Team USA news: The US men’s national basketball team had a disappointing campaign in the FIBA World Cup, bowing out in the quarterfinals and ending up in the seventh place. USA Basketball executive Jerry Colangelo admits that with the success that the Americans had in the international scene over the past decade, losing in the World Cup is something that will bother him for a long time.
Now, Team USA will shift its focus on the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan. It is expected that the NBA’s best players will compete to make the official roster, but Colangelo might not favor those who backed out from playing in the FIBA World Cup during the process of selecting the Olympic team, per his interview with NBC Sports.
“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. 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.”
Some of the players who chose not to play in the FIBA World Cup despite committing to the team a few months before the tournament are Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, Houston Rockets’ James Harden, Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, and Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal. All of them actually had the same reason for backing out, and that is so that they can focus on their respective teams’ campaign for the 2019-20 NBA season.
If these guys end up not making the Olympic team next year, at least fans have an idea why. Still, even without these four All-Stars, Team USA is still capable of assembling a world-class team for the tournament. In fact, one player had already made it known that he wants to play for the team in 2020, and that's Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Over the next couple of months, expect guys like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, and Paul George to commit to Team USA as well.
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