Prior to Saturday, Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo still felt strongly about the finalists for the U.S. London Olympic basketball team. Despite an injury to Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum’s unwillingness to join the team, Colangelo said the Olympic roster would not be expanded. Now that Derrick Rose has suffered a torn ACL, his tune has finally changed.
“What I said (previously) was that we didn’t plan to do any additions, but we had to continue to monitor the injury situation,” Colangelo said according to Sports Illustrated. “Obviously this is a big loss. (Point guard) seems to be, at this point, still a pretty strong position. But at this stage, quite honestly, I think all bets are off.”
Of the 20 original Olympic finalists, it was widely believed that Rose would be one of the 12 players who would be going to London. Team USA still has a number of point guard options including Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Russell Westbrook, but the players mentioned above in addition to Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chauncey Billups are no longer in the running.
“I think now we’re going to wait until the very last moment to pick the team, because it seems ridiculous with a lot of playoff games to play that we would select a team,” Colangelo said. “We might as well keep the options open as long as we can, and continue to monitor (the situation).”
Maybe DeMarcus Cousins has a chance to make the team after all. A number of players who were expected to be a part of the Select team in Las Vegas and help Team USA prepare for the Olympics could now become members of Team USA themselves. Typically Select team players are stating their case for the next Olympic Games (2014), but the injury situation has led to some desperation. It will certainly be interesting to see where Team USA is at when the NBA playoffs come to a close.