National Wiretap

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.

ESPN

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

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FIBA Reschedules 2021 Olympic Qualifying Tournament For Next Summer

May 15, 2020 1:49 AM

FIBA pushed back the remaining four qualification tournaments for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics into next summer.

The four remaining tournaments will take place between June 29 through July 4, 2021. The Olympics are scheduled to start on July 23rd.

Canada, Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia are still set to host the tournaments.

Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia and the U.S. have all qualified for the Olympics. 

ESPN

Tags: National, National Olympics

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Rod Thorn Never Spoke With Michael Jordan About Excluding Isiah Thomas From Dream Team

Apr 29, 2020 3:21 PM

Isiah Thomas remains upset with his omission on the 1992 Olympics Dream Team. There had long been rumors that Michael Jordan did not want Thomas on the team, but Rod Thorn denied ever speaking to him about that.

"There was never anything in my conversation with [Jordan] that had to do with Isiah Thomas, period," Thorn said Wednesday during an interview with ESPN's Golic & Wingo. "He said, 'I'll do it.' ... Isiah's name never came up during that conversation. And he never backtracked and said he didn't want to do it from that time on, to those of us in the NBA office.

"Now, if that in fact happened, then it happened with somebody else; because when I talked to him, he ended up saying he would definitely do it."

Thomas said he has paid a "heavy price" for refusing to shake hands with the Bulls after the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.

"I thought I should've made that Dream Team," Thomas said Monday. "However, I wasn't a part of it -- that hurt me.

"Looking back, if I'm not a part of the Dream Team because a lapse in emotion in terms of not shaking someone's hand -- if that's the reason why I didn't make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn't selected."

ESPN

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics

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Tokyo Olympics 'Exceedingly Difficult' In 2021 Without COVID-19 Vaccine

Apr 28, 2020 9:04 PM

The head of a Japanese physicians’ group said that it would be "exceedingly difficult" for Japan to host the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021 unless a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

The plan of delaying the Games until July 23, 2021 would require an improved “global situation,” Dr. Yoshitake Yokokura, the president of the Japan Medical Association, told reporters on Tuesday. “My personal opinion is that if an effective vaccine has not been developed it will be difficult to hold the Olympic Games,” he said.

“I would not say they should not be held, but I would say that it would be exceedingly difficult,” Dr. Yokokura added.

On Tuesday, Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, was quoted as telling a Japanese newspaper that the Games would be “scrapped” if they could not take place next July.

“The Olympics would be much more valuable than any Olympics in the past if we could go ahead with it after winning this battle,” Mr. Mori told the Nikkan Sports daily. “We have to believe this. Otherwise our hard work and efforts will not be rewarded.”

New York Times

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics

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Andrew Bogut To Make Decision On Retirement By Mid-May

Apr 19, 2020 12:43 PM

Andrew Bogut said that the current stoppage in play is making him consider retirement.

"I haven't done any basketball since the season ended, and it feels good waking up, getting out of bed and not feeling like I'm walking on glass. It's [my career] all been thrown into a washing machine, essentially ... but there's a decision to be made probably by mid-May," said the 35-year-old Bogut.

Bogut, who spent the last two years in Australia's National Basketball League, planned to retire after playing in the 2020 Olympics.

Bogut discussed how badly he wanted to play in what he considered the best team in the country's history, but that training wore him down. 

"We've been tantalizingly close, and the squad we're going to have is arguably going to be the best squad in the history of the Boomers, on paper at least. To be part of that, selfishly, is something I really want to do, but the body is what it comes down to. I can get up for a basketball game any day of the week, but it's hard to get up for five, six days of training a week and lifting weights.''


ESPN

Tags: Andrew Bogut, Australia, National, National Olympics, National Teams

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Spencer Dinwiddie To Play For Nigeria National Team After Acquiring Nigerian Passport

Apr 18, 2020 5:24 PM

Spencer Dinwiddie will acquire a Nigerian passport and play for the Nigeria national team, league sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Dinwiddie, who is averaging 20.6 points and 6.8 assists on the season, did not receive a Team USA Olympic invite.

Dinwiddie will join Al-Farouq Aminu, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu, and Ekpe Udoh on Nigeria, who are also coached by Mike Brown. 

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie, Nigeria, National, National Olympics, National Teams

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Pau Gasol Says He Wants To Play In 2021 Olympics

Apr 17, 2020 1:39 AM

Pau Gasol said he wanted to play in the 2021 Olympics, which would make him a five-time Olympian.

"I was hoping before everything changed and got postponed, or cancelled, that I was going to have enough time to heal my injury, to get in an appropriate shape to be able to compete and play and still, at 40 years old, play my fifth Olympics this summer in Tokyo," said Gasol in an interview with the Olympic Channel.

Gasol signed with the Blazers last offseason, but was waived without playing a single game.

Gasol added that he would have to play competitive basketball next season to get into shape for the Olympics.

"I will have to play competitively in order to get to the summer of 2021 at a high level and be able to compete and help my country, which is not a bad thing. But the truth of it is that, in summer 2021, I'll be 41, which is a challenge. ... It is very much still a desire to be able to play my fifth Olympics and potentially that being my very last tournament."


FIBA Basketball

Tags: Pau Gasol, National, National Olympics

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Nick Nurse Remains '100 Percent Committed' To Coaching Canada

Apr 3, 2020 3:16 PM

Nick Nurse remains "100 percent committed" to coach of Canada for the Tokyo Olympics.

Canada was scheduled to host a last-chance qualifying tournament in Victoria this June, but that has been postponed.

It's disappointing, but I can wait," Nurse said Friday. "Let's put it in perspective. It's not nearly as disappointing as what's happening around in daily life."

Nurse was an assistant coach for the British team at the 2012 Olympics in London.

 

ESPN

Tags: Toronto Raptors, Canada, NBA, National, National Teams

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Tokyo Olympics To Begin On July 23, 2021

Mar 30, 2020 12:10 PM

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed and will now open on July 23, 2021. The Games will run through August 8th.

This will give NBA players a greater probability of participating in the Games.

There were scenarios in which the Olympics could be held in the spring and overlap with the 20-21 NBA season. Depending on when the 19-20 season ends and the 20-21 season starts, the Olympics could merely overlap with the later rounds of the playoffs.

Brian Windhorst, Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics

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International Olympic Committee Targeting July 23 Opening Date For 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Mar 29, 2020 2:26 PM

The International Olympic Committee is targeting a July 23rd opening date for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The I.O.C. said that a decision was coming in the next several weeks, though an announcement could be made much earlier.

The new opening date is identical to the 2020 date, partly due to NBCUniversal's broadcasting schedule. NBCUniversal paid more than $1 billion for the U.S. media rights.

The I.O.C. were also mindful of steering clear of soccer's European Championship, which usually take place in June.

Tariq Panja/New York Times

Tags: National, National Olympics

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

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tokyo Olympics Offically Postponed Until 2021

Motoko Rich, Matt Futterman, Tariq Panja/New York Times

IOC Has Already Decided 2020 Olympics Will Be Postponed

Christine Brennan/USA Today

Decision On 2020 Olympics In Tokyo Due Within Next Four Weeks

ESPN

Former Team USA Official Predicts Tokyo Olympics Won't Be Held In 2020

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

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Gregg Popovich To Pick Kevin Durant For Olympic Team If He's 'Absolutely Ready To Go'

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Matisse Thybulle Says He Wants To Represent Australia At 2020 Olympics

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

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USA Basketball Announces 44 Finalists For 2020 Olympic Roster

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Mike Brown To Coach Nigeria In 2020 Olympics

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USA Basketball To Announce Preliminary Roster For 2020 Olympics By End Of Month

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

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Ben Simmons Plans To Play For Australia During 2020 Olympics

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Brett Brown To Coach Australia In 2020 Olympics

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Rick Pitino Hired As Head Coach Of Greece

ESPN

Paolo Banchero Commits To Italian National Team

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2019 FIBA World Cup Records TV Audience Reach Of Over 3 Billion People

FIBA

James Harden Says He Wants To Represent Team USA In 2020 Olympics

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Klay Thompson: I Would Love To Play For Team USA In Olympics

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