USA Basketball has flexibility to replace Olympic players if need be

Devin Booker, Khris Middleton
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USA Basketball has more leeway to replace any of its 12 Olympic men’s players — should the albeit unlikely situation arise — given the unprecedented circumstances of the Tokyo Games.

“There’s much more flexibility this time around than ever in the past,” U.S. men’s national team managing director Jerry Colangelo said after the roster was announced Monday. “In the past, you had to have your roster in by particular date, and once that happened, you had no ability to replace players. Fortunately, all of the powers that be, and I’m referring to the International Olympic Committee, FIBA, etcetera, they understood, because of COVID, because of the compact-fullness of the two seasons, because of injuries, we needed flexibility. I won’t be specific on the date that is the drop-dead date, but there’s much more flexibility to replace someone.”

The NBA season will end closer to the start of the Olympics than ever before. The Olympics open in three weeks, and the playoffs are still in the conference finals stage. If the Finals extend to six or seven games, they will run into the week leading up to the Opening Ceremony on July 23.

Three of the 12 players on the U.S. men’s roster — Devin BookerJrue Holiday and Khris Middleton — are still playing in the conference finals.

The IOC said earlier this month that USA Basketball has been granted an exception, after a petition, to enter the names of its Olympic male and female basketball players up to one week after the overall sport entries deadline of July 5.

All nations can replace basketball players from a list of 24 players per gender up until the day before the start of the men’s and women’s Olympic tournaments, according to FIBA, which said that its overall regulations have not been changed for these Games. The list of 24 must be submitted by July 18 for the men and July 19 for the women.

“I guess one option is we’re going to have nine players for the first game against France,” on July 25, Colangelo said Monday. “That’s the worst-case scenario. Second-case scenario is we have a couple of replacement players. Number three, that those three players [Booker, Holiday and Middleton] are going to be there, whether it’s 24 or 48 hours before game one, they’ll be there in uniform ready to play. My guess is all three of these guys are going to want to play, and they’re going to do everything they can to make that happen.”

USA Basketball will hold a male player training camp and exhibition games from July 6-18 in Las Vegas. Colangelo said Monday that other players can “fill in” at training camp, which Booker, Holiday and Middleton might all have to miss.

“Some of them are players who are playing elsewhere around the world, who have the availability to participate if we need help,” Colangelo said.

He also noted that there will be a U.S. Select Team, which for past Games has been younger players brought in to train with the national team.

USA Basketball has known for months that some players might face a tight transition from the playoffs to the Olympics. It has planned for the scenario. The players who committed have, too.

Colangelo noted Booker, who called him a month ago and said he would be on a plane the day after the NBA Finals if need be. Holiday and Middleton feel the same way, Colangelo said.

“We’re going to have enough players to make it all work,” Colangelo said.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich

A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule


Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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