About the time that Summer League is wrapping things up in Las Vegas on Monday, the NBA focus will shift to a four-day USA Basketball mini-camp being held in town through Thursday.
The biggest names in the game will sit this one out, but there are spots to be had for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, and it will give those in charge of selecting the team a look at 30 mid-level players and rising stars that may be holding out hope to make that final roster.
USA Basketball doesn’t go out and recruit players, or even initiate those conversations. The organization wants players who want to be there, or at the very least, guys who are looking to gain from the experience of playing with and being coached by some of the game’s best.
That policy seems to work out pretty well, and it’s led to two NBA All-Stars recently throwing their names in to represent for their country once again.
Colangelo told USA TODAY Sports that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love have expressed interest in playing.
“I don’t solicit nor am I looking for early commitments or anything like that because time and circumstances change things,” Colangelo said. “But those two have indicated they would very much like to play next summer. I don’t know how many others at this point because I haven’t inquired.”
Westbrook and Love both played for the USA team during its run to a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
We’ll see how it all shakes out next summer, but USA Basketball has to be thrilled to get players of that caliber continually interested in being considered to play on the world’s stage.