Regardless of the dunks LeBron James throws down or the threes Kevin Durant nails from the corner, no one has been more instrumental in the rebirth of USA Olympic basketball than Jerry Colangelo.
Thankfully the team’s unofficial MVP was re-elected chairman of USA Basketball this week until 2016, and will oversee the men’s and women’s youth and Olympics programs through the Rio Games.
“I’m proud of the many successes USA Basketball’s coaches and players achieved over the past four years,” Colangelo said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to helping keep that momentum going.”
Colangelo spent nearly 40 years as owner and operator of the Phoenix Suns before joining USA Basketball in 2005 as managing director after the men’s team suffered three losses during a disappointing bronze-medal showing in Athens.
The hall of fame executive was brought in to change the attitude and culture of the men’s team and has helped them to a 62-1 record, two Olympic golds, and a World Basketball Championship in his seven years.
Now he’ll start his new tenure on a coaching search after Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski stepped down from the national team following the gold medal game in London. The unofficial shortlist includes Doug Collins, Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, but Colangelo says he’s in no rush.
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The Brazilian torch relay for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics has kicked off with volleyball player Fabiana Claudino running the first leg after the torch was ignited by embattled President Dilma Rousseff.
Rousseff says “Brazil is ready to host the most successful Olympics in history.”
The Olympic flame arrived in a lantern on a flight from Switzerland a few hours earlier and was taken to the Planalto presidential palace.
The three-month relay across Brazil, ending at the opening ceremony on Aug. 5 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio, will involve 329 cities and 12,000 torchbearers. Rio organizers hope it will build enthusiasm for the games, which has lagged as Brazil battles bribery and corruption scandals and its deepest recession in decades.
The start of the relay comes just a week before the Brazilian senate is expected to suspend Rousseff for six months as it considers her impeachment.
MORE: Rio Olympic flame will live downtown — not in stadium
Michael Phelps could face his lightest-ever competition run-up to an Olympic Trials after opting not to swim at a meet in Atlanta next week.
Last week, Phelps noted one other scheduled meet before the U.S. Olympic Trials (June 26-July 3). That’s in Austin, Texas, from June 3-5.
In his previous four Olympic cycles, Phelps swam at least two meets in the final two months before the Olympic Trials, according to USA Swimming statistics.
Phelps’ training plan in May and June will be impacted by the impending birth of his first child. Fiancée Nicole Johnson is 36 weeks pregnant, according to her Instagram.
Without Phelps, the Atlanta meet is expected to include five-time 2015 World champion Katie Ledecky, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, Olympic 100m free champion Nathan Adrian and rising sprint freestyler Caeleb Dressel.
VIDEO: Phelps’ interview with Matt Lauer