Team USA Basketball has been devastated by the fact that the vast majority of the league's best players don't want to play for upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup squad. With the tournament going down in September, some players feel as though it's too close to training camp and they would much rather focus on their NBA teams. Not to mention, going to international tournaments can lead to injuries and no one wants to start the NBA season on the bench because of an ailment.
One of Team USA's most prominent players, PJ Tucker, announced today that he will be withdrawing from the team due to an ankle injury. It was reported by Kelly Iko of The Athletic that he wanted to continue playing but realized that he's better off resting ahead of the Houston Rockets season.
Tucker was expected to be a starter on Team USA and would have been a huge defensive presence for them. Without him, the squad will have to dig deep to find a suitable replacement.
Needless to say, Team USA training camp has been a struggle.
PJ Tucker Explains How Team USA’s G-League Loss Really Went Down
Tucker says a lot of context was missing from the original reports.
Yesterday, we reported on the Team USA basketball team and how they lost to a team full of G-League players ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China. The score finished 36-17 and fans were roasting the squad for losing to a bunch of players that in theory, are inferior in terms of skill. After the loss, Kevin Durant was tasked with speaking to the team and with the tournament just a few weeks away, the squad will need to get it together.
After the fallout from the loss, PJ Tucker spoke about what went down and said that what was being reported wasn’t the full story. As he explained, there were a lot of factors at play when it comes to why they lost and that no one on the team is worried about it.
“Nobody gave the whole perspective of what happened. They just threw the score up and said, ‘they lost,”’ Tucker said USA Basketball. “It was two quarters after we’d been playing two hours. And they just come in fresh and everybody kind of … we played. We didn’t play a game. That was two quarters of practice and whatever.We come in today and nobody talked about it. We’re doing what we do, working hard and practicing. It doesn’t matter. It matters when the game starts. We’re just going to keep working and get to the point where we’re comfortable with each other and playing together and fighting for each other.”
Heading into the tournament, Team USA is one of the favorites so it will be interesting to see how the team performs against their international competition. Perhaps by then, the team’s chemistry will be at full force.
Bronny James Jr. Channels Steph Curry With Bench Three-Pointer: Watch
At just 14 years old, Bronny's got a silky shot.
Bronny James Jr. has been a hot commodity on social media these past few months thanks to his skills out on the court. It seems as though every other week we get a new video of Bronny showing off his dunking ability that can only be described as impressive for a 14-year-old. It's clear that he's looking to follow in his father's footsteps and so far, he's doing an immaculate job. Some people believe Bronny could be a top NCAA recruit in a few years and even has the potential to make the NBA. While it may be too quick to make that sort of claim, there is no denying that he has some potential moving forward.
Today, a video surfaced of Bronny having some fun during a warm-up and as you can see, he's looking like Steph Curry out there. In the clip, Bronny shoots the ball from the bench and drains it. From there, he yells "STEPH" knowing good and well that his shot is looking pretty crisp out there.
Considering we've mostly seen him dunk so far, this shooting clip is a nice change of pace and shows just how dynamic of a player he could become. This upcoming season will be interesting as there will certainly be a ton of highlights to come out of Sierra Canyon.
Bronny will get to play alongside Zaire Wade which will hopefully lead to the type of chemistry we saw from their fathers.
Lakers DeMarcus Cousins ACL Injury Video Surfaces
TMZ releases video footage of the moment Cousins tore his ACL.
Los Angeles Lakers big man DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn ACL this week, marking his third major injury in the last 19 months. The six-time All Star, who signed a one, year $3.5 million contract with the Lakers last month, will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2019-20 season as a result.
As seen in the video embedded below, the devastating injury occurred as Cousins was going up for a layup during a pickup basketball game in Las Vegas.
As noted, Cousins just can not seem to stay healthy as of late. It all began with the achilles injury he suffered in January 2018 while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, which cost him most of the 2018-19 campaign.
In his 30 regular season games with the Golden State Warriors, Boogie averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists, but was bit by the injury bug again when he tore his quad in the opening round of the playoffs. Although he was able to return for the NBA Finals, Cousins explained to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols after the injury, “I was just ready to quit. Like, throw the towel in.”
The 28-year old boasts career averages of 21.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, but his recent injury history is threatening to derail his All-Star caliber play. A timetable for his recovery has not yet been announced.
Rockets GM Explains Why James Harden Is A Better Scorer Than Michael Jordan
The Rockets GM came through with a questionable hot take.
Over the last few years, the Houston Rockets have been one of those teams who are always competing for a title but never seem to get over the hump and make it to the NBA Finals. This offseason, general manager Daryl Morey made some strides to fix that as he traded Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is now being reunited with James Harden, a player he had a ton of chemistry with on the Thunder earlier this decade.
During a recent appearance on the Selfmade podcast, Morey spoke about his team and how he believes Harden is quite possibly the best scorer to ever play the game. He even said he's better than Michael Jordan, which will certainly get a strong reaction from all of the basketball purists out there.
"It's just factual that James Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan," Morey said. "You give James Harden the ball and before you're giving up the ball how many points do you generate, which is how you should measure offense, James Harden is by far #1 in NBA history."
Morey is also extremely confident after the Westbrook trade, saying teams composed like his own usually go on to win championships.
"We have two recent MVPs, that's happened only four times in NBA history where two MVPs are on the same team in a 3-year span," Morey explained. "Every time that team has gone on to win the title. We'll see. We'll see if it works out for us."
What do you think of Morey's comments? Is he right or is calling Harden a better scorer than Jordan blasphemous?
Steve Kerr Reacts With Devastation To DeMarcus Cousins ACL Injury
NBA players have been quite sad about the news.
DeMarcus Cousins was given a chance to prove himself this upcoming season with the Los Angeles Lakers. The star player was given a one-year deal and if he could escape the season without injuries, he would have been in prime position for a huge contract. Unfortunately, it was announced yesterday that Cousins had suffered an ACL injury and that he would have to miss the vast majority of next season. It's a horrible turn of events for a player that many fans were rooting for this upcoming season, especially when you consider how many injuries he's suffered over the years.
NBA players rushed to support Cousins, while his former coach in Golden State, Steve Kerr, was asked about the whole ordeal. As you can imagine, Kerr was upset by the news and had some well wishes for his former player.
“I’m devastated for DeMarcus," Kerr said. "It’s been a couple of years of hell. I was really hoping this season would be a chance to get healthy. We’re all crushed for him.”
Cousins will have to receive surgery on his ACL and as of right now, there is no confirmed timeline for his recovery and return. For now, Cousins will have to make sure he gets his rest and continue to persevere as the season progresses. Hopefully the Lakers star can turn it around and return for a playoff run.
DeMarcus Cousins’ ACL Injury Sparks Sad Reaction From NBA Players
Cousins has had a rough last few years.
Earlier today, it was revealed that DeMarcus Cousins had been diagnosed with a torn ACL after injuring his knee during a training session in Las Vegas on Monday. It's an unfortunate series of events for the Los Angeles Lakers star as just weeks earlier, he had talked about how he wanted to play 82 games this season. The Lakers took a waiver on Cousins hoping he could get back to his production from before his Achilles injury a couple of years ago. Now, it looks like they will have to be without him for the majority of the season, which will certainly set them back a bit.
Cousins' situation is a cautionary tale in how sometimes, your NBA career isn't guaranteed. When Cousins was going through his Achilles issues in New Orleans, he was offered a contract but because it wasn't the max, he ended up walking away and signed a short term deal with the Golden State Warriors instead. During the playoffs, Cousins hurt his quad but was able to come back in time for the Finals. This season in Los Angeles was supposed to be his way of proving to the league that he deserves max money but with his injury woes, it doesn't look like that will happen.
Following the news, Cousins' peers took to Twitter to show support for the big man and even offered some prayers in the process.
Terry Rozier Expresses Frustration With Celtics And How They Handled Him
Rozier recently signed with the Charlotte Hornets.
Terry Rozier let his feelings be known at the end of the season when it came to the Boston Celtics and everything that went down this season. Rozier was the backup point guard behind Kyrie Irving and it was clear that there were some chemistry issues. Ever since his public comments, Rozier moved on and signed with the Charlotte Hornets, where he is expected to become the starting point guard. In a new interview with Jonathan Abrams of Bleacher Report, Rozier spoke about why he was frustrated in Boston and how he wishes things had gone down differently.
“Not liking how me being positioned and me being used as a person, player and I just feel like things could have been done better, could’ve been handled better on Boston’s end and on my end,” Rozier said. “I feel like things could’ve been a lot better, and it wasn’t.”
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
The point guard also got to talk about being the number one guy during the team’s playoff run in 2018, when they were one win away from making it to the Finals. As Rozier explained, being able to lead like that was a moment he persevered for.
“Didn’t try to get too high, then let the stuff get to me,” Rozier said. “Didn’t try to get too low, when things weren’t going my way. Just try to stay right there in the moment, and it worked out for me. Then a lot of people that wasn’t on the Terry Rozier train, talking all that B.S., hop on. That’s just how I go.”
It will be interesting to see how Hozier handles the starting duties in Charlotte as the team looks to rebuild after the departure of Kemba Walker.
James Harden Takes Court In New Signature Shoe: Adidas Harden Vol. 4
Closer look at James Harden’s Adidas Harden Vol. 4.
Houston Rockets All-NBA shooting guard James Harden will be taking the court in his fourth Adidas signature sneaker next season.
The Adidas Harden Vol. 4 won’t be officially unveiled until sometime this Fall before the 2019-20 campaign tips off, but the kicks have already been designed and the man himself recently tested them out on the hardwood. Harden’s latest training session out in Los Angeles provided fans with an on-foot look of what to expect from the Harden Vol. 4, which seems to pull some design cues from the Pharrell x Adidas BYW. Like Harden’s previous Adidas signatures, the upcoming model is of the low-top variety.
Judging from some other early images that surfaced this summer, it appears the beloved Boost cushioning has been scrapped in favor of Adidas’ new Lightstrike cushioning. Take a look at the on-foot shots, as well as some other images of the upcoming Harden Vol. 4, in the IG posts embedded below.
Knicks Rookie RJ Barrett Finally Has His NBA 2K20 Rating Unveiled
Barrett scored a few points lower than his Duke teammate Zion Williamson.
If you're an NBA player, there is only one thing that matters more than winning an NBA Championship and securing your spot amongst the league's best. Everyone knows that your NBA 2K rating is what will make or break your career, especially if you're a rookie. Of course, I'm being sarcastic but there is something to say about the stock that is put into these ratings by the fans and the players alike. Over the past few weeks, 2K Games has been slowly but surely revealing the ratings for all of the players in the league and today, it was Knicks rookie RJ Barrett's turn to be rated.
Just a couple of weeks ago, his Duke Blue Devils teammate, Zion Williamson, received a rating of 81. Zion was the first overall pick in the draft, while Barrett was the third pick so it only makes sense that RJ scored a few points lower. In the end, Barrett was given an overall rating of 78 which is still pretty good for an unproven rookie.
Barrett will be a bright spot on a Knicks team that has had to suffer from terrible results on the court for a better part of a decade. Fans will be excited to see Barrett on the court of Madison Square Garden once the season starts in October.
Whether or not he can live up to the hype still remains to be seen.