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Dwight Howard wants to go to Rio, play in 2016 Olympics

Mar 1, 2013, 11:57 AM EDT

Olympics Day 6 - Basketball Getty Images

Back surgery last year had Dwight Howard watching the USA Olympic Men’s Basketball Team win gold in London the same way you did — from your couch.

Howard would have been on the team — he won gold in Beijing in 2008 — but following Howard’s back surgery Tyson Chandler comfortably stepped into the role as center, plus the USA went small at times (which you can do with guys like LeBron James and Chris Bosh on the roster).

In less than four years the Olympics come to Rio and Howard told Mark Medina of the Daily News he wants to be in Brazil (via SLAM).

“No doubt,” he said…

“I was (upset) mad I couldn’t play in the playoffs and mad I couldn’t play in the Olympics,” Howard said. “I wasn’t too happy with the fact I had to have surgery and miss a lot of basketball.”

The main issue for USA Basketball now is to name a replacement coach for Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke coach who is stepping down from his national team role with a 62-1 record. Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers are considered the two frontrunners for the gig.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni was an assistant for Krzyzewski, but he blew off any questions about participating in the future, saying it was not on his radar. His involvement ultimately would be decided by whoever sits in the big chair.

  1. money2long - Mar 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    i still don’t know who i’d rather have coach this group, pop or doc

  2. zacksdad - Mar 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Someone is actually considering D’Antoni as a coach? He has taken a team that was suppose to compete for the NBA championship and they are fighting to get the 8th seed. Jimmie Buss is not running the USA’s Olympic committee also?

    • money2long - Mar 1, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      he’d be a specialty coach, used for his strengths. he wouldn’t be the head guy.

      • fanofevilempire - Mar 1, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        as long as that specialty isn’t defense……………….

        that was too easy.

  3. houstonoilers - Mar 1, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    He would need to play much better than he has this year, I doubt he would even make the team.

  4. eugenesaxe - Mar 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    He should be more concerned about playing this year.

  5. cosanostra71 - Mar 1, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I believe D’Antoni was a coach on the Olympic team last year. I don’t think he would be seriously considered for the head spot though. It probably should be Popovich but with the history with him and Colangelo it will probably be Doc, who isn’t a bad second option.

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      Yup, D’Antoni was an assistant, as was Syracuse’s head coach (Jim Boeheim) because so many international teams rely on zone defenses.

      But I agree – Doc and Pop are more likely candidates.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:52 PM

        D’Antoni also played and coached in Italy for years, giving him an international feel few NBA coaches have.

  6. themagicfanguy - Mar 1, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Pop should get the job. I like Doc, but IMO Pop is simply the best active coach in basketball. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Stan Van Gundy somehow got the job though?

  7. cramsinned - Mar 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    “which you can do with guys like LeBron James and Chris Bosh on the roster”

    Chris Bosh was not part of the recent team

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      Yep. Bosh was still rehabbing the abdominal strain he suffered in the Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers playoff series.

      It hadn’t fully healed when Bosh came back to play in the Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals, so Heat doctors recommended he avoided any more basketball during the offseason.

  8. jimeejohnson - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Howard would make Team USA that much stronger. His numbers are still very strong; if he could make even 50% of his free throws he would be averaging a bunch more ppg. He is a defensive force, even while recovering from the most serious of surgeries. A starting 5: Carmelo, KD, LeBron, CP3, and Dwight Howard. Best in the world BY FAR! The second team would be insane, as well. Beating the very good Spanish team was grrrrrrrrrrrreat!

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      Apologies to synonym police. Should have used “very good” instead of the second “strong”.

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