US basketball exhibition missed by Blake Griffin

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Blake Griffin has returned to Los Angeles for evaluation of a left knee injury, opening the door for Anthony Davis to be in uniform for Thursday night’s U.S. Olympic basketball team’s game against his college coach.

Griffin  Chris Pizzello
Chris Pizzello
Griffin

Griffin went through a full practice Wednesday before reporting discomfort in the same knee that bothered him in the playoffs, USA Basketball said. He left Thursday and missed the Americans’ exhibition opener against the Dominican Republic played in Las Vegas.

The Clippers, who just signed Griffin to a five-year, $95 million extension, said the All-Star forward will undergo an MRI and be examined by the Clippers’ medical staff upon his arrival. He also will be examined Sunday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic and his status will be updated after that.

Davis returned to Las Vegas and was added to the roster for Thursday’s game by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. The Dominicans are led by John Calipari, Davis’ coach at national champion Kentucky.

Davis, the national player of the year and No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, is a team alternate after failing to make the 12-man roster.

He had sprained his ankle in a workout with the New Orleans Hornets and wasn’t able to scrimmage in the first two days of camp before the Americans picked their roster, robbing him of any chance to grab a spot.

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.

SAUDI WOMEN: Every country competing at the London Games will include female athletes for the first time in Olympic history after Saudi Arabia agreed Thursday to send two women to compete in the judo and track and field events.

APP LAUNCH: NBC has launched two mobile apps that will let people watch Olympics events as they happen, look up athlete profiles and access other extra content on their iPads, iPhones and some Android devices.

NBC said that most of the content will be available only to pay-TV subscribers who have MSBC and CNBC as part of their service. The apps – NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live – are free to download.

The apps were created by Adobe Systems Inc. Adobe said NBC will receive analysis about how people interact with the content and ads on the apps. Users will be able to set reminders for their favorite events, record, pause or watch clips later, and switch between camera views while they watch, said Jeremy Helfand, vice president of monetization at Adobe.

Until now, he added, online content for the Olympics has been “limited.” A big reason for that is NBC has been worried that showing the games online could hurt its TV audience. Under its new Comcast Corp. ownership, NBC executives now think that the extra coverage will increase interest in the games.

NBC said this the first time that all the Olympic events, more than 3,500 hours of coverage, will be available on smartphone and tablet computers. The 2012 Olympics will begin on July 27 with the official opening ceremony in London. In addition to the apps, NBC is also streaming events online.

Despite the popularity of the games NBC has said that it does not expect to turn a profit on them, given the high cost of doing business in London.

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