What is Gregg Popovich doing coaching Team USA?

LAS VEGAS — It’s a brutally hot August afternoon, and Gregg Popovich is running back and forth between Mike Krzyzewski, Jeff Van Gundy, Steve Kerr and Jay Wright, among others. They’re comparing notes as Popovich’s Team USA players go through scrimmages. In the bleachers, a few dozen of his coaching peers, league executives and some scouts put in face time. They’re keeping an eye on the action, but their minds also are occupied by questions about when would be the appropriate time to fly home, because it’s finally vacation season…

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Team USA cuts Young, Adebayo after scrimmage

LAS VEGAS — There were times during this week’s training camp when Team USA looked a little rough in scrimmages as it started its process of defending its World Cup title. But Friday night, the team showed why it remains the favorite. The collective talent showed up in an exhibition game against the younger Select Team as Team USA won easily 97-78. After the game, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo announced Thaddeus Young and Bam Adebayo had been cut from the senior roster. Select Team members Derrick White and…

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Team USA’s green monster – A Boston quartet could take on the world

LAS VEGAS — When Jaylen Brown got to town last weekend, he was looking forward to trying Mizumi, a high-end Japanese restaurant at the Wynn Hotel. So on Sunday night, with three of his Boston Celtics teammates also preparing for Team USA training camp, he was pleased they decided to go together. But when Brown, Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart arrived, they were told they couldn’t be seated because they were wearing shorts and flip-flops and there was a strict dress code. “We were in Vegas; we thought…

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Olynyk has bruised knee, likely for World Cup

Miami Heat big man Kelly Olynyk suffered a bruised knee in an exhibition, but he is still expected to play in the FIBA World Cup for Canada, coach Nick Nurse said Thursday. Olynyk slipped and fell during the third quarter of Canada’s win over Nigeria in a FIBA exhibition game on Wednesday. X-rays were negative, and Olynyk will sit out a week, including an exhibition game on Friday in Winnipeg, Nurse said. Olynyk is part of Canada’s national team preparing for the FIBA World Cup.

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I’m ‘capable’ of being Lakers’ third star

LAS VEGAS — Kyle Kuzma was fast asleep in a Shanghai hotel when his manager woke him up in the middle of the night to tell him the Los Angeles Lakers had traded for Anthony Davis. In a blockbuster trade, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart — once considered the future of the Lakers — were dealt to New Orleans for the Pelicans’ All-Star big man in June. Kuzma, now the final young Laker standing from the core group Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka assembled, says he’s ready to…

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Team USA faces big questions heading into camp

This week the United States men’s basketball team begins preparation for its first major competition since the 2016 Rio Olympics as it starts a weeklong training camp in Las Vegas in advance of the World Cup to be held next month in China. For the first time in 15 years there is a new coach, Gregg Popovich, and he will have almost a completely new roster. Here’s a simple FAQ to catch you up on everything happening with the team. Q: It seems like a lot of players have dropped…

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Kerr, Popovich criticize politicians over gun control

LAS VEGAS — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he thinks all the time about gun violence and mass shootings and how any day someone could walk into a basketball gym and shoot NBA players. Following mass shootings in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 34 people in just over a week, Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Tuesday criticized lawmakers for not doing nearly enough about gun control. “When you have 97 percent of the people in the country who want…

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Lowry ‘happy’ for Kawhi, hopes to stay in Toronto

LAS VEGAS — Kawhi Leonard reached out to Kyle Lowry to personally break the news that he was leaving Toronto to join the LA Clippers. And despite losing an All-Star partner for the second straight offseason, Lowry was thrilled for Leonard and his decision to return home to Los Angeles. While Leonard’s departure was a massive blow for Toronto, it didn’t change the way Lowry felt about what the Raptors accomplished by bringing Canada its first NBA title. “No, not at all,” Lowry said emphatically. “Not at all. We are…

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Colangelo not worried about USA’s WC chances

LAS VEGAS — USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Sunday that he is not worried about the Americans’ chances as they begin preparations for the FIBA World Cup, even after a wildly unpredictable process was needed just to fill a training-camp roster for the tournament that starts in China at the end of the month. “Honestly, I don’t have any angst,” Colangelo said. After what the two-time defending World Cup champion Americans have been through just to get to camp, that’s a very good sign. It took more than…

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The best and most surprising NBA Christmas Day matchups

What are the best NBA Christmas Day games this year? The 2019 slate will feature plenty of star power and revamped rosters, including Anthony Davis and LeBron James vs. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. The five games: • Los Angeles Lakers vs. LA Clippers • Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors • Milwaukee Bucks @ Philadelphia 76ers • Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors • New Orleans Pelicans @ Denver Nuggets Our NBA experts answer the big questions about the five matchups, identify the biggest surprises and make bold predictions about…

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