Woodward, Okla. — LAS VEGAS (AP) — Anthony Davis was seated on the court, the best players in the world towering above him.
The NBA rookie had just been fouled while making a 3-pointer, falling backward toward the U.S. bench, looking up to see the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant dancing in celebration.
The Americans weren't just giddy over the basket.
Their joy was in knowing they can count on the kid in the Olympics.
With Blake Griffin heading for left knee surgery that will keep him from London, Davis is expected to join the Americans as they chase another gold medal. He got his first taste of playing with them in a 113-59 exhibition victory over the Dominican Republic on Thursday night, which ended about the time the Los Angeles Clippers were announcing the news about Griffin.
"Hopefully he gets back quick and has a great season next year because he deserves it," U.S. teammate Kevin Durant said. "You know he played so hard and he's all about the team, and we're going to string Anthony along and hopefully he comes in and fills a void."
Durant had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Americans, who will add Griffin to at least four other players who were knocked out of the Olympics because of injuries.
Griffin returned to Los Angeles on Thursday for further evaluation after reporting discomfort in the same knee that bothered him in the playoffs following Wednesday's practice. The Clippers said he will require arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and he should be ready for the start of the NBA season.
"We're relieved that this does not affect Blake's ability to be ready in time for training camp," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said in a statement. "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."