his decision whenever he wants.

"My name is in the hat and it’s always predicated on: one; my body, how my body is feeling at the end of the season -- I hope to make a long playoff run," James said. "And then where my mind is and then where my family’s head is. So, it’s a lot of factors but my name is in the hat."

Anthony Davis played in the 2012 Olympics as an incoming NBA rookie, but also sat out the 2016 Olympics. Davis is not sure if he will play in 2020.

"I don’t know; I’m getting old," Davis said with a laugh. "I don’t know."

Davis believes his experience in 2012 was formative. 

"Being around those guys taught me a lot, showed me a lot, and I think I wouldn’t be the player I am today if it wasn’t for those guys," Davis said. "Kob' [Bryant], LeBron, 'Melo [Anthony], Tyson [Chandler], [Chris Paul], Russ [Westbrook], James [Harden], it was all my guys. I was their guy, their rookie. And it just helped me become a professional early in my career, showing me how to work, how to work hard, and I kind of carried that through my career."

Melissa Rohlin/Sports Illustrated

Tags: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, United States, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

USA Basketball Announces 44 Finalists For 2020 Olympic Roster

Feb 10, 2020 11:15 AM

USA Basketball has announced their 44-man preliminary roster for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The official 12-member 2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster will be announced later this year.

Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat); LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers); Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics); Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat); Mike Conley (Utah Jazz); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers); DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs); Andre Drummond (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets); Paul George (L.A. Clippers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Montrezl Harrell (L.A. Clippers); Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets); Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers); Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics); Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers); Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans); Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets); LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers); Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers); Kawhi Leonard (L.A. Clippers); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); JaVale McGree (Los Angeles Lakers); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers); Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder); Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets); Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).

RealGM Staff Report

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

Bam Adebayo Says Team USA Snub Produced 'Bigger Chip On Shoulder'

Dec 17, 2019 8:40 PM

The decision to omit Bam Adebayo from the United States World Cup roster was surprising at the time and has grown in controversy as he's had an All-Star caliber 19-20 season.

USA Basketball officials suggested that this version of Adebayo wasn't on display during camp.

Adebayo admitted that losing out on a roster spot to Brook Lopez and Miles Plumlee left him with a “bigger chip on my shoulder.”

“Obviously no man wants to get cut, so I take it personally,” Adebayo told Marc Stein Of The New York Times. “But it’s behind me now.”

Yet Adebayo insisted that “it’s not the reason why I’ve been doing what I’m doing.”

Marc Stein/New York Times

Tags: Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, United States, NBA, National, National Teams

USA Keeps No. 1 FIBA Ranking Despite 7th Place Finish

Sep 19, 2019 11:00 AM

The United States have kept their No. 1 ranking in the FIBA men's rankings despite a seventh place finish in this year's World Cup.

The top spot has been held by the United States for nine straight years since winning the 2010 world championship.

The FIBA rankings take results from the most recent eight years into account.

Spain remained at No. 2, while Australia jumped eight spots to No. 3. Argentina and France rounded out the top-5.


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

Stephen Curry Intends To Play In 2020 Olympics

Sep 18, 2019 10:57 AM

Stephen Curry plans on playing in the 2020 Olympics for the United States. Curry has never played in the Olympics previously.

"That is the plan, for sure," Curry said in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "You know, obviously knock on wood, you don't want any injuries or things like that to interfere."

Curry twice played for the United States in the World Cup.

"Definitely wanna go," Curry said. "I've never been on the Olympic team. I've been on two World Cup championship gold-medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it."

Rachel Nichols/ESPN

Tags: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, United States, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

Stephen Curry, Draymond Green Expected To Play In Olympics

Sep 17, 2019 2:52 PM

Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are expected to make themselves available for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

Curry has never played in an Olympics for the United States.

Green played in the 2016 Olympics.

James Harden, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Kevin Love and Andre Drummond were initially committed to play in the World Cup but all bowed out.

Donovan Mitchell is considered one of the few favorites from the 2019 team expected to earn a spot on the 2020 roster.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Tags: Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, United States, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

Jerry Colangelo: USA Has To Get Act Together For Olympics

Sep 12, 2019 3:55 PM

The United States had more than 50 players who were part of the World Cup plan. They only cut two after the first week of training camp with the other three dozen dropping out on their own.

"We're going to let the dust settle, let things depress a little bit," Jerry Colangelo said. "Obviously I'm always thinking ahead, which means what's going to take place, and it's going to happen fast and soon because we just have to get our act together for the Olympics."

The United States will go back to the drawing board ahead of the Olympics in Tokyo next summer.

"Going forward for USA Basketball, we're going to need the cooperation of teams, agents and then there has to be communication with players one-on-one to solidify those commitments," Colangelo said. "I am going to be anxious to see how many players reach out early to indicate that they wish and want and desire to play.

"But I'll make this statement: It's as much about maybe who we don't want as much as who we want."

Associated Press

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

Jayson Tatum Out At Least Two Games With Sprained Left Ankle

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

De'Aaron Fox Withdraws From Team USA
Derrick White will now likely make the final roster with De'Aaron Fox leaving Team USA.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

P.J. Tucker Withdraws From World Cup With Ankle Injury
P.J. Tucker was the oldest player in camp at the age of 34.