Los Angeles Clippers

Getty Images

Chris Paul will return to Olympics for his son, Michael Phelps says

Leave a comment

Chris Paul didn’t play at the Rio Olympics in part to spend time with his family. Turns out, his son may have wanted it the other way.

Last week, Michael Phelps said an unnamed basketball player told him that the player’s son asked the player why he wasn’t playing ball at the Olympics this year.

“Daddy, how come you weren’t there this time?” Phelps said on The Dan Patrick Show. “I think he is going to go back and play at the Games for that reason.”

In this week’s Sports Illustrated, Phelps revealed that the player was Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers point guard who played in 2008 and 2012.

“I played golf with Chris Paul in September,” Phelps said, according to the magazine. “He didn’t go to Rio, and he told me, ‘Wait until your son is old enough and he says, ‘Daddy, why aren’t you out there?’ Chris said when he didn’t go this time, his son was asking him every day why he wasn’t there.”

Paul will be 35 years old come Tokyo 2020, which will be older than any previous U.S. Olympic men’s basketball player except for Jason Kidd in 2008 and Larry Bird in 1992.

In March, Paul mentioned his son’s interest in the Olympics. Chris Jr. is now 7 years old.

“Just a few days ago, little Chris asked me, ‘Daddy, will you play in the Olympics again?'” Paul said, according to SI. “Part of me wanted to say yes, because he’s never been part of it. But I told him, ‘I want to spend more time with you.'”

MORE: Spanish Olympic veteran retires from international basketball

U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team solidifies 10 of 12 roster spots

Carmelo Anthony, Paul George
Getty Images
Leave a comment

NEW YORK (AP) — A person with knowledge of the details says Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks has agreed to chase a fourth Olympic men’s basketball medal, while Toronto teammates Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan will also play for the U.S.

The person told The Associated Press on Thursday that the Americans were still awaiting decisions from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving but had solidified 10 of their 12 roster spots. Later Thursday, Cleveland.com reported that James will not go to Rio.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the roster discussions were to remain private. The roster is to be selected Monday.

James’ absence leaves Anthony alone in trying to become the most decorated men’s basketball Olympian ever.

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Indiana’s Paul George, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan are also committed to play for the two-time defending champions in Rio.

Kawhi Leonard passed on the opportunity to play, with the San Antonio Spurs announcing his withdrawal in a news release.

“This was a very difficult decision. It’s an honor to have been considered for the team and I hope that in the future I will have the chance to represent my country by playing for USA Basketball,” Leonard said.

Anthony won gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and a bronze in 2004. He, James and Hall of Famer David Robinson are the only Americans to play in three Olympics.

Anthony previously said he planned to play, telling AP recently: “Listen, I’ve been with USA Basketball since I was 16, 17 years old. Can’t stop now.”

DeRozan played for the Americans when they won the gold medal at the Basketball World Cup in 2014, but Lowry’s inclusion on the roster was a surprise, since he wasn’t even in the Americans’ roster pool of 31 players.

But with Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook all withdrawing, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said earlier this month he wouldn’t rule out adding another guard.

He may even need to add another if Irving declines to play. Irving was the MVP of the 2014 Basketball World Cup and would probably start for the Americans if he opted to play after helping the Cavaliers win the NBA title.

Yahoo Sports first reported Thursday that Anthony, Lowry and DeRozan would play.

Durant won gold in 2012. George, Green, Thompson, Cousins, Butler and Jordan would all be making their Olympic debuts.

MORE: Five Olympic questions with Larry Bird

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
Getty Images
1 Comment

For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Love is the only name from that list of healthy players with Olympic experience. Faried is the only player from that list who suited up at the 2014 World Cup, starting all nine games.

At London 2012, the U.S. started NBA small forwards LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the forward spots in all eight games, with another small forward, Carmelo Anthony, bringing similar versatility off the bench.

MORE: Why Candace Parker was left off Olympic team