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BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM FRIDAY

Team USA saw how it wanted to play on Thursday night. It’s just that, for one half, the Americans saw it from the other team. After two quarters in which Australia hung tough with the No. 1 overall basketball team in the world, trailing by just a margin of 44-43 at the half, Gregg Popovich’s American backcourt came out of halftime copying the Boomers’ defensive urgency and an offensive spark to end up running away with Thursday’s FIBA World Cup warmup contest, 102-86. Salt Lake Tribune

The trial of a man charged with first-degree murder in the killing of former Clippers player Lorenzen Wright has been delayed because of unspecified “new information.” Billy Ray Turner’s trial had been scheduled to start Sept. 16 at the Shelby County Criminal Court in Memphis, Tenn. LA Times

President Donald Trump’s mispronunciation of certain places and words has been scrutinized in the past, but he’s hardly the first to struggle when it comes to Worcester. During a White House ceremony Thursday afternoon to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy, the president was reading from written remarks recalling the Holy Cross alum’s early basketball-playing days when he encountered the puzzling spelling of New England’s second-largest city. Boston.com

President Donald Trump honored Celtics legend Bob Cousy with the nation’s highest civilian award Thursday afternoon at the White House: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And the 91-year-old former basketball player, coach, and broadcaster paid Trump back with some high compliments as well. “Mr. President, I know in your world you’re well on your way to making America great again,” Cousy said in his acceptance speech. “In my world it’s been great for 91 years.” Boston.com

BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM THURSDAY

Lamar Odom has some hefty competition standing in his way from "Dancing With The Stars" greatness ... but there's one fellow world champ who specifically has him SHOOK. The ex-NBA star is competing on the newest season of 'DWTS' with celebs like Hannah B. from the 'Bachelorette', Kel Mitchell and James Van Der Beek ... but revealed to Adam Glyn who he thinks is his biggest threat. TMZ.com

Larry Bird is adamant he's NOT a "tattooed guy" -- and he ain't happy with a new mural in Indiana that depicts him as a walking canvas. The NBA legend's attorney has reached out to Jules Muck, the artist who created the Bird tribute on a Fountain Square building in Indianapolis ... an image that shows a young Bird with ink on his face, chest and arms. TMZ.com

Official 2019-20 NBA preseason schedule dates: Sept. 30 through Oct. 18. InsideHoops Twitter

James Dolan’s plan to build futuristic orb-like entertainment amphitheaters around the globe is coming under attack. Dolan, who owns the New York Knicks, saw support for his ambitious new project start to fizzle Tuesday after executives of his entertainment company, Madison Square Garden, said the first high-tech orb could cost half a billion dollars more than forecast. NY Post

EuroLeague: AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan got its training camp underway also this week. The team started its preparations for the upcoming 2019-20 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season with the athletic workouts under the guidance of team’s conditioning coach Giustino Danesi at Visamara Sports Center, not too far from its Mediolanum Forum, the place where in couple of days the new head coach Ettore Messina will have his team hit the basketball floor. Eurocupbasketball.net



BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM WEDNESDAY

Ty Lue has agreed to a deal with the LA Clippers to become a top assistant coach on Doc Rivers' staff, a source told ESPN's Dave McMenamin. Lue was a leading candidate to become the Los Angeles Lakers head coach until negotiations broke down earlier this summer. Lue wanted to coach LeBron James again -- the pair helped produce an NBA championship in Cleveland in 2016 -- but the coach and the Lakers could not agree on contract terms before the team ultimately decided to hire Frank Vogel. ESPN.com

In May, Lue was considered the leading candidate and take the helm with the Lakers to reunite with LeBron James, before talks between him and the team reportedly collapsed over contract terms. Instead, Lue will reunite with Rivers, whose staffs he previously was on in Boston and with the Clippers. Rivers said last season that Lue is “like a son” to him. OC Register

A week ago, the 29-year-old Cousins was set to be a pivotal piece of the Lakers’ rotation, possibly a starter at center and, in a best-case scenario, a potential third star if he ever found his 2017-18 heights again. But with Cousins tearing his ACL in an open gym session in Las Vegas, the Lakers are likely to be without him for most of the season. OC Register

That thrusts JaVale McGee into a more defined role, and the 31-year-old returning center appears to be the de facto starter as long as the Lakers remain committed to Anthony Davis playing more at power forward. But depth at center is light, and the Lakers are reportedly looking at Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Marreese Speights and Marcin Gortat to fill out the bench with no reported plans yet to work out the younger (29), albeit shorter Kenneth Faried (6-foot-8). OC Register

The Phoenix Suns have six players they can't trade until Dec. 15: Ricky Rubio, Frank Kaminsky, Cheick Diallo, Jalen Lecque, David Kramer and Tariq Owens. Under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, free agents can't be traded for three months after they sign their contract with their new team or Dec. 15, whichever is latest. Arizona Republic

Bronx native Derrick Alston has been named head coach of the Westchester Knicks, the NBA G League affiliate of the Knicks, the team announced on Tuesday. Alston had been an assistant coach with Westchester under Mike Miller, who was added to the Knicks' coaching staff as an assistant on Monday. Alston becomes the fourth head coach in Westchester Knicks history. NY Newsday

The Mavericks re-signed point guard J.J. Barea to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. Barea has a reputation as a good locker room guy, and he often finds ways to hurt the Warriors with his shooting. The pesky 5-9 veteran is a big reason why Dallas, one of the league’s weakest teams in recent years, has somehow beaten the vastly superior Warriors three times over the past four seasons. NBC Sports Bay Area



BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM TUESDAY

After agreeing to return to the Dallas Mavericks for another year, point guard J.J. Barea officially put pen to paper on his one-year contract on Monday, the team announced. Dallas Morning News

Just two weeks before agreeing to terms with the Knicks on July 1, Taj Gibson’s father needed a heart transplant. “In June. I was out there all the time with my dad,’’ said Gibson, the former Bulls defensive stalwart who had been with Minnesota the past two seasons. “We were trying for him to get healthy and recover, waiting for him to find a healthy heart.” Wilbert got a new heart and Taj got a new team soon thereafter. On Aug. 31, Gibson will host his annual “Back to School Basketball Bash’’ at the Ingersoll Houses on Myrtle Avenue. NY Post

When rumors were floated recently that Dwight Howard might be a fit for the Lakers, the reaction of Los Angeles fans was predictable. Seven years after he spurned the team’s billboard campaign begging him to stay in purple and gold, he remains, arguably, the most vilified former player in Lakers history. However, that anger is misplaced. Howard isn’t nearly the villain he’s been made out to be . He actually saved the Lakers from themselves. LA Times

Travis Schlenk will keep building the Hawks. The general manager and architect of the current franchise transformation agreed to a promotion and a multi-year contract extension on Monday as part of several changes to the front office. Schlenk will now be titled president of basketball operations and general manager. AJC.com

The Knicks announced on Monday afternoon that they have added Mike Miller to their coaching staff. Miller has spent the past four seasons as coach of the Westchester Knicks, the franchise's NBA G League affiliate. NY Newsday

From projected lottery prospect to mid-second rounder, Bol Bol had a huge drop in the NBA draft. And his peers noticed. The Nuggets rookie center tied for the draft’s biggest steal in a survey of the NBA’s 2019 draft class. Cleveland’s Kevin Porter Jr., who was selected with the 30th pick in the first round, also received 19% of the votes. “As it often does, this question got the biggest range of answers, including each of the last six picks of the first round. But Bol and Porter, two of the six players from the Pac-12 Conference, clearly stood out among the group,” NBA.com’s John Schuhmann wrote about the vote. Denver Post

Bol also received votes for best defender. Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle (37%) was the best in the category. New Orleans’ Zion Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick, received 35% of the votes for rookie of year, followed by Memphis’ Ja Morant (27%). Williamson was overwhelming selected as the most athletic rookie with 87% of the votes. Denver Post

Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry is one of the NBA's biggest stars, but he's not the favorite player of the any of the league's rookies, according to the NBA's 2019-20 Rookie Survey. The survey, which was released on Monday, polls the NBA's newest players on a variety of topics related to their NBA draft class, like who they think will be Rookie of the Year, who they think is the best shooter, or what will be the toughest adjustment to make coming from the NCAA to the NBA. SF Chronicle

At the end of the survey, NBA rookies say who their favorite players are, and the top vote getters are who you might expect – LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard. But Curry wasn't just excluded from the top five; he wasn't selected by any rookies as their favorite player. SF Chronicle



BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM MONDAY

While the Heat looks to be done offering standard contracts this offseason barring a trade because of its situation against the hard cap, it still has room to sign two players to two-way deals. Miami’s roster currently includes 17 players, with three eligible for two-way contracts. Forwards Kyle Alexander and Chris Silva, and guard Jeremiah Martin signed with the Heat this summer on Exhibit 10 deals, which do not count against the salary cap or hard cap and can be converted to two-way contracts. Miami Herald

The Heat is expected to keep at least one — and potentially both — of its two-way contract spots open entering training camp. Why? One official in touch with the team’s front office told the Miami Herald because the Heat has no room left under the hard cap to sign any more players to a standard contract, it’s trying to entice players to sign Exhibit 10 contracts with the expectation that they will have a legitimate chance to earn a two-way contract during training camp. Miami Herald

If a two-way contract is not offered to these players, the Exhibit 10 deal is limited to a $50,000 guarantee and leaves the option open for them to eventually play for Miami’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, after training camp. Miami Herald

Devin Booker is capable of leading the league in scoring. After all, James Harden shouldn't average 36 points per game playing alongside Russell Westbrook, but Booker should have easier scoring opportunities playing with a true point guard in Ricky Rubio. But scoring isn't Booker's problem. Defending is. The Suns need him to get better on that end. Take fewer chances and stay more disciplined on consecutive trips. Arizona Republic

He needs Deandre Ayton to become that 22 and 12 guy. Booker said last season Ayton is a "30 and 20" player, but he didn't mean it literally and shouldn't be taken as such. Booker's point was Ayton has the ability to be a dominant player night in and night out, but Ayton might not be that in the traditional sense of what a big man is supposed to be. It's Ayton giving a mix of inside/outside play, running the floor, rebounding, blocking shots, passing and yes, knocking down a couple of threes a game. Arizona Republic

With $170 million committed to John Wall over the next four years, the Washington Wizards will do everything they can to make sure they get his rehab from a ruptured Achilles right. The future of their franchise depends on it. So, in order to certify that things are going well, there is a team of people at work. Jesse Phillips, the Wizards' director of player performance and rehabilitation, has spent much of his summer in Miami, FL where Wall makes his offseason home. Steve Smith, the team's senior director of health wellness and performance, flies in to be with Wall Monday through Thursday. NBC Sports Washington

John Wall also has his own people who are Miami-based. He has a physical trainer, Dr. Brett Fox, who counts many professional athletes as his clients including Wall's former teammate Jeff Green and NFL wide receiver Allen Hurns. And Wall has a personal trainer, Andy Luaces at Core Fitness, who has worked with Green, Hornets point guard Terry Rozier and many college and pro football players who reside in the Miami area. NBC Sports Washington

Elton Brand was aggressive in signing veteran Al Horford. Horford will play with Embiid in the starting lineup at the four, but will also be the team’s primary backup center. There may not be a better backup five in the entire league. Horford’s abilities on both ends of the floor will soften the blow of having Embiid on the bench. And let’s not forget about Kyle O’Quinn. The veteran big is solid defensively and would’ve served as a better option than any backup big Brett Brown went to against the Raptors. He’s a strong insurance policy as the team’s third-string center. NBC Sports Philly

Olympiacos Piraeus released a letter from head coach David Blatt on Monday revealing that the former Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year has been diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. In the letter, Blatt detailed how the disease is affecting him and what he is doing to continue leading the Reds in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season in the best way possible. "Fatigue/balance and strength are real issues for me. I have taken on a specific regimen of strengthening and balance exercises as well as swimming and aquatic workouts to improve overall body conditioning and help with muscle pliability and motion," Blatt wrote. Eurocupbasketball.com

Pete Anton, the Spurs’ longest tenured employee and the oldest active employee in the NBA last season, has died. He was 94. Anton died Saturday from complications after a stroke. Anton joined the Spurs as a media services assistant in 1973, the year the team moved to San Antonio from Dallas. San Antonio Express News


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