(NBC Sports) - USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Thursday that when the time comes to start assembling the Tokyo Olympic roster, he won’t forget those who backed out of commitments to play in the World Cup this summer.
Of the 35 players originally selected for the U.S. player pool, only four are in China for the World Cup. The U.S. lost to France in the quarterfinals, ending a streak of seven major international tournaments — four Olympics and three World Cups — where the Americans captured a medal, the last five of them being gold.
“I can only say, you can’t help but notice and remember who you thought you were going to war with and who didn’t show up,” Colangelo said. “I’m a firm believer that you deal with the cards you’re dealt. All we could have done, and we did it, is get the commitments from a lot of players. So with that kind of a hand you feel reasonably confident that you’re going to be able to put a very good representative team on the court.
“No one would have anticipated the pull-outs that we had.”
So now, his eyes are turning to Tokyo.
It won’t take long for the recruiting process to start, either.
“Going forward for USA Basketball, we’re going to need the cooperation of teams, agents and then there has to be communication with players 1-on-1 to solidify those commitments,” Colangelo said. “I am going to be anxious to see how many players reach out early to indicate that they wish and want and desire to play.
“But I’ll make this statement: It’s as much about maybe who we don’t want as much as who we want.”
OK so wait a minute. Team USA just had one of their worst performances in international competition in their entire history. They embarrassed themselves and the country on multiple occasions, and it’s very clear that the team has to look different come Tokyo. Knowing what we just witnessed, I’m to believe that Jerry Colangelo, the man in charge of building this roster is going to potentially hold a grudge against some of the best of the best who decided to pass on FIBA?
No chance. If any of the guys who passed, Lebron/Dame/Anthony Davis/Kevin Love/James Harden/Russell Westbrook/Bradley Beal/Zion/Kyrie Irving/Tobias Harris/Eric Gordon/DeMar DeRozan/CJ McCollum/Andre Drummond decide that they want to be part of Team USA for the Olympics, Colangelo is 100% going to be on board. Who gives a shit if they turned down playing in this FIBA tournament, almost all of those guys for the most part have huge expectations for next season and I don’t fault them for being careful about their health. Plus the timing of FIBA ending and training camp opening is like two weeks or something, that certainly didn’t help matters. In fact, if it comes out that any of those guys want to play in the Olympics and Colangelo turns them down because they passed on FIBA, he needs to be replaced immediately. We basically have another Redeem Team situation on our hands after the US shit the bed, if you’re an All NBA caliber player and you want to participate you should be welcomed with open arms. Now is not the time to be petty, the focus should be doing everything you can to make sure you are no longer the laughingstock of international basketball.
There should not be an All Star level player that Team USA “doesn’t want”. What kind of shit is that? Unless he meant that comment in a way where he was talking about not wanting anyone on the current roster then fine, but I’m not sure that’s what he was talking about. If he thought this would maybe he a scare tactic for future FIBA competitions, that most definitely isn’t going to work. Players will always value their NBA season over FIBA, that’s just how it is. To potentially weaken your Olympic team because you’re a little butthurt guys turned you down is absolutely idiotic.