SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Less than 12 hours after the Jazz heartbreaking end to the NBA season, Joe Ingles got a message from the Australian National Team.
“I just got a text from the assistant coach,” Ingles said during his media availability.
Ingles is a regular on the Boomers, as the Australians are known, and plans on competing in Olympics in Tokyo next month.
He says getting back on the court will help take the sting about the way the season ended for the Jazz.
“It’s hard to think about the Boomer stuff right now,” Ingles. “I just want to take a step back and enjoy these few days with the kids. I’m home for like six days in the next seven weeks, or something like that. Once I get there on the 24th [of June], I think it will change a little bit because I will be so focused on the goal of trying to win a gold medal. So I will start to focus on that. I think that will help not having to think about the Jazz stuff a lot.”
Rudy Gobert will try to lead France to its first Olympic gold medal, which he thinks will only help his game.
“It’s a great goal that we have as a team to try to win a medal in the Olympics,” Gobert said. “For me, it’s going to be another great opportunity for me to keep getting better, and at the same time, try to accomplish something great.”
Bojan Bogdanovic has also committed to playing with the Croatian National in Tokyo. Both Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley are in the U.S. pool of Olympic hopefuls. Mitchell hasn’t said what he plans to do. But Conley, despite his hamstring strain that limited him in the playoffs, said if he’s selected, he wants to play.
“Most definitely,” Conley said. “If I’m able to get my name called, or get called up at one point to be a part of that team, I’ll definitely be ready to accept.”
As supportive as the Jazz organization is about their guys playing in the Olympics, there are legitimate injury concerns, especially coming off a condensed season.
“I don’t want to by hypocritical in saying I don’t want them to participate,” said Dennis Lindsey, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. “But, there’s no question we’re all holding our breath that nothing happens. There’s not a general manager or head coach in the league that can’t say that they’re holding their breath.”
“The guys that we have that play on their national teams, it’s really something that they take great personal pride in,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “I know how important it is to them, and more than anything, you want to wish them luck because I do know how passionate they are.”
The Summer Olympics begin July 23rd and run through August 8th.