With Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (finally) stepping down as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team following the 2016 Summer Olympics, USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo needed a replacement. His choice? How about five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich.
USA Basketball announced the San Antonio Spurs coach as the "head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium" on Friday.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we have the great fortune of bringing on board one of the NBA’s best and most successful coaches ever to lead the USA National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium," Colangelo said. "By making this decision now, it will allow us to have a clean, efficient and immediate transition following the 2016 Olympic Games."
Barring the unforeseen -- as in the team not qualifying -- Popovich will coach the USA National Team during the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China and the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan along with various training camps and exhibition games.
“I’m extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent our country as the coach of the USA National Team,” said Popovich, a 1970 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. “What the program has accomplished over the last decade under the leadership of Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski is truly impressive. I will do my utmost to maintain the high standards of success, class and character established by Jerry, Coach K and the many players who have sacrificed their time on behalf of USA Basketball.”
Dating back to 2006, the USA National Team has won 63 straight games, including 45 consecutive victories in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions. The USA men have won back-to-back Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) and back-to-back FIBA World Cup gold medals (2010 and 2014) for the first time ever. Krzyzewski will coach Team USA during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
If nothing else, international basketball interviews are about to become a whole lot more interesting.
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The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.
The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Phily and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.
That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.
Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.
Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden.
Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.
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On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hugheswas joined by Nick Ashooh to break down the fallout from the trade involving Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan.
They looked at what it means for the Wizards and the East, as well as the Lakers and LeBron. Plus, they took fan questions, many of which centered on Kevin Love and the possibility of a trade to Washington.
You can listen to the episode right here: