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Anthony Davis now center of attention (August 01, 2014)
Brian Windhorst [ Source: ESPN ]

Team USA will need big things from Anthony Davis if it expects to win the gold medal at the World Cup. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

LAS VEGAS -- In 2012, the national team suffered a setback when Blake Griffin had to withdraw because of a knee injury that occurred just a month before the Olympics in London. But in the long run, it seems there was a hidden upside from that event.

Anthony Davis, then freshly drafted as the No. 1 overall pick from Kentucky, got the last spot on the eventual gold-medal winning team. Two years later as Team USA prepares for the World Cup in Spain, Davis is no longer the guy at the end of the bench. He is now a vital part of the roster.

As has frequently been the case, the Americans have extreme depth at the guard spots but are thin at the big-man positions. It didn't help when Griffin again had to withdraw because of injury, and Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge decided not to take part, further depleting the big-man ranks.

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 Gilas gunner Jeff Chan (right) expressed disappointment over not getting a chance to play against NBA star Manu Ginobili in the FIBA World Cup. www.philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – The bad news that Manu Ginobili will skip the FIBA World Cup did not only let the Argentineans down but also Gilas Pilipinas gunner Jeff Chan who was looking forward to play against him.

Chan, a lefty gunner like Ginobili, was disappointed on missing out the chance to play the Argentinean superstar.

"Gusto ko talaga siya makalaro pero wala tayo magagawa kasi injured [yata] siya (I really want to play against him but we can’t do anything because he’s injured)," Chan told Philstar.com on Friday morning Manila time.

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Chris Bosh on leaving the Heat: "It was close." Charles Trainor Jr/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images

Chris Bosh said Thursday that he was "close" to leaving the Miami Heat before ultimately deciding to sign a five-year, $118 million contract to stay with the team.

"It was close. I'm not going to lie," Bosh said on "The Zaslow and Joy Show" on FM 104.3 The Ticket in Miami. "It was close. It was a weird situation because we were waiting so long and I didn't know what was going on.

"I think you're always in a situation where it is close even if you don't leave because teams got very aggressive on me. And I guess as soon as LeBron made up his mind, that's when everything could fall in line. But I was just waiting, so I didn't know what was going on."

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Derrick Rose acknowledged lingering tensions between his inner-circle and the Bulls, but said it is a new beginning for everybody. AP Photo/John Locher

LAS VEGAS -- Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose acknowledged Thursday that there is lingering tension between some members of his inner-circle and members of the team's organization.

"I know it's been there,'' Rose told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I heard there were some upset people. I'm happy I didn't personally see it. I don't want to see that. I kind of wonder where it was coming from because it seemed like whenever I was around, everything was all right. It bothered me because when I wasn't around, I would hear from certain people that everything wasn't all right.''

The tension Rose discussed has been widely speculated upon over the years, especially after the former MVP's recent injury woes. Bulls executive vice president John Paxson tried to allay those concerns during an appearance on ESPN 1000's "Waddle and Silvy Show" on Thursday.

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Fil-American Stanley Pringle is likely to emerge as the overall top pick, but will he lower his talent fee? Pringle reportedly wants a monthly salary of $20,000.

Even if Fil-American Stanley Pringle feels he is worth more than the first year contract of P150,000 a month for a PBA rookie, a team that drafts him in August will not be allowed to offer more than that amount under existing league rules.

Pringle, a talented point guard whose star shined when he played for the Indonesia Warriors last year in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), loomed as a strong choice for No. 1 overall pick after he entered his name in the draft.

But initial contact made by Globalport, which owns the first pick, to Pringle’s management team immediately showed that their objectives are worlds apart, especially in the matter of compensation.

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International Basketball

Metta World Peace, it turns out, is a man of his word — the 34-year-old forward really isn't retired. But he also won't be playing professional basketball in the NBA next season. Or, at least, he won't be at the start of the season.

After tweeting early Tuesday morning that he "met with three teams" about playing in China, that a "deal [was] done" and that he "just [had] to sign now," the former Ron Artest has reportedly reached an agreement to join the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association, as first reported by ESPN New York's Ian Begley and subsequently confirmed by Chinese news outlet Sports Sina (via Sportando).

Apparently, World Peace already has his first order of business lined up:

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D-League

Alaska made sure it would keep the core of its lineup intact after locking down several of their key players to new deals.

Dickie Bachmann, the Aces’ team manager and the squad’s representative to the PBA Board, told InterAksyon.com that premier guard JVee Casio and old reliables Sonny Thoss and Cyrus Baguio are among the players who re-upped with the Aces.

Veteran Tony Dela Cruz and big man Samigue Eman also signed fresh pacts with the squads.

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D-League

MANILA, Philippines – Former Far Eastern University (FEU) standout RR Garcia hopes to prove himself, now that he has transferred to Barako Bull.

Garcia used to play under GlobalPort Batang Pier, but due to limited playing minutes, he failed to show his true potential.

“Sa akin siguro, dun ako mabibigyan ng break talaga kasi nalipat ako,” he said in the PBA website. “Sa GlobalPort, in and out ako dun. Siguro dito sa Barako Bull, maipapakita ko na yung skills ko.”

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Jerryd Bayless signs with Milwaukee Bucks (August 01, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

MILWAUKEE -- Free agent Jerryd Bayless signed with the Milwaukee Bucks in large part because of Jason Kidd.

The 6-foot-3 guard played for Memphis and Boston last season, averaging 9.3 points in 72 games. Now he gets a chance to play for Jason Kidd, who left the Brooklyn Nets this summer to coach the Bucks.

"The thing that was most intriguing was Kidd," Bayless said Thursday at the Bucks' training facility. "He can help me in a variety of different ways. There aren't a lot of guys like him that come around."

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D-League

MANILA, Philippines - Team Kia kicks off its buildup for the 2014 PBA season as it plays a US NCAA All-Stars team in a tune-up game today at the Unilab gym in Pioneer St., Mandaluyong.

The match is set at 2 p.m. with the Kia Kamao, led by player-coach Manny Pacquiao, expecting a tough outing against a select Division One All-Stars from the US NCAA.

Team Kia is one of the three new teams joining the pro league in October, bringing the PBA roster to a record 13. The two others are Blackwater Sports and NLEX of the PLDT group.

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