June 24, 2024

Lakers star Anthony Davis says he’s willing to play in Olympics

Lakers forward Anthony Davis made it clear Saturday at the All-Star Game media day that if his country asks, he will play for the U.S. at the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.

Phoenix’s Kevin Durant — seeking a fourth gold — has made it clear that he will play, as has Miami’s Bam Adebayo. LeBron James has indicated he wants to play and Stephen Curry might finally decide to go to what would be his first Olympics.

NBA TV on X: ""All 29 other teams are on my list." Anthony Davis says he  does not have a preferred destination #NBAAllStar https://t.co/fyCIxtLdYX"  / X

“Am I going to go? I’ll make a cameo,” Davis said when asked about the Olympics. “Nah, I told the USA committee, whoever called me, that if they ask me to go, I’ll go. It’ll be a great opportunity for me.”

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was a bit coy: “We’ll see what happens, if I’m able to get a spot or not.”

USA Basketball has not confirmed any official invitations yet, and even if the team was announced now, it surely would change by the time training camp starts in July because of injuries or players dropping out after a grueling playoff run.

James wasn’t at the All-Star practice and media availability on Saturday. He will hold a pregame news conference on Sunday and then play in the game.

First start

Adebayo was announced as the replacement for Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid in the Eastern Conference starting lineup for the All-Star Game. Embiid — the reigning MVP and two-time defending scoring champion — is missing the game because of a knee injury.

Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, who will lead the East team in the All-Star Game, made the selection.

“He walked in and was like, ‘Bam, you’re starting,’” Adebayo said. “It’s going to be a dope experience. Just going to really cherish that moment and thankful to God and all the people who support me through all the ups and downs. We’ve added something new to our list.”

Some ups, some downs

In Adam Silver’s eyes, the NBA’s new 65-game policy is working. The commissioner, in his annual All-Star weekend news conference, said he believes the league’s rules, which mandate players must generally play in at least 65 games to be eligible for postseason awards, have had their intended effect.

“I can tell you that the number of games that players have participated in is up this season,” Silver said. “And interestingly enough, injuries are actually down.”

Lakers Role Player Believes Anthony Davis Deserves More Respect For This  Element Of His Game - All Lakers | News, Rumors, Videos, Schedule, Roster,  Salaries And More

There has already been some impact. Philadelphia center Joel Embiid won’t win a second consecutive MVP award and his two-year reign as the league scoring champion will also end because he won’t play in enough games to qualify.

Indiana guard Tyrese Haliburton’s next contract might be worth more than $50 million less than he hoped if he doesn’t play enough games to qualify for a supermax — and at his current pace, he’d come up a bit short. Miami’s Jimmy Butler has already missed too many games to be an awards candidate.

“I just don’t like it, how it forces players to play if they’re injured to achieve something,” Denver center Nikola Jokic said.

Pacers night

Indiana guard Bennedict Mathurin put on a show for Pacers fans Friday night, earning the Rising Stars MVP award after scoring 13 points in a 26-13 victory in the championship game.

Jalen Williams, Mathurin’s teammate, scored the other 13 points to give coach Jalen Rose the title.

San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama didn’t make it that far. He scored 11 points but his team was eliminated in the second semifinal.

Classic effort

Ketron Shaw scored 15 and Jaylen Alston had a double double with 14 points and 11 rebounds to pace Winston-Salem State to a 64-47 victory over Virginia Union on Saturday in NBA HBCU Classic.

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