To emphasize the difference of Team USA currently today is there’s barely an NBA superstar in the line-up. Currently only three (3) familiar players still committed namely: Kemba Walker, Kyle Lowry and Donavan Mitchell. The latest to remove from the roster was Kevin Love of the Cavaliers.
At the rate of how things are going, Team USA won’t be star studded. So far the big names that left Team USA are Damian Lillard, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Tobias Harris, Bradley Beal, C.J. McCollum, DeMar DeRozan and Eric Gordon. Also, the No.1 pick of 2019 draft Zion Williamson also stated that he too will withdraw from Team USA.
Under the existing circumstances, Team USA won’t be a formidable team unlike the previous squads Team USA assembled before. However, it’s TEAM USA whoever they send internationally would still be a force to reckon with, and with Coach Gregg Popovich at the helm, they’ll still be fine.
The most compelling reason for NBA players opting out of the team is TIME. FIBA starts August 31 and ends around after two weeks. Consequently, these players would not have enough time to rest for the summer camp, which usually starts somewhere at the last week of September.
Another notable reason is the case of Paul George (PG). PG got injured during the 2014 workout. Although, Paul George got back to his All-Star level performance, this type of scenario is feared by most players. Most of them think that they may not be as lucky as Paul George who eventually signed a four-year, $139Million with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Generally speaking most players are prioritizing the upcoming season. Most of them are on their remaining contract and would want a very beneficial extension from any team. Thus, no wonder they would not want to risk it to a competition that is not even the Olympics. Conversely, there is the case of Jared Dudley, offering his services for his country.
For the most part, Team USA is a force, no doubt about it. And with the best Coach of the game on Coach Popovich leading the team, I wouldn’t be surprised if the outcome of the next tournament will still be the same.
And Coach Pop, please call Jared Dudley, because as Colonel James Doolittle once said – “There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”