SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The basketball Hall of Fame is changing the name of its showcase atrium to honor Jerry Colangelo.
Oh my gosh!
DeMarcus Cousins is stunned, stunned that he’s considered too immature to play for the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team.
The Sacramento Kings thought he would be the answer to getting into the NBA playoffs this year. Instead, the soon-to-be 22-year-old sulked and demanded a trade and was none too subtle when it came time to banging heads with coach Paul Westphal, who was fired in part because he could not get along with the talented young player.
In a story reporting Westphal’s firing, The Associated Press wrote “Cousins’ behavior has been well documented going back to high school and his one season at Kentucky, mixing in dramatic and astonishing plays with outbursts against players, coaches, trainers and referees. His conditioning has been questioned and so has his work ethic.”
As it turned out, Kentucky was actually his third choice. He had previously committed—and then decommitted—from Alabama-Birmingham and Memphis.
“Before there’s discussion about him being part of our program, he has a lot of building to do. … He has a lot of growing up to do,” U.S. Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said via USA Today.
The remarks hurt Cousins’ feelings.
“I asked him how I was being immature,” Cousins said in the same article. “He never really gave me an answer. He just said it was his opinion.”
Does that mean the opinion of the 72-year-old Colangelo, who has owned the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks, and has been with USA Basketball since Cousins was in eighth grade, doesn’t count as an answer?
“I kind of took offense to it,” Cousins told USA Today. “For him to say that, it was kind of messed up.”
Tying for the NBA lead with 12 technical fouls, now that’s kind of messed up. Gaining a reputation as an ill-tempered and lackadaisical player. That’s messed up.
There’s not a doubt Cousins is a talented basketball player who can rebound and score with the best of them. A lot of his reputation develops through his unwillingness to cooperate with coaches, officials and other players.
If Cousins ever helps the Kings into the playoffs, he can start rebuilding his image. If he can stay quiet enough and just do his job, his image will start to look polished. If he can help the Kings make a deep run into the playoffs, maybe there’s no need for tantrums and he’ll start looking like a professional.
Until then, to paraphrase USA Coach Mike Krzyzewski, hopefully playing with the best in the game will have a positive effect on Cousins.
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(Reuters) – Five members of the gold medal winning lineup at the 2008 Bejing Games were included in the 12-man U.S. Olympic basketball team announced by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo on Saturday. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams return for another bid for Olympic glory and will spearhead a potent roster in London where the U.S. are favorites. Colangelo announced the selections after two U.S. team training sessions in Las Vegas, though final approval is still required by the U.S. Olympic Committee. …
All reports so far seem to have two-time MVP Steve Nash considering two teams—the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors.
However, Raptors general manager Jerry Colangelo may have just made Nash’s decision much easier, as Nash should now spurn the Knicks for life in Toronto.
By signing Landry Fields to an offer sheet, what the Raptors basically did is prevent a sign-and-trade for the Knicks to acquire Nash. It was known that the Suns liked Fields as part of a sign-and-trade, but the Suns likely won’t have interest in Fields making over $20 million.
Neither will the Knicks—so their options of completing a deal for Nash are all but out the window because a player can’t be traded after his offer sheet is matched, which all but puts the nail in the coffin for Nash heading to New York.
You have to hand it to Colangelo. They wanted Nash and he’s done his best to eliminate the competition.
There’s also the fact that the Raptors are willing to outbid everyone for Nash’s services, already having a reported three-year, $36 million offer in place.
The Knicks—and most every other NBA team—are in no position to touch that.
Now that he’s almost out of options, it’s time for Nash to forget about the Big Apple and figure out how to lead the Raptors.
Toronto has shown how much they want Nash, and now it’s time he shows them he wants to play there and lead a good young team into the playoffs.
Nash reunited with Amar’e Stoudemire, plus playing with Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, may have seemed like a dream team for Nash—especially considering the talent Nash has had to play with the past couple of seasons in Phoenix.
Not all dreams come true, though, and Nash can now forget about New York, as Toronto is waiting.
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Back in May, Jerry Colangelo and USA Basketball offered Jeremy Lin a token—and understandable—invite to play for Team USA’s Select Team. It’s all part of the process of tabbing promising prospects for consideration in a more official capacity, and considering the stretch that Lin had earlier this season, it made all the sense in the world to include him in the process.
But all along, free agency loomed over Lin’s potential involvement in his national team, and all but ruled him out of his pro-bono participation in what essentially amounts to a warm-up squad. If Lin were somehow in consideration for the actual Olympic team, we may have seen him show up in Vegas this summer to participate in USA’s camp.
But with only the promise of playing for the Select Team ahead of him, Lin naturally chose to withdraw his name from consideration in order to more fully focus on his free agency, per a release from USA Basketball.
Unfortunately for Lin, even participation with the Select Team isn’t likely to foster enough goodwill to force him onto a roster with so many young, talented guards. Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Eric Gordon aren’t going anywhere—not to mention fellow Select Teamers Kyrie Irving and John Wall.
Lin is stuck at USA Basketball’s (and the NBA‘s, for that matter) glut position, and while he may have done a fantastic job in giving the Knicks new life midseason, that doesn’t make him a superior talent or option to the others under Jerry Colangelo’s consideration.
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(Reuters) – Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade withdrew his name from the player pool for the U.S. Olympic basketball team on Thursday because his injured left knee will require surgery, USA Basketball said. After receiving the diagnosis from the Heat team physician, the All-Star guard, who helped Miami win the NBA title in five games over the Oklahoma City Thunder, informed USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo that he was having the surgery soon and would be unable to compete in London. …
The participation of NBA players in the Olympics has boosted the league’s brand overseas, benefitting club owners as well as returning America to dominance on the international stage, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Monday.
US Olympic men’s basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo is thankful for a few extra days to consider a final roster after a flurry of injuries during the NBA playoffs.
A bit of Olympic news, courtesy of David Aldridge of NBA.com:
Dwyane Wade sounded slightly less than 100-percent certain he’ll be in London no matter what, even after accepting the invite to what would be his third Olympics after being prodded by his 2008 Beijing teammates (“Kobe was like, ‘if my old self is playing, you can,’” Wade said—and I’m sure Kobe said “self” there, aren’t you?) into putting the band back together one last time.
“I told them, I said, listen, I’m just going to see how I feel,” Wade said last week. “This is about being healthy—I think, for all of us, going into the summer healthy—and taking it from there.”
Based on these latest comments, it seems fair to say that Dwyane Wade is less than fully committed to joining Team USA in London this summer as a matter of pragmatism—a very natural response for any player nursing aches and pains, and particularly one who just recently saw two of his most talented contemporaries go down with serious injuries.
Wade and every Team USA candidate should indeed carefully assess their own health and fatigue heading into the offseason before determining their status for the summer games. This abridged season has been a physical and mental grind on seemingly all involved, and though playing in the Olympics is a distinct honor to most, even that privilege doesn’t erase the need for rest and time away from the game.
That said, what’s perhaps most interesting about Aldridge’s report isn’t that Wade might miss the Olympics for the sake of health—an ongoing complication to players’ participation in any offseason basketball event—but how much of a role peer pressure might eventually play into Wade’s decision.
All of the cool kids are playing in the Olympics, and though America’s international basketball program was once considered an afterthought at best, program director Jerry Colangelo has succeeded in creating a self-perpetuating institution that instills value in competitions like this one.
It remains to be seen how the dynamic of USA Basketball might change once Wade, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, et al decide to take their leave of international ball, but for the moment, this kind of peer pressure seems to create a highly valuable dynamic of inclusion that will likely only be extended through the next generation of stars.
Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and company are similarly driven, and though USA Basketball will eventually lose Bryant’s coercive power, the program will hopefully mitigate his absence with a slew of committed stars with charismatic personalities.
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