USA Routs Serbia by 30 to win Men’s Basketball Gold.

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RIO DE JANEIRO—It had the sound, from an omen perspective, of the flat-out wrong address. A booking gone bad.Housing all those famous faces from the NBA on a luxury cruise liner called The Silver Cloud?At the Olympics? You were moved to question the wisdom of that choice once or twice in the early stages Sunday, when stubborn Serbia managed to hang with mighty Team USA for a quarter at Carioca Arena 1. You couldn’t help but think: Imagine the storms and ridicule that would greet the Americans if they only managed to bring silver home from these Rio Games.And then Kevin Durant, turning ruthless in the last game we’ll see him play before he starts his new under-the-microscope life with the increasingly villainous Golden State Warriors, staged a hostile international takeover to make you laugh at yourself for wasting any brain cells on the idea.There would be no storms, or lasting fears of silver, on this afternoon. The Americans ultimately rolled in a 96-66 rout, with Durant erupting for 24 of his 30 points by halftime — 15 of them in the second quarter — to turn an edgy 19-15 game after a period into a 23-point laugher at the break.Five mostly d-e-e-p 3s from Durant in the first half, with a couple of memorable dunks thrown in, put KD on a path to match his 30 points from the gold-medal game in London 2012, essentially clinched a record third gold medal for teammate Carmelo Anthony before the second half and ensured that Mike Krzyzewski would bid farewell to the international game with a 76-game winning streak to take back to Duke.Best of all, Durant made the Americans’ final hours on Brazilian soil their most comfortable of the whole trip.What followed after the break was a predictable in-game party for the Americans, with Durant eventually serving as head cheerleader at the end thanks to a lead that stretched as high as 41 points, all of which banished the memories of those nervy three single-digit victories in their first seven games here. “We were pissed going into the locker room,” Durant said the other day, reflecting on Serbia’s near upset of the tournament’s overwhelming favorites in group play on Aug. 12. “Not because we wanted to blow every team out. Just because we didn’t play well at all.But now I’m just like, ‘Hey, man, if we lose this game, we lose it.’ If we win it, then great, we move on. That helps me. It may not help other players, but it helps me. I’ve just embraced who I am as a basketball player.” He truly couldn’t have looked more comfortable in his last act on the Rio stage. A summer that began with U.S. players loathing the Molten brown-and-white ball used in international play and struggling to adjust to the slightly shorter 3-point line came to a close with Durant routinely squaring up from far beyond NBA range and hitting triple after triple.This one changed completely once Krzyzewski put reserves Paul George, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and DeMarcus Cousins around Durant. The Serbs couldn’t cope with their length and athleticism and pressure on the ball, then watched helplessly as Durant sailed in for a slam and a 45-25 cushion when multiple defenders rushed out to try to crowd him on the perimeter.Making 3s was the Serbs’ only realistic shot of hanging in‎, but they were hounded into fatal 4-for-24 shooting from deep. Any remaining hope was snuffed out by Team USA’s crushing 54-33 edge on the boards.As Durant said after the Yanks’ semifinal win over Spain: “We’ve got two lineups — guys who can just score and we got energy lineups — and we mix them together pretty well.” Few close calls in Coach K era Only eight of Mike Krzyzewski’s 76 consecutive wins with the U.S. men’s national team were decided by single digits, but three of those “scares” have occurred at these Olympics.

The USA won 121 Medals(96 Gold).China was second with 70,England 67,& Russia 56.

Pats hold off Bears 23-22 in second Pre Season bash.

FOXBOROUGH—Tom Brady sat out his second straight preseason game, while the guy that will replace him at the start of the regular season continued to make progress.Brady did not go through pregame warmups Thursday night and never made it to the field for the New England Patriots’ 23-22 win over the Bears. He had been expected to make his debut after missing last week’s game to attend memorial services for a family member.Jimmy Garoppolo will start the first four games of the regular season while Brady serves his ”Deflategate” suspension, and he made the most of the extra playing time.
Asked about a report that Brady accidently cut his hand pregame, coach Bill Belichick said it was his call to only play Garoppolo and rookie Jacoby Brissett.
”I made the decision for him not to play tonight,” Belichick said.
Garoppolo threaded a 16-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to A.J. Derby late in the first half for his first TD pass of the preseason. He played the entire first half and one series in the second half, finishing 16 of 21 for 181 yards.Jay Cutler and the Bear’s offense started the game with a lot more pep following an anemic effort in the opener last week.The Bears gained 78 yards of offense in the first half of their 22-0 loss to Denver last week. The Bears gained 59 yards in its first drive Thursday and surpassed last week’s total in its second possession.Cutler played three series, completing 8 of 12 passes for 83 yards. Jeremy Langford also had a nice game, rushing eight times for 55 yards and a touchdown.The Patriots are away for their final two preseason games, so Thursday marked Brady’s last opportunity to play in Foxborough until at least Oct. 16. His four-game suspension ends Oct. 3, but New England plays at Cleveland on Oct. 9 in what is expected to be Brady’s regular-season debut.Bears DL Jonathan Bullard, a third-round pick out of Florida, and Georgia first-rounder LB Leonard Floyd got together to corral Brissett for a sack late in the third quarter. Though he never got a clean hit on a Patriots quarterback, Floyd did force some quick throws, and was one of the few positives for Bear reserves. …TE Rob Housler showed off some speed with a 52-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter.

NOTES—Bears CB Jacoby Glenn started in place of Kyle Fuller (sore knee), but left in the third quarter with a concussion. TE Zach Miller and WR Eddie Royal both sat out Thursday’s game as they recover from concussions……New England WR Julian Edelman was held out as he continues to take it easy after having a minor procedure this spring on his surgically repaired left foot. TE Rob Gronkowski, also sat out for the second consecutive game after leaving the first practice of the week early with an undisclosed issue. WR Malcolm Mitchell (left elbow) was also out…….Bears Coach John Fox on the offense’s effort this week: ”We were disappointed in our performance last week. That was pretty well documented. And so guys get challenged. And they responded.”…..Patriots Coach Belichick, on Garoppolo having to adjust after the decision not to play Brady: ”Sometimes things happen and they change. On offense quarterbacks refer to that as an audible.”

Bears awful in 22-0 Pre Season loss to Broncos

Mark Sanchez made a strong opening argument for the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback job, throwing for 99 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, and the defending Super Bowl champions beat the Bears 22-0 in the preseason opener on Thursday night. Sanchez came through with just the sort of performance he needed if he’s going to beat out Trevor Siemian. He completed 10 of 13 passes in the first quarter and led a game-opening 76-yard touchdown drive. He was intercepted on the Broncos’ second possession when Jerrell Freeman picked off a tipped pass. But overall? Not bad. Sanchez maintained his cool against the Bears pressure and kept the opening drive going by completing three third-down passes – including a 32-yard TD to a wide open Demaryius Thomas along the right side. As for Siemian, the former Northwestern star looked comfortable throwing short passes and was 7 of 12 for 88 yards in the second quarter. It was a rough start for a Bears team looking for more after going 6-10 in coach John Fox’s first season. Jay Cutler threw for 18 yards and got sacked twice in the first quarter. Brian Hoyer threw for 81 yards in the second period but was sacked three times. On a positive note for the Bears, Alshon Jeffery played after being limited by a strained hamstring and caught a 12-yard pass. And Kevin White caught his first pass for Chicago after missing his rookie season because of a fractured shin.  Sanchez on what he has to do to clinch the starting job. Broncos: ”Not too much differently. Just kind of do what I’ve been doing, stay within myself, and the plays will come. I’m on a pretty good team. Whoever’s pulling the trigger back there, guys are going step up and make plays.” – Siemian when asked what he has to do to win the starting job. ”We need to get better. It starts with everybody. It starts with me. So we’ll take a look at it, the limited amount of plays we were in and look at it.” – Cutler on the Bears’ play. Bears: ”I was disappointed personally. I think our team was disappointed. We were expecting more. I don’t know that we executed as well as any of us expected. It is preseason, you don’t game plan. It’s pretty basic.” – Fox on the Bears performance. NO MILLER Broncos star LB Von Miller sat out because he said he was not mentally ready after a busy offseason. The Super Bowl MVP had a tense contract negotiation and made several TV and public appearances.

Australia gives USA Men a battle, before Melo and Kyrie finish the job

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RIO-DE JANERO—It was not easy. It was rough and tumble, and not just the product of sloppiness or laziness. Team Australia came out and took it to Team USA in group play on Wednesday, before a stifling third quarter defensive performance and a lights-out scoring binge from Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving helped Team USA managed a 98-88 victory to advance to 3-0 in Olympic group play. Here’s what you need to know from Team USA’s squeaker victory over the Boomers Wednesday. From the very jump, the Australians let it be known they were not going to be pushed around. Andrew Bogut had told reporters that teams that went in wanting photographs with Team USA (as a lot of teams do on account of Team USA’s starpower) are “already beaten.” The Australians took that mindset to heart, and were not the least bit afraid. Their mindset was the starting block, and their physicality set the tone. That, more than even the individual quality play they brought (or Team USA’s ugliness) was what gave Australia a chance to win this game. They hit Team USA, and they hit them first. Matthew Dellavedova, in real Dellavedova fashion, drew a technical foul on Paul George, and frustrated Draymond Green with a charge taken. Andrew Bogut gave Kevin Durant a hard foul. Screen after screen, the Aussies used their size to maul Team USA and caught them off guard after the Americans had torn threw the smaller and less prepared China and Venezuela. Matthew Dellavedova finished with a team-high plus-five, along with 11 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists. He threw some absolute beauties, including a whip pass to Bogut off a blown switch for Team USA for an easy score. Patty Mills did his thing, scoring 30 points and maintaining his top spot on the Olympic leaderboard for scoring. Strong guard play has always been the key for international play, and that combination, along with Bogut swatting everything that moved and making tough push shots, really gave Team USA fits. Dellavedova is really showing why the champs had him on roster until the Bucks signed him to a four-year, $38 million deal this summer. The big weakness for Australia going into the game was their wings. They just don’t have an NBA talent on the wing with Ben Simmons unavailable, and the result was that Carmelo Anthony went off. If Melo, the oldest member of Team USA, doesn’t take matters into his own hands, this might have been the first loss for the team since 2004. Melo was 11-of-21 from the field for 31 points, and had the whole arsenal going. He put the team on his shoulders the way Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James did in 2008 and 2012, and delivered for Team USA. Melo has usually been at his best in Olympic play because he wasn’t the primary threat, but with no real creators on the floor, he went to his usual ISO game, but he’s so talented, it’s a good play in this environment. Great leadership from Melo in the win. Team USA’s defensive communication was a big heaping pile of garbage in this game. They routinely lost track of assignments, and with DeAndre Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins both picking up major foul trouble with lazy awareness (prompting some real mid-February-Kings fuming from Boogie), they couldn’t just dominate with size and intimidation at the rim. This was a big issue. The on-ball defense was fine. It was all off-ball stuff, motion, and transition that gave Team USA fits. You can bet they will be having unpleasant conversations with defensive assistant Tom Thibodeau over the next 24 hours before facing Serbia Friday. This was probably Team USA’s toughest test in group play (given France’s unimpressive performance thus far). They face Serbia on Friday, and while Serbia brings NBA talent at several spots, they’ve also looked unimpressive and badly coached. Expect a fired up and refocused Team USA squad to lay the wood on Friday.

Hawks, Blues announce logos for Winter Classic in St.Louis

January seems a long, long way away right now, but the NHL held its annual late-summer press event to promote the forthcoming Winter Classic. The 2017 event, which will take place Jan. 2 at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, will feature the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. There’s usually not a ton of news that we didn’t already know that comes out of these events, but we now know the rink configuration for Busch, which isn’t much different from previous Winter Classics at a baseball venue. The end boards will stretch from first to third, with the St. Louis skyline as a nice backdrop (photo below). While the press conference didn’t spend much time on it, we also know which logos the two teams will be using for the event. With the Blues celebrating their 50th season since entering the league as an expansion franchise in 1967, it appears the team will be using their original logo for their jerseys. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks, who will be playing in their third Winter Classic and fifth outdoor game overall, appear to be using a logo similar to the ones that adorned their jerseys in the late 1950s to mid-1960s. The actual uniforms have not been unveiled, however, so we won’t know if their true throwbacks or jerseys that take a few liberties with the old look like we’ve seen a bit in years past. It was also announced that Blues and Blackhawks alumni teams will play in a special alumni game on Dec. 31. Rosters for those squads will be revealed at a later date. With so many Blues alumni still living in St. Louis. The league also introduced its official logo for the event, which prominently features the Gateway Arch, of course:

2016-17 BULLS PRESEASON SCHEDULE

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Date Opponent Time (CT) Broadcast
Monday, Oct. 3 vs Milwaukee Bucks 7:00 p.m. CSN Chicago/WLS-AM 890
Thursday, Oct. 6 at Indiana Pacers 7:00 p.m. CSN Chicago/WLS-AM 890
Saturday, Oct. 8 vs Indiana Pacers 7:00 p.m. CSN Chicago/WLS-AM 890
Friday, Oct. 14 vs Cleveland Cavaliers 7:00 p.m. CSN Chicago/WLS-AM 890
Saturday, Oct. 15 at Milwaukee Bucks 7:30 p.m. CSN Chicago/WLS-AM 890
Monday, Oct. 17 vs Charlotte Hornets 7:00 p.m. CSN Chicago/WLS-AM 890
Thursday, Oct. 20 vs Atlanta Hawks* 7:00 p.m. CSN Chicago/WLS-AM 890

Omaha CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.

Dwyane Wade leaves Miami for…..the Bulls!

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The Bulls have obviously forgotten their plans to get younger. First they signed Rajon Rando, and now a huge surprise in that Dwyane Wade, a Chicago area native from Richards High School is leavinhg the only NBA team he’s ever played with, the Miami Heat and gets a two year, $47 million deal with the Bulls, whom he once called a dis-loyal Organizaion. That was in 2011 after he re-signed with the Heat and was joined by LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Wade is Miami’s all time leader in points,assists and steals. He and Shaquille O’Neal led the Heat to their first Title in 2006 when Wade was MVP of the Fianls against Dallas. They went to the Fianls in all four seasons that James was with them,winning Titles in 2012 & 2013. To make room for Wade, the Bulls sent Mike Dunleavy to Cleveland and recently aquired Jose Calderon to the Lakers.

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Bulls sign Rondo to 2 year deal

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Rajon Rondo is headed to Chicago. USATSI

The Bulls traded away Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks earlier this offseason. The move netted them Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and second-year point guard Jerian Grant. It was a sign of hitting the reset button around star player Jimmy Butler, even though trade rumors around Butler persisted. The Bulls still needed to find an addition this offseason to sell fans on in order to at least pretend they were trying to make progress with this roster. Sometimes that kind of move just means finding a name casual fans recognize.
Apparently, that name is Rajon Rondo. Multiple outlets are reporting that the Bulls have agreed to a two-year deal with Rondo, who led the league in assists this season at 11.7 per game. The second year of the contract is only partially guaranteed. You have to wonder if this can get Butler on board with what’s happening in this franchise.The Bulls and Butler agreed to a five-year deal last summer that pays him lot of money. At the same time, Butler has locked himself into a deal with a franchise that doesn’t resemble anything close to the team he re-signed with during that negotiation process. Rose being gone makes sense. There were issues with personalities on the team, he doesn’t look anything close to the player who won the MVP in 2011, and you had to avoid getting trapped by the possibility of re-signing the hometown name to a big deal if he couldn’t justify it with his play.

The Bulls are also losing Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah this summer, but the acquisition of Lopez on a cheaper deal at least lessens the blow of those veteran departures. But the addition of Rondo and not being able to make progress with more expensive, better options in the free agent market will be a tough sell to Butler. The move is likely all about the Bulls maintaining cap flexibility moving forward. They aren’t over-committing to future deals and can possibly make a run later. But a wasted year is a wasted year for Butler no matter how you slice it.

That’s what this next season is shaping up to be in Chicago; Rondo putting up cool individual stats for a bad team. He averaged a double-double with points and assists last year. He gets steals but he doesn’t play a lick of defense. And he’s not the veteran voice you need in a locker room that was so contentious this past season under Fred Hoiberg.
It may be unfair to compare the two situations, but the Bulls were frustrated with Hoiberg and each other last season while the Sacramento Kings were frustrated with George Karl and their own locker room issues. Rondo didn’t solve those problems in Sacramento. Maybe it’ll be less of an issue with a more mild-mannered coach in Hoiberg and star in Butler than the Karl-DeMarcus Cousins combination.

But you’re still adding potential lighter fluid to what’s quickly becoming a dumpster fire. Rondo is a familiar name and he’ll get assists. Management will sell it as helping the team in the short-term while maintaining flexibility. That can work with fans buying tickets, but will that work for Butler when the entire defense is focusing in on him and daring his inferior teammates to beat them? Will Butler feel like he’s wasted two seasons since his new contract began and start looking for a way out?

Should the Bulls just blow up the whole thing and do what they probably should’ve accomplished around the draft, which is to say move Butler for a bunch of assets that can accelerate the rebuilding process? Rondo is not the player to save the Bulls, not by a long shot. Getting him is not the move to assure Butler that the future is in good hands either.

Bulls take MSU’s Denzel Valentine with 14th pick

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Denzel Valentine | SG, Michigan StateHeight: 6-5   Weight: 220Yeah there are the knee questions about Valentine. Maybe he won’t be valuable after a certain while due to injury. But even if the knees eventually do give out-no certain bet- Valentine will be terrific in Fred Hoiberg’s offense as a wing that can move the ball and shoot it at a high level from deep. He’ll also help the team transition from the Derrick Rose era due to his ability to create looks for others.

Rose traded to Knicks for Lopez,Calderon and Grant

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BULLS SEND ROSE TO NEW YORK IN FIVE-PLAYER DEAL

The Bulls announced today that the team has acquired center Robin Lopez, guard Jose Calderon, and guard Jerian Grant from the New York Knicks in exchange for guard Derrick Rose, guard Justin Holiday and Chicago’s second-round selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. Rose (6-3, 200) was a first-overall selection by the Bulls in the 2008 NBA Draft. During his time in Chicago, he earned many accolades, including being named an NBA All Star three times in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and the league MVP in 2010-11 – a season in which he was also voted First Team All-NBA. Rose was the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year and was named to the 2008-09 All-Rookie First Team. He was also a McDonald’s All-American in 2007. “Knowing Derrick as I do makes this trade a hard one. Everyone knows him as the local kid who became MVP for his hometown team, but not everyone got to know him like I did. While he is a terrific basketball player, he is an even better person with a tremendous heart,” said Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “I wish him the best of health for the remainder of his career, and I want to personally thank him for everything that he did on the court and in the community during his time with the Chicago Bulls.” In 2015-16, Rose played in 66 games (66 starts) – his most since appearing in 81 games (81 starts) in his MVP year five seasons ago. Rose posted 16.4 ppg (third on the team), 3.4 rpg and 4.7 apg (second on the team) in 31.8 mpg (tied for second on the team) last season while shooting .427 from the field. He led the team in scoring 17 times, in rebounding once, and in assists 27 times. Rose averaged 19.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 6.2 apg in 35.0 mpg during his 406 total regular season games in a Bulls uniform (405 starts). He participated in five postseasons and posted 23.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 7.1 apg and 40.6 mpg through 41 playoff games (41 starts). Rose finished his career in Chicago ranked 10th on the Bulls’ all-time career leaders list for points (8,001), seventh in scoring average (19.7), ninth in 3-point field goals made (350), fifth in assists (2,516) and third in assists per game (6.2). “We will always be grateful to Derrick. He was a great teammate who put winning first, and nobody fought harder through injuries and disappointment. He wowed us all when he was on the floor and at his best. His MVP season was one for the ages. We wish Derrick nothing but the best moving forward,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. Holiday (6-6, 185) came to the Bulls last season in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. Prior to 2015-16, he had also played for Philadelphia (2012-13) and Golden State (2014-15). He did not play in the NBA in 2013-14. Holiday made appearances in 53 games (5 starts) last season for the Bulls and Hawks, posting 4.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg and 1.1 apg in 14.6 mpg. His career stats include 121 games played (9 starts) with averages of 4.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg and 1.0 apg. He has made the playoffs once in his career, with Golden State’s championship-winning squad in 2014-15. Holiday contributed 9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 3.3 apg in 11.0 mpg through five of those postseason games (0 starts). “As we said at the end of last season, we are committed to exploring every option to improve this team,” said Forman. “This trade is a significant step in that process. Our goal is to get younger and more athletic, and this trade moves us in that direction and allows us to start changing the structure of our team. In Robin Lopez, we are acquiring a starting center who is a good defender, good rebounder, and brings a toughness to our team. Jose Calderon is a proven veteran who can run an offense and knock down threes. Jerian Grant was high on our draft board last year as someone with a great skill set and positional size. All three players are great teammates and have tremendous work ethic, and we are excited to welcome them to the Chicago Bulls organization.” Lopez (7-0, 255) is an eight-year veteran of the NBA who has played for Phoenix (2008-12), New Orleans (2012-13), Portland (2013-15) and the Knicks (2015-16). Last season with New York, he started all 82 games and posted 10.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.57 bpg and 1.4 apg in 27.1 mpg. He shot .539 from the field (ninth in the NBA) and .795 from the line. He also ranked second in the league in offensive rebounds (268) and ninth in blocks (129). Lopez owns career averages of 8.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 1.2 bpg. He has been in the playoffs three times – once with Phoenix (2010) and twice with Portland (2014, 2015) – and posted 8.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 1.2 bpg in 26.7 mpg through 22 games (22 starts). Calderon (6-3, 200) has played in the NBA for 11 years with stops at Toronto (2005-part of 2013), Detroit (part of 2012-13), Dallas (2013-14) and New York (2014-16). Through 72 games last season (72 starts), he posted 7.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 4.2 apg in 28.1 mpg. The native Spaniard shot .459 from the field and .414 from beyond the arc (tied for ninth in the league). Over his career, Calderon has averaged 9.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 6.5 apg. He has made appearances in 18 postseason games (8 starts) with Toronto (2007, 2008) and Dallas (2014), and posted 11.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 5.4 apg in 25.4 mpg through those contests. Grant (6-4, 198) was selected 19th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, with the pick originally owned by the Washington Wizards and subsequently traded to New York via Atlanta. In his rookie year, Grant played in 76 games (6 starts) and posted 5.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg and 2.3 apg (eighth among rookies) in 16.6 mpg. His .780 field goal percentage ranked sixth among rookies. Grant is the nephew of Horace Grant, son of Harvey Grant and brother of Jerami Grant, who all played in the NBA. In his final year at Notre Dame in 2014-15, Grant earned NCAA First Team All-America honors from The Associated Press.