WANTED: Male, 6’10” or taller, ability to play basketball, preferably the positions of power forward and center, must be America, must have valid passport.
A week after Team USA Czar Jerry Colangelo said the Men’s Senior Team would go on as is despite losing LaMarcus Aldridge, Chauncey Billups and Dwight Howard to injury, and Lamar Odom to reverting to bad Lamar Odom. Then Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL and that apparently was the final straw for Colangelo.
ESPN’s Marc Stein writes that Colangelo and Head Coach Mike Kryzzewski will add to the select pool. The only odd part is Rose’s injury prompted the two to add big men to the pool.
“Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Sacramento Kings power forward DeMarcus Cousins, Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe and incoming Kentucky star Anthony Davis — widely regarded as a lock to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft — are among the young big men under consideration to be among the late additions Colangelo mentioned.”
Stein also notes that Roy Hibbert would be considered, but he’s got some issues because he played for Jamaica’s Senior Team during the 2010 Centrobasket games. Tough break, bro.
The reason Team USA wants to add big men is because they still have three point guards in Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook to suit up and could even include someone like Eric Gordon over Westbrook if they felt they needed more shooting. As for the big men, well if we’re just going on talent, Cousins is the guy. Still, fair or not, Cousins has had some character problems and you wonder if he could handle just sitting the bench for all but five minutes of the Olympics. That leaves Monroe, who improved by leaps and bounds this season, but still isn’t the elite level defender Team USA would want to throw at bigger teams, most notably Spain. What about Davis? He’s hot right now, he’s already a great defender and there’s a decent chance he’d be so happy to be added to the team that he wouldn’t care if he barely got off the bench.
I understand the concern about playing the Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka (if Ibaka can get Spanish citizenship, surely we can get Roy Hibbert a waiver to play for Team USA), but i honestly think the combination of Tyson Chandler, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin is enough to handle any other team. You also have to consider that LeBron James WILL be this team’s starting Power Forward and I have no doubt he can guard Pau or Ibaka. You also have Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony who can both play the stretch four position. That means you can start Chandler at center, bring Bosh in as his back up (like he did for Dwight Howard in Beijing) and have Love there to play center as well like he did at UCLA. Per Stein, Colangelo and Coach K don’t plan on making their decision on the final roster until the last minute, so don’t expect anything firm until July.