Durant told ESPN.com here on Monday night that he intends to join in this week’s Team USA workouts.
“Yes sir,” Durant said before heading out for a late-night shooting session.
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Anthony, meanwhile, is likewise planning to jump into the light, non-contact practices scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday on the campus of UNLV.
Durant and Anthony are among the stars who were initially earmarked to report to the three-day minicamp solely to satisfy USAB’s mandatory attendance requirement in Vegas to remain eligible for the 2016 Olympic team. Neither Anthony nor Durant, sources said, will play in Thursday night’s intrasquad game at the Thomas and Mack Center (10:30 P.M on ESPN2), but the low-intensity nature of what Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski has planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, sources said, has been deemed sufficiently safe.
USA Today first reported Durant\’s intention to join the practices earlier Monday.
Durant played only 27 games last season because of a fractured foot. The NBA’s 2014 MVP was diagnosed with a Jones fracture early in training camp began and was ultimately forced to undergo three surgeries last season.
“Kevin has been incredibly disciplined in his return to play protocol and he’s now at the stage where he can participate in non-contact drill work,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. “We are excited he is at the point where can take part in portions of the mini-camp, as he has demonstrated great focus throughout his recovery efforts.”
Anthony, meanwhile, told ESPNNewYork.com in June that his recovery from surgery on his left knee is ahead of schedule. He underwent the season-ending operation to address a tendon issue shortly after playing in the All-Star Game in mid-February at Madison Square Garden.
“I’m doing extremely well,” Anthony told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley two months ago. “Rehab is going very, very well. I’m actually ahead of schedule [compared] to where everybody predicted I would be at this point in time.”
USAB has assembled a roster of 34 players for this week’s three-day minicamp. Cleveland’s LeBron James and several other players who are either recovering from injury or have otherwise secured clearance are not expected to participate in the two scheduled days of noncontact workouts or the intrasquad scrimmage, but USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo made attendance in Vegas mandatory for any player who wishes to be considered for the 2016 Olympic squad.
James, in particular, plans to make his stay short at the minicamp so he can get back to Ohio for a long-scheduled event for his foundation. But by reporting to camp, James keeps himself eligible for the Summer Games in Brazil should the 30-year-old decide to play in his fourth straight Olympic tournament. The expectation in USAB circles is that James is unlikely to say yes or no to Colangelo and Krzyzewski until after the 2015-16 NBA season.
The full list of attendees includes 11 of the 12 members of the squad that won the inaugural FIBA World Cup in Spain last summer — all except Chicago’s Derrick Rose — as well as eight members of the gold-medal-winning squad from the 2012 Olympics in London and eight players new to the national-team pool.
Colangelo announced last week that Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan will join the list of seven newcomers to the pool that ESPN.com reported last month: Golden State’s Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Milwaukee’s Michael Carter-Williams, Memphis’ Mike Conley and the Orlando duo of Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo.
Of the 34 players who were in the USAB player pool as of September 2014, 26 were scheduled to arrive Monday in Sin City. They are: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Anthony; Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Durant; Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); James; Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Mason Plumlee (Portland Trail Blazers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Irving, Love and Parsons are among those recovering from long-term injuries and, like James, have already been excused from any on-court work at the minicamp.
The eight players in the pool as of last September who are no longer on the USAB roster are Phoenix’s Tyson Chandler, Golden State’s Andre Iguodala, Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, Boston’s David Lee, Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Dallas’ Deron Williams and Rose.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.