Getty Images

Steve Kerr among U.S. men’s basketball assistant coaches for Tokyo 2020

1 Comment

Steve KerrNate McMillan and Jay Wright will be Gregg Popovich‘s assistant coaches with the U.S. men’s basketball team for its Tokyo 2020 Olympic run.

Kerr, who coached the Golden State Warriors to three of the last four NBA titles, was cut from 1988 Olympic consideration when the tryout pool was cut to 21 players, the last team before the NBA began participating in the Olympics. Kerr had just finished his career at the University of Arizona and was about to start a 15-season NBA career that would include five titles (the last two playing for Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs).

He was also on the 1986 World Championship-winning team in Madrid, the last American men’s senior team composed strictly of amateur players to capture a gold medal.

McMillan, the Indiana Pacers head coach, was an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski‘s staff at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Wright, who coached Villanova to two of the last three NCAA titles, coached Team USA at the 2005 World University Games and 2007 Pan American Games.

The U.S. men’s basketball team, which has won 25 straight Olympic games and the last three gold medals. Its first opportunity to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, though it still must qualify for that world tournament.

The 2016 Olympic assistants for Krzyzewski were Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Tom Thibodeau and former New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Who is the world’s best female basketball player?

Second player to win to 2 Olympic basketball gold medals dies

Bill Hougland
University of Kansas
Leave a comment

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas standout Bill Hougland, who led the Jayhawks to the 1952 national title before becoming the second player to win two Olympic basketball gold medals, died Monday. He was 86.

The school announced that Hougland had died in Lawrence. No cause was given.

Hougland played in 77 games for coach Phog Allen during his three-year college career. Along with a national title, Hougland helped the Jayhawks win Big Seven titles in 1950 and 1952.

He was among seven Kansas players who helped the U.S. win gold at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, then was part of the team that repeated its golden performance at the 1956 Melbourne Games.

After his playing career, Hougland served in the Air Force and worked in the oil industry. He also remained close to his alma mater, donating more than $1.2 million to the school.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: LeBron James considers Olympic return

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Hougland was the first player to win two Olympic basketball gold medals. The first was Bob Kurland on the 1948 and 1952 U.S. Olympic teams.

Michael Phelps told Charlie Rose why he’s ‘technically not retired’

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michael Phelps was in no rush to make his retirement official after the Rio Olympics.

Some time after the Games, Phelps said in an interview with Charlie Rose — sitting next to longtime U.S. men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski — that he had not yet completed paperwork that would take him out of a drug-testing pool and make him ineligible for major competition.

“I am, technically, not retired, but I’m retiring soon,” Phelps said in a video published last Friday, which Rose said was taped in Chicago. “I haven’t signed the papers, but I am retiring.”

Phelps was reportedly in Chicago as far back as September, so he very well could have dotted all the Is by now.

In the 40-minute Rose interview, Phelps and Krzyzewski went deeper into their careers, with Phelps repeating many stories he has often told.

“I’m ready [to retire], and I think this time I’m actually ready,” Phelps said. “I think in ’12, I kind of forced it [retirement].”

In early 2013, Phelps unretired by re-entering the drug-testing pool, becoming eligible to swim in 2014 after a mandatory nine-month waiting period.

Of those drug-testing papers, Phelps reportedly said after his last swim in Rio, “Were the papers here, I’d sign them tomorrow.”

MORE: Phelps leads Golden Goggle nominees