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?

MLB Players Association head says ‘continuing dialogue’ about 2020 Olympics

Jake Arrieta
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SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association says it will be difficult for big leaguers to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball returns to Olympics after a 12-year absence for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9 — in the middle of baseball’s season.

“There are challenges with the schedule, and there are challenges with major leaguers being involved,” Tony Clark said Thursday at the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training camp.

In 2008, players on major league 25-man rosters and disabled lists on June 26 were ineligible to play. The U.S. roster included 17 players from Triple-A, seven from Double-A and college pitcher Stephen Strasburg, now with the Washington Nationals.

“It doesn’t mean that we are not continuing to have dialogue. We have going back. We will going forward. Where we land, I don’t know,” Clark said. “One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there have been a year ago. We’ll have to wait and see. We haven’t had that kind of substantive sit down yet.”

Many players are preparing for the fourth edition of World Baseball Classic, an international tournament launched in 2006 that is co-owned by Major League Baseball and the union. Clark hopes to see a fifth edition in 2021.

“I see no reason at this point why it wouldn’t,” he said. “I’m hopeful it continues, understanding that the world we live in four years from now may be different from the one we’re in now.”

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Lance Armstrong’s $100 million trial set for November

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 20:  Lance Armstrong (C) heads out with cyclists on December 20, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The disgraced Tour de France rider is in New Zealand to film a commercial, and put out a call on social media for local riders to join him on a ride along the Auckland Waterfront.  (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong‘s $100 million legal fight with the federal government has been set for a November trial.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Thursday set a Nov. 6 trial start in Washington. Armstrong’s legal team had asked to postpone trial until 2018 because of a potential scheduling conflict.

The government wants Armstrong to pay back the $32 million the U.S. Postal Service paid his team for sponsorship, plus triple damages.

Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis initially filed the whistle-blower case in 2010, accusing him of violating the sponsorship contract by taking performance-enhancing drugs. The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong admitted cheating and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for cheating, could collect up to 25 percent of damages awarded.

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