Injuries — and in some cases combined with concerns about Zika virus and malaria outbreaks in Brazil — are taking some of the biggest NBA names off the table for the 2016 Rio Olympics: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, John Wall, and today both Stephen Curry and LaMarcus Aldridge pulled their names from consideration.
So who is left?
Plenty. More than enough to field two teams that would win gold and silver in the Olympics. That’s how deep the USA’s talent pool is — and shows how powers like Spain and France have taken a step back.
Already on Monday, Kevin Durant has told Royce Young of ESPN that he plans to play in Rio. Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green of the Warriors have said they are still in for Rio if asked. Want a big man in the paint? DeMarcus Cousins still wants to play.
And LeBron James has said he would not decide until the Finals are over.
How about this 12-man roster of guys still available (and for fun we’ll leave LeBron off, but he would be a lock if he wants in):
Go ahead and tweak that if you want — Andre Drummond can be added as a center if you want to drop a forward, you can add shooting with Bradley Beal or Gordon Hayward, you can add defense with Andre Iguodala. This is just an off the top of my head list.
Guys need to make the best decisions for them and their families, and nobody should question them or their patriotism (don’t go comparing playing a sport and fighting overseas in the military, that is a silly comparison between entertainment and things that matter).
But Team USA will be just fine.