Derrick Rose wants to play in 2016 Olympics; Coach K wants him there, too

Derrick Rose
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Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is just a few preseason games into his comeback, but he’s already thinking 2016.

Rose, 25, missed all of last season after tearing an ACL in the 2012 playoffs.

“For sure, I would love to play on the team,” Rose told reporters Wednesday. “It would be an honor. But at the same time it’ll take me trying out for the team and Coach K (Olympic and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski) and this coaching staff along with Thibs (Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, an Olympic assistant) would pick the players and allow me to play for them. So, if I have the opportunity to play for them, I will, but it’s just going to take me trying out for the team.”

What are Rose’s chances? Krzyzewski pointed to 2010, when Rose was the starting point guard for the U.S. gold-medal-winning team at the World Championships.

“(Rose) did a really good job,” Krzyzewski told ESPN Chicago. “He was only 21 years old at that time and probably would have been on our Olympic team in London.”

That torn ACL ended Rose’s 2012 Olympic dreams. The U.S. didn’t need him, steamrolling to its second straight Olympic gold and fifth in the last six Games.

The U.S. generally puts three point guards on the 12-man Olympic team. In 2008, they were Jason KiddChris Paul and Deron Williams. In 2012, they were Paul, Williams and Russell Westbrook.

The latter three, plus the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Cavs’ Kyrie Irving (a Krzyzewski pupil at Duke), appear to be Rose’s primary competition to make the U.S. team for next year’s World Cup in Madrid.

“I want (Rose) to be on the (team), to be in the pool of players, and hopefully be on both teams, but I also want to give him the opportunity to see how the year goes for him because there’s nothing more important than making sure his career is going in a very positive way, and we’re always cognizant of that with the USA Basketball program,” Krzyzewski said, according to ESPN Chicago.

A Bulls player hasn’t made the U.S. Olympic team since Scottie Pippen in 1996.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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