Team USA’s Jerry Colangelo: ‘Our focus is apparently on the Olympics, I expected a different response’
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo showed a distinct disappointment after witnessing the wave of withdrawals from consideration for the recent FIBA 2019 World Cup and a subsequent enthusiastic desire from players to be considered for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It didn’t take long for NBA stars to quickly throw their name into the proverbial hat for consideration for the upcoming Olympics after Team USA finished in the worst place in major international competition since NBA players were allowed to take part. Colangelo noted that Americans view the Olympics as a bigger deal compared to the World Cup:
“The reality is the World Cup, although it’s very big around the world, it doesn’t have the same status in the States,” said Colangelo, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
Players like Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson were among the first to give the chance a thumbs up. Upon the start of Media Day, it appears every franchise star player now has the upcoming Olympics on his radar, saying how much of a dream it would be to take part.
The likes of Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and LeBron James have already expressed their desire to play, while only a few months ago they ignored the World Cup competition at hand, which resulted in Team USA being comprised of lesser talent:
“Our focus is apparently on the Olympics, and I expected a different response,” said Colangelo.
Colangelo was not happy with Team USA’s placing in the World Cup and warned that he will remember those who chose to turn down opportunities this summer. Despite having nearly all hands on deck for the upcoming Olympics, it’s likely USA Basketball will withdraw consideration from a few of these stars who chose to pass on non-Olympic opportunities this summer.