Olympics: Basketball-Men's Gold Medal Game-USA vs ESP

Hypothetical Olympic 3-on-3 basketball rules

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As rumors persist that FIBA will push for 3-on-3 basketball as soon as 2016 it’s probably time to completely overhype this event before having our hopes and dreams dashed as we return to the boredom that is Team USA sleepwalking to gold nearly every four years. So here’s how we’d like to see our new favorite, albeit still non-existent, Olympics event played out in Rio.

Teams – Sure, basketball is a U.S. sport that America loves winning to prove their international superiority, but we’re thinking a 32-team tournament that limits each country to one squad would allow more countries to participate and help grow the sport. Also, the U.S. tournament to represent the States, held just after the Finals in June, would arguably be the highlight of every NBA fan’s year.

Rosters – Four man rosters chosen by the players themselves. Imagine the animosity created by Kevin Durant not returning LeBron’s phone call because the Oklahoma City star has already teamed up Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. This would cause the “eff you” attitude to go through the roof in strong basketball countries like Spain, France, and the U.S., which nearly always makes for better competition.

Scoring / rules – Quick rundown: best of three games, each to 21, ones and twos, win by two, loser’s ball. If that didn’t make sense, consult a friend or just move on. We’d like to think the pros could handle calling their own fouls, out-of-bounds, and the like, but that’s probably asking too much. There would need to be a referee just so players don’t eventually kill one another, and each player gets three fouls per game.

Court size / location – This is a tough decision: traditional half courts with take-backs or shrunk-down full courts? Half is the old school pure game, but full would create more opportunities for breakaways and dunks, would spread the floor, and would be more exciting in the long run. Regardless, the games should be played outside in some historic or picturesque location, ala beach volleyball at London’s Horse Guards Parade.

Attire / equipment – We’ve sexualized women’s beach volleyball by demanding bikinis since the sport’s inception in 1996, so it’s probably fair to tip our cap to the ladies and make the men’s game shirts vs. skins, right? As for the game ball, this is the one piece of American iconography we’re forcing on the world: we’re bringing back the old ABA ball. If you don’t like it, feel free to change our minds by winning gold.

Those are our rules, and we’re open to yours. What do you have for us, world?

Adelina Sotnikova likely to skip whole season, eyes 2018 Olympics

SAITAMA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 03:  Adelina Sotnikova of Russia competes in the Ladies Singles Free Skating during the Japan Open 2015 Figure Skating at Saitama Super Arena on October 3, 2015 in Saitama, Japan.  (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
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Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova will miss the Russian Championships later this month and will likely sit out this whole season but still hopes to defend her title in Pyeongchang, according to R-Sport.

Earlier this year, Sotnikova stopped preseason training due to a health issue, decided not to compete but rather perform in less-demanding ice shows this fall, according to the report, citing her manager.

Sotnikova, 20, last competed at the 2015 Russian Championships, finishing sixth and failing to make the three-woman Russian team for last season’s European and world championships.

She did not compete in major events in the 2014-15 season due to injury and in 2015-16 skated at one top-level international event, finishing third at the November 2015 Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.

In Sochi, Sotnikova became the first Olympic women’s figure skating champion without a prior Olympic or world championships individual medal.

Russian women’s figure skating has only solidified in Sotnikova’s absence since Sochi, complicating her path to making the 2018 Olympic team.

Yevgenia Medvedeva and Anna Pogorilaya were the two best female skaters this fall. Yelena Radionova and Maria Sotskova will join them in the six-skater Grand Prix Final this week.

Russia can send three women to the European Championships in January and world championships in March. The results of the Russian Championships later this month will largely determine the makeup of those teams.

MORE: Javier Fernandez builds to last Olympic chance

Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues approved for new sports

Yokohama Stadium
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Tokyo 2020 venues for the new Olympic sports of baseball, softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were approved by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.

That brings the total number of Tokyo 2020 venues to 39, with the potential for more.

The venues for new sports:

Baseball/softball — Yokohama Stadium (20 miles south of Tokyo)
Karate — Nippon Budokan
Skateboarding and Sport Climbing — Aomi Urban Sports Venue
Surfing — Tsurigasaki Beach

All of the new sports do not currently have a spot on the Olympic program beyond 2020 (baseball and softball were previously on the Olympic program before being taken off after Beijing 2008).

Agenda 2020 reforms allowed Olympic host cities to propose the addition of sports for their Games only, which is what Tokyo 2020 did to get them on the program.

The Tokyo Olympic venues are split between two zones — the Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone — that are separated by the Olympic Village.

Tokyo 2020 and FIFA are still discussing the finalization of soccer venues. There are currently six, including two in Tokyo and one as far away as Sapporo (650 miles north).

Tokyo 2020 and the World Baseball Softball Confederation are still discussing the potential of adding a second baseball-softball venue in Fukushima prefecture, the site of 2011 nuclear plant meltdowns caused by an earthquake and tsunami. Fukushima is about 150 miles north of Tokyo.

The Tokyo Dome, home of the Yomiuri Giants and several MLB and World Baseball Classic games, is not a 2020 Olympic venue.

MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympic volleyball venue could be moved

Tokyo Olympic venues