Blake Griffin returned to Los Angeles for evaluation of a left knee injury Thursday, opening the door for Anthony Davis to be in uniform in Las Vegas for the U.S. Olympic basketball team against his college coach.
Griffin went through a full practice Wednesday before reporting discomfort in the same knee that bothered him in the NBA playoffs, USA Basketball said. He left Thursday and missed the Americans’ 113-59 exhibition win over the Dominican Republic.
The Clippers, who just signed Griffin to a five-year, $95 million extension, said the All-Star forward will undergo an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam and be examined by the Clippers’ medical staff upon arrival.
Davis returned to Las Vegas and was added to the roster by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. The Dominicans are led by John Calipari, Davis’ coach at national champion Kentucky.
If Griffin is unable to return, Davis’ rebounding and shot-blocking would be a welcome addition on a U.S. team that has New York’s Tyson Chandler as its only remaining center. Players can be replaced on the roster in case of injury any time up to 48 hours before the start of the Olympics.
Kevin Durant had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead the U.S.
The MVP of the world basketball championship two years ago, Durant’s 9-for-11 shooting from the field off the bench included 5-of-6 accuracy from 3-point range. He played 22 minutes.
Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks scored seven points on 1-for-12 shooting, and the Dominicans’ other NBA player, Francisco Garcia, missed all three of his shots.
PHELPS, CLARY OK
Michael Phelps has talked with Tyler Clary after his Olympic teammate questioned his work ethic and isn’t worried about what anyone says.
“For me right now the only thing I’m worried about is myself and preparing myself to go out and represent my country and step up and wear the stars and stripes and try to swim as fast as I can,” Phelps said at media day for the U.S. Olympic swimming team in Knoxville, Tenn.
“There’s nothing else that needs to be said about it.”
Clary told a newspaper that he works harder than Phelps and sees the 14-time Olympic gold medalist as somebody ready to be beaten because of Phelps’ lack of preparation.
“The fact that he doesn’t have to work as hard to get that done, it’s a real shame,” Clary told the paper. “I think it’s too bad. … I think the things he could have done if he’d worked as hard as I do would have been even more incredible than what he has pulled off.”
SAUDIS ADD WOMEN
Every country competing at the London Games will include female athletes for the first time in Olympic history after Saudi Arabia agreed to send two women .
The move by the conservative Muslim kingdom to break with its practice of fielding male-only teams followed decisions by Qatar and Brunei to send women athletes to the Olympics for the first time.
The two female Saudi competitors are Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani in judo and 800-meter runner Sarah Attar.