Team USA’s unceremonious exit from the FIBA World Cup in China was met with a pointed analysis from managing director Jerry Colangelo. In a report from ESPN, Colangelo explained that he will remember the players that withdrew in the weeks leading up to the competition.
“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.”
The Trail Blazers established backcourt were among the high-profile departures that Team USA suffered in the lead up to China. Both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum opted to focus on the NBA season ahead instead of participating in the ill-timed competition.
Colangelo went on to add that he will utilize a strategy focused on firm commitments from players and that he will use enhanced discretion when building rosters.
“Going forward for USA Basketball, we’re going to need the cooperation of teams, agents, and then there has to be communication with players one-on-one 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.”
You can read the full story at ESPN.