Jul 17, 2014, 9:03 PM EDT
When USA Basketball released its 19-man pool of players that would be contending for a spot to play in the World Championships this summer, a couple of names that were left off the list weren’t done so as a result of a decision made by Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski.
Instead, two All-Star caliber players voluntarily withdrew from consideration.
Kawhi Leonard is coming off of winning a Finals MVP and playing deep into June in consecutive seasons, and he cited seeing how fatigued his international teammates were following similar duties as his reason for bowing out at this time.
Watching the struggles teammate Tony Parker experienced during the 2013-14 Spurs season after competing for the French national team in last summer’s Eurobasket tournament, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard made what he called a very difficult decision to withdraw from competition for a spot on the United States team that will compete in the FIBA World Cup in Spain later this summer.
“I went through those two seasons going down to June 20,” Leonard said. “That’s tough on your body to keep going. I’m just learning from Tony and Manu (Ginobili), just going into that off-season and playing so hard and then coming back and their bodies not feeling the same and then being tired for the regular season. So I’m just learning from them.”
LaMarcus Aldridge also withdrew, but for no similarly good reason other than to rest this summer in preparation for the upcoming season.
A source confirms that Aldridge was initially invited to the 19-player pool but withdrew his name. …
“We can only offer an opportunity,” Colangelo said in a conference call Monday morning, “and then they can either accept or not. In Aldridge’s case, this has happened a couple of times previously. But the bottom line is he advised us that he’s not available.”
There’s nothing wrong with Aldridge bowing out, and looking at the pool of players who will be competing, it’s unlikely he would have made it anyway, and would have had to attend a mini-camp later this month had he left himself in the running for a spot on the roster.
Colangelo believes that playing for Team USA is the most important thing in the world, which explains his making a remark that seems to be dripping with disappointment. But it’s clear that some players don’t exactly see things the same way.
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We’ll all look back at the McCallum trade and say “it’s the Spurs doing Spurs things again.”
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He will be missed.
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Can Johnson take on the backup point guard role if Chalmers was moved?
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“You’re talking about being a fiscally responsible person, I am. That’s precisely why I did this.” —Scott Walker
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Aug 30, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
First Cam Newton, now Usain Bolt.
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He may start at the four for Charlotte this year.
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Cherry played for the Spurs’ Summer League team.
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Unfortunately, neither of them can defend anyone.
Aug 29, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT
Claver played two-plus seasons with the Blazers.
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The block happened in the Seattle Pro-Am game.
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All in one 15-minute video.
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If he develops a consistent three-point shot, it’s over.
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Bargnani is playing for the Italian national team.
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That’s what he does.
Aug 29, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Sibert played four years in college.
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He’s a coach, a brother.” — Lakers’ co-owner Jim Buss on Byron Scott
Aug 28, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT
It’s not a coincidence you see stars like Chris Paul, LeBron James, Tim Duncan and Russell Westbrook in a highlight package like this.
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- Jim Buss defends Byron Scott as Lakers coach, “He has the Laker blood in him” 24
- Jim Buss open to the idea of Kobe Bryant playing beyond this season 31
- Derrick Rose on sexual assault suit: “I am confident I will be proven innocent” 4
- Report: Kyrie Irving likely not back opening night, could be out until January 14
- Legendary Sixer, backboard-shattering dunker Darryl Dawkins dies at 58 14
- After Rio Olympics next summer, who takes over at Team USA coach? 8