Colangelo Says Basket Stanchion Not The Issue In George Injury, Sticking With Las Vegas
USA Basketball Chair Jerry Colangelo yesterday made clear that he "doesn't think the basket support" at Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center caused Pacers F Paul George's "gruesome leg injury" during Friday night's intrasquad scrimmage, according to Michael Pointer of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Colangelo said, "I don't think the stanchion is the issue here. Some people want to make it an issue, but it isn't." Colangelo said that he "wasn't surprised that no other Team USA players pulled out after George's injury." He declined to comment on the "calls by some -- most notably" Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban -- that the NBA "should discontinue sending players to the Olympics and the World Cup." But he added that if more players "start to decline invites, it would hardly cripple USA Basketball's national program" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/6). Colangelo yesterday also said that Team USA "plans to maintain its relationship" with Las Vegas. Colangelo: "It didn't jeopardize our relationship with Las Vegas. The NBA All-Star Game was played there. The Summer League has been played there. We’ve been playing there and we’re familiar and comfortable with the Thomas & Mack" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/6).
OFF THE MARK? In Ft. Worth, Dwain Price notes Colangelo "believes a lot of folks missed the point" when Cuban was "critical of the NBA’s and FIBA’s involvement" with the Int'l Basketball Committee. Colangelo: "I think people need to read between the lines, which is basically he’s not against international competition. He’s against international competition when he believes the beneficiary -- being the IOC -- is getting the money. So he’s basically saying it’s OK for our players to play internationally if the money goes to the NBA and to the team owners. That’s the difference" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/6). In N.Y., Harvey Araton writes somewhat "unnecessarily, if not distastefully, Cuban seized on George’s misfortune ... to complain about a less-than-ideal but still beneficial Olympic arrangement." Cuban "seemed to say that such an injury in a game outside the regular season or playoffs would be more acceptable to an NBA owner if the league’s fingerprints could be the only ones on the tournament register." NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, "The business will grow as the popularity grows, but I'm hesitant to get in position to say that this is all about a financial payoff." Silver added that "no matter what one thinks of the IOC, 'they have the franchise'" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/6). Also in Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes Cuban's points "are all valid, but this stance needs to come from somebody else." Cuban's message "needs to come from a player." Engel: "A very good player on the verge of great. A player like Paul George" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/6). Cuban, Araton and others debated their views on Twitter, with Cuban writing, “@HarveyAraton can't help yourself can u :), I have been absolutely consistent on this topic for ten years plus. Haven't changed a word” (TWITTER.com, 8/6).