National Wiretap

USA Basketball Sends Out 60 Invites For 2021 Olympic Team Player Pool

Jan 23, 2021 4:06 PM

USA Basketball sent out around 60 invites to players expressing interest in joining the 2021 Olympic team player pool, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The invites include the league's biggest names.

Team USA could be without key players who advance to the NBA Finals, with the Olympics currently scheduled for July.

Wojnarowski adds that the list includes Bam Adebayo and Christian Wood at the center position. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Bam Adebayo, Christian Wood, National, National Olympics

Discuss
Pau Gasol Attempting NBA Comeback

Dec 9, 2020 2:26 PM

Pau Gasol hopes to resume his playing career in hopes of joining the Los Angeles Lakers for the 20-21 season and also plain for Spain in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.

"There is meaning and history there," said Gasol, who won titles with the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant in 2009 and 2010. "I'm not going to lie. It would be very special, and now that my brother [Marc] is there, even more special. But I'm not in a position now to be very demanding. I don't have 10 offers on the table."

Gasol hasn't played in the NBA since March 2019 and has undergone two surgeries in his left foot. Gasol has been training in Northern California where he is living with his wife.

Gasol's brother, Marc Gasol, signed a two-year deal with the Lakers this offseason.

"I want the opportunity to contribute -- to feel needed," Gasol said. "Not just to be there. That's not who I am. I want to enjoy it, and players usually enjoy playing."

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Spain, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, National, National Teams

Discuss
Rick Pitino To Coach Greece At Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Oct 31, 2020 2:44 PM

Rick Pitino will coach Greece at the Olympic qualifying tournament, Pitino told Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Pitino, currently the coach of Iona, was named the head coach of Greece last year.

The Olympic qualifying tournament between 16 countries will be held from June 29th to July 4th.

The NBA is currently pushing for a December 22nd start date to finish the season before the Olympics.

The league reportedly estimates "significant financial turmoil" should the season compete with the Olympics for television ratings. 

Marc Stein/The New York Times

Tags: National, National Olympics

Discuss
Brett Brown Steps Down As Head Coach Of Australian National Team

Oct 13, 2020 8:33 AM

Brett Brown has stepped down as head coach of the Australian national team.

Brown was hired to coach the team for the Tokyo Olympics last November.

"It is important for me to give Basketball Australia, the Coach, and players, the necessary time for a full and thorough Olympic Games preparation in the event that the Games do proceed.

“This was a difficult decision which did not come easy. My past experiences with the current Boomer players are among my most memorable as a coach. To coach the Boomers was a privilege and an honour. I will work closely with Basketball Australia in any way that I can to ensure a smooth and successful transition,” concluded Brown.

Basketball Australia

Tags: Australia, NBA, National, National Olympics, National Teams

Discuss
Adam Silver: NBA Unlikely To Stop For Olympics 'If We Start Late'

Oct 3, 2020 1:29 PM

Adam Silver said that it would be unlikely that the NBA season would stop for the 2021 Olympics should the league have to delay the start of next season.

"We'll consider it. I think it's unlikely, at the end of the day, that, if we start late, we would stop for the Olympics. Because, as you know, it's not just a function of stopping for the period in which they are competing over in Tokyo. But they require training camp, and then they require rest afterwards," said Silver.

The next NBA season is reportedly unlikely to start before January, at the earliest.

The Olympics are scheduled for July 23rd through August 8th.

"There are so many incredible players, beginning with the USA team, we'll be able to field a very competitive team. I am a bit worried about some of the international teams, because, as you know, some of their stars play in our league, and their absence would make a huge difference for those national teams," added Silver. 

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics

Discuss
NBA Beginning To Deprioritize Accommodating 2021 Olympics

Aug 8, 2020 10:27 AM

The NBA is targeting a December 1st start to the 20-21 season for numerous reasons, most notably to play on Christmas Day and also to avoid the Olympics.

If the NBA begins its season on December 1st, they can comfortably play an 82-game season and be finished in time for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics that begin on July 23rd.

But sources say the NBA could push back the start of the season if they're confident a delay would mean getting fans back into arenas for more games. The NBA could then take a month-long Olympic break similar to how the NHL has handled the Winter Olympics. 

The Olympics could be deprioritized by many prominent players due to the pandemic and a condensed offseason between 19-20 and 20-21 due to the pandemic. This line of thought has made some within the league skeptical that accommodating the Olympics will remain a priority for the NBA. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: NBA, National, National Olympics

Discuss
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

Discuss
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

Discuss
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

Discuss
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

Discuss
Andrew Bogut To Make Decision On Retirement By Mid-May

ESPN

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

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Pau Gasol Says He Wants To Play In 2021 Olympics

FIBA Basketball

Nick Nurse Remains '100 Percent Committed' To Coaching Canada

ESPN

Tokyo Olympics To Begin On July 23, 2021

Brian Windhorst, Tim Bontemps/ESPN

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

Tariq Panja/New York Times

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

Eben Novy-Williams, Scott Soshnick/Bloomberg

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

Nick Friedell/ESPN

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

ESPN

Matisse Thybulle Says He Wants To Represent Australia At 2020 Olympics

ESPN

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

Melissa Rohlin/Sports Illustrated

USA Basketball Announces 44 Finalists For 2020 Olympic Roster

RealGM Staff Report

Mike Brown To Coach Nigeria In 2020 Olympics

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated