Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will miss the Olympics after suffering an injury to his left knee during practice for the U.S. national team Wednesday.
Griffin underwent an MRI Thursday and was diagnosed with a medial meniscus tear of his left knee and will have arthroscopic surgery. The team said Griffin will be ready for training camp this fall.
"We're relieved that this does not affect Blake's ability to be ready in time for training camp," said Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro. "Missing out on the Olympic experience will be tough for him to take. I know how dedicated he was to doing that. We're glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover."
Alternate Anthony Davis, the No. 1 draft pick by the Hornets, suited up instead of Griffin for Thursday night's 113-59 U.S. exhibition win over the Dominican Republic in Las Vegas. Davis had nine points.
Griffin originally hurt the knee in a Game 5 loss to Memphis in the first round of the playoffs. Griffin had surgery for a stress fracture on his left kneecap, causing him to miss the 2009-10 season.
The following season, he was named NBA Rookie of the Year. A two-time All- Star, Griffin averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds while not missing a regular season game this past season. He hasn't missed a contest over the first two playing years of his career.
OFFICIAL USA BASKETBALL RELEASE:
USA Basketball National Team Alternate Anthony Davis Added To Roster For Tonightâ€™s USA-Dominican Republic Game
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (July 12, 2012) â€“ USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced today that USA Basketball National Team alternate and 2012 NBA No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets) will suit up for the red, white and blue for tonightâ€™s USA-Dominican Republic exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Nev. Davis, who was in Las Vegas, was added after Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers) flew back to Los Angeles today for evaluation of his left knee.
The USA National Team concludes the Las Vegas portion of its training tonight (July 12, 6:00 p.m. PDT) with the USA Basketball Showcase that features the USA facing the Dominican Republic at UNLVâ€™s Thomas & Mack Center. The game is being televised live by ESPN.
Davis, who led the University of Kentucky Wildcats to this yearâ€™s NCAA championship, was named a finalist for the USA team on May 3, 2012.
Davis in 2011-12 played and started in all 40 UK games as a freshman and led the Wildcats to a 38-2 record, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season title and the NCAA championship. The 6-10 forward averaged team highs of 14.2 ppg., 10.4 rpg. and 4.7 bpg., while adding 1.3 apg. and 1.4 spg. He shot 62.3 percent from the floor and 70.9 percent from the foul line. Named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading Kentucky to the title and averaging 13.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.8 blocks in NCAA Tournament play, the Chicago native recorded 186 blocks which is the most in the history of the SEC and an all-time NCAA mark for freshmen. Davis owns UK freshman records for blocks (186) and rebounds (399) by a Kentucky first-year player. He also tied the UK freshman record for double-doubles (20). He won six National Player of the Year awards including the Adolph Rupp Trophy, U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), Basketball Times, Associated Press, Wooden and Naismith. In winning the 2012 Naismith Trophy, Davis became just the second freshman to ever capture the award. Additionally, he was selected the 2012 SEC player, freshman and defensive player of the year.
Davis has represented USA Basketball previously. As a high school senior he was selected a member of USA Basketballâ€™s Junior National Select Team that competed in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit. Davis finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two block shots to help the USA to a 92-80 win over the World Select Team.
Named on July 7 to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team were: Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Griffin; James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).
The 2012 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski, who has led the USA Basketball Menâ€™s National Team to gold medal finishes at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2008 Beijing Olympics. Assisting Krzyzewski is Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, and former NBA head coaches Mike Dâ€™Antoni and Nate McMillan.
Following the USAâ€™s training and exhibition contest in Las Vegas, the USA will move on to the nationâ€™s capital, Washington, D.C., to train July 13-15 and play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the Verizon Center on July 16 (8 p.m. local time). The game will be part of a doubleheader with the USA Basketball Womenâ€™s National Team, which will face Brazilâ€™s Womenâ€™s National Team (5:30 p.m. local time).
The USA men will continue their preparations July 17-18 in Manchester, England, and on July 19 (7:30 p.m. local time) will play Great Britain at the Manchester Arena. The USA women will square off against the Great Britain women at the Manchester Arena on July 18 (7:30 p.m. local time). Tickets for both the USA menâ€™s and womenâ€™s national team games against their respective Great Britain counterparts are available by calling +44 (0) 844 847 8000 or at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
Twenty years after the USA Dream Team made its debut in Barcelona, Spain, the U.S. returns and will conclude its tour with a pair of exhibition games against FIBAâ€™s No. 2 and No. 3 ranked world powers. Facing No. 3 ranked Argentina on July 22 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, the USA will close out its exhibition tour against FIBAâ€™s No. 2 ranked power Spain on July 24 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi. Tickets for the games in Barcelona are available at www.entradas.com/entradas/comprar-entradas-torneo-usa-espana-argentina.
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