April 2020 National Wiretap

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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