Facing an uncertain future as to how teams will be constructed beyond 2016, and after a 62-1 run for the men’s team under his watch, Jerry Colangelo is coming back once again to run Team USA basketball. From USA Today:
“I’ve decided I’m going to continue,” Colangelo told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m committed to our organization during this transition period. I want to make sure, as good as things are, that once the baton is handed over to someone it’s in even better shape. That’s the plan for these next four years.”
via Jerry Colangelo wants to return as USA Basketball chairman – USATODAY.com.
Colangelo has done about as good a job as can be imagined, not only bringing back the wins that Americans expect on the international basketball stage, but bringing back a level of character. Team USA has been tough on its selections for who gets in, and how they affect the chemistry. There were even reports that Colangelo and company bodied up LeBron in 2008 to tell him to knock off the nonsense.
Colangelo has managed to not only get high quality guys, but consistent commitments from the best players. Under his watch, the brand will remain powerful enough to get the big boys back.
The biggest challenge for Colangelo will obviously be the selection of a new coach. Coach K has already made it clear he’s done. So the program will have to find someone to not only fill in, but be the kind of pillar to help manage the transition if Colangelo were to step away after Rio.
Side note: I wasn’t aware Colangelo was also the chairman of the Hall of Fame. The guy is pretty much the Godfather of Pro Basketball. Well, you know, he and Worldwide Wes.
In the end, the debate about installing a 23-and-under age limit for the Olympics is about money. It will get framed other ways, but it’s always about money. NBA owners don’t want “their” players wearing themselves down and risking injury in a summer tournament — unless they are getting a piece of the profits, of course.
With David Stern as their front man, the owners will push for it in the coming years. But former NBA owner and current USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo opposes the idea.
He told KTAR of Phoenix he is talking to owners about it (via SLAM).
Ultimately, the decision isn’t Colangelo’s. But he is lobbying owners not to impose the rule. He said players want to decide whether or not to play for the Olympic team.
“They love it,” Colangelo said. “I mean, it’s pretty hard to argue with something as simple as supporting the flag and representing your country.”
What the NBA owners want to see is something more like the soccer model, where the World Cup is the big stage and Olympics is an under-23 event (with each team getting three players over that age limit). What the owners really want is a partnership with FIBA so that they would get a piece of this World Cup of basketball. (Mark Cuban wants the NBA to just start its own international event.)
For all their other reasoning, this is about money for the owners. Henry Abbott breaks it down well at TrueHoop.
The players, if they choose, can control this discussion. Because if they don’t show up for this World Cup it will flop. The elite players are the commodity and if they unify on wanting to go to the Olympics and not another event, they will get their way.
And in their ear the entire time will be Nike and Adidas — the Olympics are a huge marketing platform for these companies and they want their hoops stars on that stage.
It’s going to be a topic for the next few years. Now we know where Colagelo stands.
Following a rash of injuries — and whatever happened to Lamar Odom — the original pool of 20 players USA Basketball was going to choose from to form its Olympic team this summer is down to 15.
The waters are getting a little shallow with injuries to Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard, so USA Basketball may add a few players to the pool, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.
In the wake of an injury crisis, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that he’s likely to add “one or two players” to the list of finalists for Team USA’s Olympic roster.
So, who are we talking about? Mostly big men to go along side soon to be Defensive player of the Year Tyson Chandler.
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Sacramento Kings power forward DeMarcus Cousins, Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe and incoming Kentucky star Anthony Davis — widely regarded as a lock to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft — are among the young big men under consideration to be among the late additions Colangelo mentioned.
The most natural replacement for Howard is Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, but Bynum stated publicly in April that he intends to take the summer off to get some rest and treatment for his knees. Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert would be another natural contender, especially after his stint on the USA’s Pan-American team in 2007, but Hibbert elected to join Jamaica’s senior national team for the 2010 Centrobasket tournament and FIBA rules preclude players from representing two different countries at the senior level.
In international ball Team USA really can go small a lot, playing someone like Kevin Love at the five and sliding LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony down to the four. It works well. At least until the likely gold-medal game matchup with Spain, which starts Marc and Pau Gasol and brings Serge Ibaka off the bench. Then the USA will need more traditional bigs.
It seems unlikely that Cousins or Monroe would make the team, but clearly the size issue is a concern to USA Basketball. They will miss Rose as well at the point but still have Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook on the roster.