Two years ago

What will Team USA do for the Olympics?

After their disappointing result at world champs, what will the brains trust do next year? Most of the guys dropping out tended to cite not getting a full off season to getting a break but every time you look on YouTube they're having high quality scrimmage against guys that also dropped out. Understandable for guys coming off an injury, even guys changing teams to learn a new system,but if a full star studded team went there surely there would have been blowouts and plenty of rest with rotations aplenty.
I feel for the guys that represented their country but copped flack for where they finished. Teams would be scared of injuries like Paul George a couple of years ago, but Giannis played, not really an excuse. Inevitably USA will get guys committing for Olympics, but Colangelo sounds a bit pissed so will be interesting what happens. Kemba, Mitchell and a couple others should get automatic selection IMO.
But this is what Colangelo had to say

In light of their worst performance ever, Team USA chief Jerry Colangelo called out stars who dropped from the roster after previously making a commitment to play.

"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 told reporters Thursday (via The Associated Press). “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.”

Only four out of 35 players initially invited to represent Team USA in the World Cup actually played in China, leaving the team with (arguably) the weakest roster in team history. In fact, only two players currently on the team were NBA All-Stars last season.

So, with Team USA set to finish with their worst showing ever, one has to think that the guys who dropped out are at least partly responsible. Colangelo certainly seems to think so.

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Two years ago

It's confirmed that Curry and Draymond Green have committed

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Two years ago

You know, add just those two guys to this existing squad and I think they take the gold just been. Felt like the team lacked a top dog, which Curry would be, plus a spine/PF, which is Draymond.

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Miloš Obilić  
Two years ago

One of the guys who should have been there for team USA, Damian Lillard, was in Sydney doing a promotion and performing some rap songs the same time Australia was playing Spain.

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Two years ago

The timing of the Olympics should help a little. They'd basically be in camp right after the NBA Finals wrap, and done and dusted early enough for them to get an actual break before camp.

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Two years ago

Bring a A team.

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Two years ago

I read somewhere yesterday (can't remember where) that the 5 committed are Curry, Green, PG13, Harden and AD.

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Mr. Big Checks  
Two years ago

Olympics Americans actually care about no one cares about the FIBA world cup in the states.

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Two years ago

Adding only Curry and Green would mean Gold for USA.

But, we shouldn't let this distract from how disappointing they were.

They were still the most talented team and still lost 3 games if you count the warm up vs Australia, plus a lucky win against Turkey where they got out of jail.

Question is why- why did they lose 3 (almost 4) games to less talented teams?

Sure, go get some superstars and blow everybody else out of the water. But maybe more productive to work out what they did wrong.

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Two years ago

LV, I think everyone knows the answer to that question. Poor team balance and lack of time to figure out a playing style that mitigated their weaknesses. They had vastly less experience together than any other team there, and it showed. Just listen to Pop talk about the 'institutional knowledge' the Spurs lost when Duncan, Manu and Parker departed. Pop, more than anyone, understands the value of time together, and was probably not the best coach for a squad that had zero. I actually think Brad Stevens or even John Calipari would have been really good options with this group, which is not at all to say that they're better coaches than Pop.

The whole thing is overblown, really. Vastly superior talent will get you over the line. These guys didn't have it. And rather than having a comfort level with the offence, defence and each other, they were feeling their way. And lost two fairly significant contributors either immediately before or during the WC.

I am really glad they didn't win, didn't medal, because I think it's an ego-check for USA Basketball. But the team that showed up didn't really under-perform once you take all the variables into account.

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Two years ago

USA also didn't have any real closers apart from Kemba, the rest were young guys who haven't had a huge amount of experience at the pinnacles of basketball, and even Kemba there most senior player does not have that experience.

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Two years ago


Part of the problem was not having any true leaders with the presence of mind to effectively steady the ship when it was sinking.

A few suggestions for what they need with roster composition:

- Glue guys. PJ Tucker's withdrawal was a huge blow.

- Consistency. They need a bunch of guys who are committed to the national program, who they think will play for 6 or 8 years. It's an attitude first check.

- One or two veteran leaders on the program. Could even be retired players. Barbosa and Varejao were still playing with Brazil. Scola was All Star 5. Those guys are true veterans.

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Two years ago

"Consistency. They need a bunch of guys who are committed to the national program, who they think will play for 6 or 8 years. It's an attitude first check. "

The issue with this is I think most of the US players do it for the experience of playing for your country once, not necessarily long term. That's how it feels to me anyway.

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Two years ago

Should they have taken Carmelo???

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Two years ago

"Consistency. They need a bunch of guys who are committed to the national program, who they think will play for 6 or 8 years. It's an attitude first check. "

That was the key to their success from 2008-2016. Look at the number of guys who played multiple tournaments, giving them a large pool of really talented guys (and some good role players) who knew the FIBA game, playing under the same coach and in the same system each time:

Anthony 6
James 5
Wade 3
Bryant 3
Howard 3
Paul 3
Williams 3
Durant 3
Chandler 3
Bosh 2
Irving 2
Thompson 2
Cousins 2
Westbrook 2
Iguodala 2
Love 2
Harden 2
Davis 2

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Two years ago

Senator11, I agree about lack of closers overall, but while Kemba hasn't done it in the NBA, I remember his UCONN team going undefeated in tournament play - not just the NCAA, but Maui or whatever their November one was, Big East, and then NCAA. He just elevated and absolutely carried them in that situation, and probably could have done it at WC level if they'd had time to plan for that to be how they operated.

LV, I think you're right about consistency. And one option for them may be to basically halve the squad, and have half the places 'up for grabs' for young guys or all-stars, in WC/Olympic years. But in the other half of that squad, have journeyman NBA players who want to do two 4-year cycles. If you alternate them, so three or four guys are 25-29, and the others are 28-32, and you replace the older half after each Olympics, you could go into the WC with core veterans who understand international basketball and the team's system, and good long-range planning for at least half the squad.

The guys I'm thinking of are a lot like some who went through the squad anyway, a PJ Tucker would be ideal, Harrison Barnes, Joe Harris, Marcus Smart. Maybe Spencer Dinwiddie, Marcus Morris, Thaddeus Young. Middle-of-the-pack 27-year-olds aren't going to suddenly morph into 35-minutes-a-night-in-June players, and if they're in the NBA at 27 they've made enough money to decide that Team USA is something they can commit to. So you take the journeymen and make them the core of Team USA, and their trade-off for committing is that they get to go to the Olympics, even if 10 All-Stars put their hands up. Can you sell that? I don't know. But the stars do want to see Team USA win, and they don't want to have to go every summer. Maybe it would work.

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