Celtics’ Kemba Walker thinks Team USA players are ‘happy’ about all the dropouts
Boston Celtics point guard Kemba Walker stands as the biggest star on a list of new names added by USA Basketball to take part in Team USA’s journey to the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. While notable names like James Harden, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and others have dropped out of consideration, Walker argues the players currently in camp are happy this opportunity arose:
“This is like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of us,” Walker told reporters in Las Vegas on Monday, according to ESPN. “I think a lot of us are happy those guys pulled out because this is our chance.”
“It’s our chance to get on the big stage and showcase our talent. A chance for us to do something new. It’ll be a new-look team. Everybody is kind of doubting us, but I think we’re hungry.”
USA Basketball was expecting to showcase a new wave of stars with the aforementioned players, but they, along with numerous others, have since passed on the chance to represent their country. Some dropped out due to nursing injuries, while others will simply get familiar with their new surroundings after more than a third of NBA players found new homes in this wild offseason.
Walker was one of them, going from an eight-year tenure with the Charlotte Hornets to greener pastures with the Boston Celtics. That hasn’t derailed his willingness to pounce on this opportunity. The 6-foot-1 dynamo is primed to start at the point guard position, likely with De’Aaron Fox and perhaps Kyle Lowry (thumb surgery) backing him up.
Lillard dropping out of this commitment opened the doors for Walker to be a surefire starter, an opportunity he’ll welcome with open arms and bright eyes.