Team USA will lack its usual star power in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
Just how deep did the Americans go into the reserves?
It took more than 50 invitations – and probably that many revisions of plans – to get to Sunday, the day where 15 members of the current national team arrived in Las Vegas for meetings and final preparations before the first training camp practice under new USA Basketball coach Gregg Popovich starts Monday.
That article repeatedly quotes USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo. Though the 50-invitation fact is uncited, it seemingly came from Colangelo.
Fifteen players are slated to attend the training camp as under consideration for the 12-man World Cup roster:
- Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
- Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings)
- Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
- Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers)
- Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
- Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
- Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets)
- Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics)
- Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
- P.J. Tucker (Houston Rockets)
- Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
- Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics)
- Thaddeus Young (Chicago Bulls)
Several other players – including James Harden, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard – accepted an invitation then withdrew. And there are an untold number of players who just declined in the first place. You’d have to think stars like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry were at least asked.
That’s how you get to more than 50.
Now, how will the Americans get to a gold medal with this roster filled with consolation invites? It won’t be easy.