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All-time Olympic scoring champ heads to Hall of Fame

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All-time Olympic basketball scoring champ Oscar Schmidt of Brazil was officially announced for induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Monday alongside Rick Pitino, Bernard King, Gary Payton, and UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian.

Schmidt may never have played in the NBA, and didn’t even win an Olympic medal in his five tries between 1980 and 1996. But many believe the Brazilian star’s scoring exploits against the U.S. were partly to blame for the creation of the famous 1992 Barcelona Dream Team.

That’s because Oscar led his national team to an upset of the U.S. on their home soil at the 1987 Pan-Am Games in Indianapolis. That night the legendary Brazilian scored 48 points in a 120-115 gold medal win over a team that included NBA No. 1 overall picks David Robinson, Danny Manning, and Pervis Ellison.

Oscar himself was drafted by the New Jersey in the sixth round of the 1984 draft, but turned down the Nets to instead play in Italy and later Brazil, where he accumulated 49,737 career points.

Oscar earned some amount of fame in 1992 when Charles Barkley was regularly asked about the Brazilian’s scoring. At the time, the future NBA MVP claimed to not be scared of Oscar, and often made fun of the attention he received. But Barkley has since said he has a great deal of respect for Oscar, who scored 24 points as a “35-year-old second stringer” in his game against the Dream Team, and another 26 in 1996.

Oscar still holds the record for most points all-time in the Olympics with 1093, and for most points averaged during an Olympics when he put up 42.3 per game in Seoul. He’s the only player ever to eclipse 1,000 in an Olympic career and was also a seven-time scoring champ in the Italian leagues.

Damian Lillard added as U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist

Damian Lillard
AP
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Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard was added to the list of 30 finalists to make the 12-man U.S. roster for the Olympics, USA Basketball announced Wednesday.

Lillard, 25 and a two-time All-Star, did not attend an August camp deemed mandatory for Olympic consideration, but called USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and expressed desire for the Rio Games.

“Both [coach] Mike [Krzyzewski] and I feel like Damian is playing at a very high level and that he should be added to our list of Olympic finalists,” Colangelo said in a press release. “Damian has been a member of the USA National Team since 2014, and he participated in National Team training camps in 2013 and 2014, so he does have equity in USA Basketball, which is always important to me.”

USA Basketball has not said when the final 12-man Olympic team will be named. In 2012, it named its Olympic roster three weeks before the London Games.

The 2012 Olympic roster included three point guards — Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams. Paul and Westbrook are finalists for the 2016 team, but Williams is not.

Other potential first-time Olympic point guards competing with Lillard include NBA MVP Stephen Curry, All-Star John Wall and past All-Star Kyrie Irving.

MORE: Tony Parker updates Olympic qualifying, Rio status

Bob Costas to host Rio Olympic primetime coverage

Bob Costas
AP
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Bob Costas will be the Olympic primetime host for a record 11th time in Rio de Janeiro in August.

Costas, the primetime host at every Olympics on NBC since Barcelona 1992, also served as NBC’s late-night host at Seoul 1988.

“The Olympics are a unique television event,” Costas said in an NBC press release. “They involve classic sports coverage, of course, but also many elements of storytelling and travelogue aspects that are not as much a part of the typical sports broadcast. In a way, the Olympics are a three-week mini-series which, if done well, should bring viewers not only memorable athletic performances, but a sense of the host city and country, and an appreciation of what is a truly global gathering.”

NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said “there is no one better than” Costas for the role.

“For a quarter-century, Bob has been NBC’s pilot of primetime at the Olympics, and over that span, the scope of our coverage has constantly evolved, with Rio set to become the most live event in U.S. television history,” Bell said in a press release. “Given his vast experience and uncanny expertise, simply put there is no one better than Bob to tell the stories of the athletes, take our viewers inside the world’s biggest sports event, and introduce them to one of the most spectacular cities on the planet.”

Jim McKay hosted Olympic primetime coverage eight times for ABC.

WATCH: NBC Olympics promo video