Archive for the ‘ International ’ Category

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on that a Thunder rookie will be battling in the Olympics instead of playing summer league ball:

A few of OKC’s young pieces are expected to compete: Cameron Payne, Josh Huestis and Mitch McGary. But perhaps the Thunder’s most anticipated young talent, rookie Domantas Sabonis, won’t be in Orlando for summer league, The Oklahoman has learned. But it’s for good reason.

Sabonis, the 11th overall pick acquired in the Serge Ibaka trade, will focus on competing for his home country of Lithuania in the summer Olympics.

Willy Hernangomez plans to join Knicks

The Knicks are going to add some international talent to their frontcourt this offseason. Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting:

Spanish center Willy Hernangomez plans to join the New York Knicks on a multiyear contract this summer, his agent, Andy Miller, told The Vertical.

“It is my intent to reach an agreement with the Knicks and have Willy come to New York for next season and beyond,” Miller told The Vertical.

The Knicks hold the rights to Hernangomez, who was the 35th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

Dante Exum will not play for Team Australia this summer

Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum will not participate in Australian National Team activities this summer.

Exum will instead focus on his preparation for the 2016-17 Jazz season. His rehabilitation and recovery process has continued to progress accordingly according to the team, and he was recently cleared for full-contact basketball activities.

“At this stage the most important thing for me right now is to continue training,” said Exum. “It’s been great to be back on the court competing, and I’m really motivated to help the Jazz have a successful season this year. My support and best wishes will be with the Boomers this summer, and I look forward to future opportunities to represent my home country.”

The 20-year-old guard underwent successful surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee on Sept. 3, 2015, after having sustained a tear of the ACL on Aug. 4 while competing for the Australian National Team in a game against the Slovenian National Team in Ljubljana, Slovenia. As a result of the injury, he missed the entire 2015-16 NBA season.

The 6-6, 205-pound native of Melbourne, Australia, averaged 4.8 points, 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes as a rookie during the 2014-15 season and was selected to compete in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend. He also became just the 10th rookie in Jazz history to appear in all 82 games, starting 41 of those. Exum was originally selected by the Jazz in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who may wind up as the key big man on a global bball stage this summer:

DeMarcus Cousins is expected to make 2016 Olympic team

DeMarcus Cousins is presented with a golden opportunity. For several reasons that include injuries to other candidates, his steadfast commitment to USA Basketball and his prodigious abilities, the Kings’ All-Star center will be named to the U.S. Olympic basketball team later this month.

Anyone within shouting distance of a hoop and a net knew this was coming.

Cousins might not be USA Basketball’s favorite big man – that would be the injured Anthony Davis – but he is coming off his best season and essentially forced his way onto the roster. He participated in four consecutive training camps, never wavered in his desire to compete for his country, and when Davis got into foul trouble in the finale of the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Cousins controlled the interior with his blocks, his rebounds, his defense.

Russell Westbrook withdraws from 2016 Olympics

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook issued the following statement on his decision to withdraw from the 2016 Olympics: “After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics. This was not an easy decision, as representing my country at the World Championships in 2010 and the Olympics in 2012 were career highlights for me. I look forward to future opportunities as a member of USA Basketball.”

The final 12-man Team USA roster for the 2016 Olympics hasn’t actually been finalized yet, from but Westbrook was certainly a favorite to make the cut.

Here’s Euroleague.net with news that an important Israeli basketball team has found its new head coach:

In an announcement on Thursday morning, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv named Erez Edelstein, the current Israeli national team head coach, as the newest boss of its own bench for the upcoming Turkish Airlines Euroleague season. Edelstein, 54, takes over for Zan Tabak, who joined the club during last season and was let go on Wednesday. One of the most-respected coaches in Israel, Edelstein will coach in the Euroleague for the first time with Maccabi, though he did serve as Pini Gershon’s assistant coach at Olympiacos Piraeus a decade ago. Edelstein has previously found success with Hapoel Jerusalem, which he led to the Eurocup semifinals in 2006. He also has coached Hapoel Tel Aviv, Hapoel Galil Elyon and Maccabi Ramat Gan. Last summer he guided Israel into the round of 16 at EuroBasket 2015 before falling to Italy.

Blake Griffin will not play for 2016 Team USA

Clippers forward Blake Griffin won’t participate in this summer’s USA Basketball Team training camps and exhibition tour. That’s the team that will play in the summer Olympics.

Griffin underwent a bone marrow procedure on his left quad tendon on April 27 and has already begun the rehabilitation process with the expectation that he will be ready for the start of the 2016-17 NBA season.

The five-time NBA All-Star originally injured the quad on December 25, 2015 against the Lakers.

In 35 regular season games this season, Griffin averaged 21.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 33.4 minutes. In four playoff games, he averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Joey Dorsey signs in Barcelona, Spain

Joey Dorsey signs in Barcelona, Spain

You remember Joey Dorsey. He’s built like a truck. It is best to avoid getting in his way.

Here’s Euroleague.net with the latest on his basketball travels, which have taken him away from the NBA:

FC Barcelona Lassa reached an agreement with former Euroleague champion center Joey Dorsey to reunite for the remainder of the current season, the club announced Friday. Dorsey (2.03 meters, 32 years old) takes over for Shane Lawal, who was sidelined with a torn meniscus last week. Dorsey arrives from Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul, were he averaged 7.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in 15 Eurocup games this season.

It remains to be seen if he’ll ever return to the league. It certainly seems possible.

An overseas NBA All-Star game someday?

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer with reporting on some of what NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently told media here at All-Star weekend:

Sunday marked the first the time the NBA All-Star Game was played outside of the United States. The top players in the world had their showcase at the Air Canada Center.

One would assume the next step is to take the All-Star Game overseas. However, logistically, that would be more difficult than it seems even though the all-star break has been expanded from four to eight days.

“There’s a ripple effect in terms of the number of days we take off on the rest of the schedule,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday.

Right now, teams play an 82-game schedule in roughly 162 days. The amount of days decreased when the additional time was added for the all-star break.

Damian Lillard added as Team USA finalist

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has been added to the roster of finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, USA Basketball announced today. The addition was approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors. The official 12-member 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster will be announced later this year.

Named to the 2014-16 USA Basketball Men’s National Team in January 2014, the 6-foot-3 guard was a finalist for the 2014 USA World Cup Team, and played in two exhibition games during the 2014 USA National Team Tour, recording seven points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 24 minutes of action in the USA’s 105-62 win against Dominican Republic on Aug. 20, 2014.

Currently in his fourth NBA season, Lillard in 2015-16 is averaging career-highs of 24.2 points (6th in the NBA) and 7.3 assists per game (7th in the NBA), while adding 4.4 rebounds per game, and shooting 41.8 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from 3-point and 86.5 percent from the foul line.

“I recently received a call from Damian, and during our conversation he expressed his desire to be considered for the U.S. Olympic Team and to remain involved with the USA National Team in the future as well,” said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005. “Both Mike (Krzyzewski) and I feel like Damian is playing at a very high level and that he should be added to our list of Olympic finalists. Damian has been a member of the USA National Team since 2014, and he participated in National Team training camps in 2013 and 2014, so he does have equity in USA Basketball, which is always important to me.”

Raptors beat Magic in London

Thursday in London, the Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 106-103 in overtime. In the win, Kyle Lowry scored 24 (on just 5-20 shooting), and had eight rebounds and seven assists. Cory Joseph was great off the bench, shooting 9-of-11 for 19 points. In the loss, Victor Oladipo scored 27, and Evan Fournier had 21. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting:

A visit to the O2 just wouldn’t be right without overtime.

For the second time in three games here, the Raps found themselves providing a deserving English fan base a little more than they were actually entitled.

The last time it took triple overtime and it resulted in a loss to the then New Jersey Nets.

But this is a different Raptors team, a “relevant” team as Masai Ujiri likes to call them, and they proved their GM right with a professional overtime period that included timely shooting, some patient offence and some determined defence to pull out a 106-103 win over the Magic on Thursday.

The Magic had a match for the Kyle Lowry/DeMar DeRozan backcourt but they didn’t have the bench support or the defence the Raptors brought with them across the Atlantic.

And by the slimmest of margins, the Raptors will head back across that ocean with a well-deserved win.

Rajon Rondo suspended one game by NBA

Rajon Rondo suspended one game by NBA

Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo has been suspended one game without pay for directing a derogatory and offensive term towards a game official and not leaving the court in a timely manner upon his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Rondo was assessed two technical fouls and ejected, occurred with 6:30 remaining in the third quarter of Sacramento’s 114-97 loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday, Dec. 3 at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City.

Rondo is having a very good season as a new member of the 9-15 Kings. He’s averaging 12.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 11.0 assists per game and providing an entertaining spark to the squad.

Lakers beat Maccabi Haifa 126-83

Here’s the OC Register reporting on a Lakers preseason win:

Kobe Bryant scored 21 points in 19 minutes and six of his teammates scored in double figures as the Lakers rolled to a 126-83 win over Israel’s Maccabi Haifa on Sunday at Staples Center.

Bryant shot an efficient 6-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.

Roy Hibbert tallied 16 rebounds to go with 8 points and 5 assists.

It was a breakout night for many, and especially appreciated after the Lakers lost their first three preseason games.

Watch this Tony Parker to Rudy Gobert alley-oop for France in the Eurobasket 2015 tournament:

France and Spain reach 2015 EuroBasket semifinals

Familiar foes France and Spain will meet once more in the EuroBasket 2015 semi-finals after both prevailed in their quarter-finals in Lille on Tuesday.

The European powers have met eight times at major competitions in the past five years, with Spain winning five of those contests - although France have the more recent advantage, edging their rivals in the EuroBasket 2013 semi-final and 2014 FIBA World Cup quarter-final.

They have also shared the last three EuroBasket titles, although only one will make the 2015 final after Spain clung on for a 73-71 defeat of Greece and France rose above Latvia 84-70…

Pau Gasol led the Spanish once again with 27 points and nine rebounds while his Chicago Bulls team-mate Nikola Mirotic added 18.

– Eurobasket2015.org

No FIBA Asia play for Jordan Clarkson

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting on Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, who will be more rested coming into the upcoming NBA season, as explained below:

No FIBA Asia play for Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson had wanted to play for the Philippine national team. The team wanted Clarkson to play, too.

But amid concerns that his participation would conflict with his responsibilities to the Lakers, Clarkson will not play during for the Gilas Pilipinas during this month’s FIBA Asia championships, the Philippine Basketball Assn. announced on Tuesday on their website.

The statement added that Philippine national team executives Ricky Vergas and Patrick Gregorio met recently with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and president Jeanie Buss about Clarkson’s participation.

Here’s FIBA.com reporting on Nigeria, who will compete in the 2016 Olympics:

Nigeria beat Angola 74-65 in the Final of AfroBasket 2015 in Rades, Tunisia on Sunday to claim their first-ever continental championship.

Angola went into the game looking to win a 12th African title, but some poor shooting boosted Nigeria’s confidence as they led by as many as 19 points.

The win also saw Nigeria qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

In finishing second, Angola joined third- and fourth-place teams Tunisia and Senegal in booking their places for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs).

This summer, basketball teams around the world are trying to lock down spots in the 2016 Olympics. Here’s the Oregonian reporting on a new member of the Portland Trail Blazers:

Al-Farouq Aminu steps up for Nigeria at AfroBasket

Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu helped Nigeria get one step close to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics on Wednesday. Aminu led his home country to an 88-63 win over the Central African Republic at the AfroBasket, a FIBA tournament held in Tunisia in which the winner earns an automatic bid to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Aminu scored a team-high 15 points to go with eight rebounds and three assists in just over 20 minutes of playing time. He hit 6 of 8 shots and added an impressive dunk in the opening minutes of the game when he finished a half court alley-oop lob from teammate Olaseni Lawal.

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on Warriors center Andrew Bogut, who is currently helping represent Australia on the court:

Andrew Bogut fights through back pain for Australia

On Tuesday in Wellington, New Zealand, Bogut performed at a level that suggests he still has game.

The 7-foot center finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead Australia to an 89-79 win over New Zealand in a FIBA Oceana qualifying game that clinched the Aussies’ bid for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

And Bogut did this while fighting through same nagging back soreness that might be making the Warriors a bit nervous.

“The body felt good,” Bogut told reporters. “I was battling a few little things but if you take enough pills and things you end up getting there. It worked out all right. I felt pretty good out there. Tomorrow morning won’t be as good but we got the job done and we’re going to the Olympics.”

Dorell Wright to play in China

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Dorell Wright, who will reportedly take his talents to the other side of the world:

Dorell Wright to play in China

Although he had expressed interest in a reunion with the Miami Heat as early as a month ago, free-agent forward Dorell Wright on Monday agreed to play the coming season in China.

Wright confirmed on his Twitter account the one-year contract with the Chongqing Soaring Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Wright, 29, was drafted by the Heat with the No. 19 pick in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft, spending his first six NBA seasons with the team. He spent the past two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, utilized primarily for his 3-point shooting.

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