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Haliburton, Davis say they'll commit to USA Basketball for Paris Games if asked

Pacers Bucks Basketball
Posted at 11:17 AM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 12:17:03-05

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tyrese Haliburton played a ton of basketball last summer as part of the team that USA Basketball sent to the Philippines for the World Cup.

And he's hoping to play a ton of basketball this summer, too.

Haliburton didn't hesitate when asked Saturday if he's hoping for a spot on the team that the Americans will send to the Paris Olympics this summer, when the U.S. men will pursue a fifth consecutive gold medal.

Put simply, if they ask, the Oshkosh native and Indiana Pacers star guard is going.

"My goal is to play for USA until the wheels fall off," Haliburton said. "If I get that call to go, I'll be there."

Same goes for Anthony Davis; the Los Angeles Lakers forward made it clear Saturday at media day for Sunday's NBA All-Star Game that if his country asks, he will play. Phoenix's Kevin Durant — seeking a fourth gold — has made clear that he will play, as has Miami's Bam Adebayo. LeBron James has indicated he wants to play and Stephen Curry may finally decide to go to what would be his first Olympics.

USA Basketball has not confirmed any official invitations yet, and even if the team was announced now, it surely would change by the time training camp starts in July because of injuries or players dropping out after a grueling playoff run.

LEBRON WATCH

LeBron James wasn't at the All-Star practice and media availability on Saturday. He will hold a pregame news conference on Sunday and then play in the game.

It's James' 20th All-Star Game — that's a record for total selections, breaking a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. James had the record for appearances last year with his 19th, because Abdul-Jabbar missed one All-Star Game despite being selected.

James is also the All-Star record holder in minutes, points, field-goal attempts and field goals made, as well as 3-point attempts. He's third in All-Star assists, sixth in rebounds and eighth in steals — one behind Larry Bird's 23, two behind Jason Kidd's 24 and three behind Chris Paul's 26.

DURANT CLIMBING

Phoenix's Kevin Durant is fifth on the All-Star Game scoring list with 250 points. He is expected to climb one or two — or maybe three — spots on Sunday.

James has 426 points, and Kobe Bryant had 290. Michael Jordan is No. 3 with 262 and Abdul-Jabbar is No. 4 with 251.

Sunday will be Durant's first time playing in the game since 2019. He missed the 2020 season because of an Achilles injury and was picked for the All-Star Game but couldn't play in 2021 (hamstring), 2022 (knee) and 2023 (knee).

He has averaged 25 points in his 10 appearances.

MOVIE TIME

Saturday was premiere day for a pair of the NBA's premier players.

Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis both hosted movie premieres. For Antetokounmpo, it was "Giannis: The Marvelous Journey" — which chronicles his rise from someone who discovered basketball in an internet cafe in Athens, Greece, and became one of the game's greats.

"I hope it can touch as many people as possible, inspire them in the best way," Antetokounmpo said. "But for me, when I'm doing stuff like that, I try to be myself. I don't have in mind I'm trying to inspire. I just try to be myself. I try to be as authentic as possible. I understand that I have a platform that allows me to do that, and I have to be a role model for a lot of people around the world that look up to me."

Davis is the executive producer of a movie called "Finding Tony," which had a screening in Indianapolis on Saturday. It tells the story of a former NBA player who deals with depression and alcoholism before becoming the coach of a small-college women's team and helping it while helping himself.