Jerry Colangelo doesn’t ‘have any angst’ on Team USA dropouts
In the wake of the slew of commitments withdrawn from consideration, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo is not worried about the Americans’ chances as they begin preparations for the FIBA World Cup, even with 14 players already dropping out of contention for the upcoming FIBA 2019 World Cup.
“Honestly, I don’t have any angst,” Colangelo said, according to The Associated Press.
While some veteran powerhouses like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and others were not invited to take part from the get go, other notables like James Harden, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, and Bradley Beal have swiftly taken their name out of the original 20-player pool available to take part in training camp.
The dropout rate was so alarming that Colangelo was forced to call up a whole new wave of players to take part in the upcoming process, rather taking it in stride that an even younger team would be assembled.
“We’re going to have some fun,” he said.
USA Basketball has also passed on the likes of Carmelo Anthony, who retired from international competition after becoming the country’s first-ever three-time gold medal winner and Team USA’s all-time leading scorer. The two sides reportedly talked briefly, but Colangelo and company had no interest in re-opening that chapter.
“The focus has to be on who’s here — not who’s not here,” Colangelo said. “A number of the young players in this group have a chance, a real chance, some of them to make this team, some of them to make an impact in the World Cup.”
Head coach Gregg Popovich will have his work cut out for him with a bevy of young faces and a series of players who have yet to play together, forced to build chemistry with less than a month of preparation ahead of a big task at the world stage.