Before these Olympic games have concluded, we may have learned that David Stern's hopes of a 23-and-under format for the 2016 games have already been dashed -- and in turn, John Wall's chances of playing for Gold remain alive.From SI.com's basketball writer Ian Thomsen:"These Olympics are not expected to bring an immediate end to the "Dream Team'' era of men's basketball, a source told SI.com on Thursday.
"The NBA's interest in pursuing an age ceiling for Olympic basketball is "unlikely'' to be instituted in time for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to the source, who has direct knowledge of the talks involving the International Olympic Committee and FIBA, the international ruling body for basketball."Stern, with the backing of at least some NBA owners, desires the age change so as to protect his top players, but also to boostthe newly labeled FIBA World Cup. If LeBron James, Kevin Durant and others are no longer in the Olympics, thenon-Olympic four-year event and one withoutage restriction would then be promoted as thepremier basketball event from a talent standpoint. Think World Cup soccer compared Olympic soccer (though I'm guessing most of you already made the connection.).Wall could have been in the mix for a spot in 2012 if the 23-and-under format was the rule. Should the age-limit angle be shelved for now, then Wall, part of the Select team that practicedagainst this edition of Olympians,is back in the mix for 2016. Of course, while getting into the Olympic system certainly cannot hurt his chances, it's also not a lock makes the Rio squad. As I wrote earlier this year, Chris Paul and Deron Williams will both be over 30 by the time 2016 rolls around. That hardly means the pair won't be at an All-Star level, but the combination of wear-and-tear plus the been there, done that aspect could have the passers passing. Russell Westbrook should still be in his prime. As for those not in London, Derrick Rose might want his chance at gold after missing out this time due to injury. Rajon Rondo should still be rocking and rolling and what not. Then you have the next waves of point guards including Wall, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Jennings, Damian Lillard, Kendall Marshall and plus four years worth of college players entering the pro ranks. If he plays up to his draft slot, Wizards rookie off-guard Bradley Beal should also be the backcourt discussion.
As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.
Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.
"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."
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"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."
Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.
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Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.
"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.
Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.
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On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.
Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.
You can listen to the episode right here:
You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!