Isaiah Thomas won’t be the only NBA veteran suiting up for Team USA at the AmeriCup qualifiers in San Juan, Puerto Rico next month. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson, who has been out of the league since 2018, will also represent the U.S. in games against The Bahamas and Mexico.
As G League expert Adam Johnson points out (via Twitter), with the NBAGL bubble taking place next month, there will be fewer G League veterans available to represent Team USA than there were at the earlier qualifiers. However, there are a number of former NBA players who weren’t selected in this month’s NBAGL draft who could look to join Thomas and Johnson on the U.S. roster to showcase themselves to NBA teams.
USA Basketball has already qualified for the 2022 AmeriCup tournament by going 4-0 in previous qualifying games, so the team won’t face any pressure in San Juan to win both its games.
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Brian Shaw, the head coach of the G League Ignite, spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype about the outlook for prospects like Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga, why other youngsters should consider the G League out of high school, and whether he has any desire to return to coaching in the NBA.
- Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated also checks in on the Ignite, passing along first impressions of Jalen Green and exploring the roles that the G League veterans on the Ignite’s roster are playing.
- The City of Inglewood intends to use eminent domain to acquire the land necessary for the Clippers‘ new arena, according to Jason Henry of The Pasadena Star-News, who provides an update on the plans and the timetable for the construction of that building.
- Veteran basketball analyst Sekou Smith (of NBA TV and NBA.com) passed away on Tuesday due to COVID-19, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes. The league and the players’ union both released statements mourning Smith. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.