Jerry Colangelo claims he’ll remember who backed out of World Cup when picking Olympic team
Jerry Colangelo, managing director for USA basketball, was not in a jovial mood after Team USA’s second consecutive loss in the FIBA World Cup. The Americans lost again on Thursday, as they fell to Serbia, 94-89.
Following another disappointing loss, Colangelo made it clear that he is still feeling aggrieved by the sheer amount of player withdrawals from the squad in the buildup to the tournament. The high-ranking executive appears to hold a bit of a grudge, and admits that this will have an effect on how USAB makes its selection for the upcoming Summer Olympics next year.
“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, via NBC Sports. “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.
“No one would have anticipated the pull-outs that we had.”
Colangelo then made it abundantly clear that USAB will be very selective when it comes to the Olympic squad, keeping in mind those who left them hanging in the World Cup.
“Going forward for USA Basketball, we’re going to need the cooperation of teams, agents and then there has to be communication with players 1-on-1 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.”
The Olympic tournament is a much more prestigious event, and more players will definitely be inclined to sign up for Team USA for that particular competition. They will need to get the green light from Colangelo first, though, which might not be as straightforward as some had initially expected.