- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Talent unquestionable; injuries an issue for Krzyzewski, U.S. Olympic team
See, it hasn’t been all bad news for the U.S. men’s basketball players.
But overall it’s been a rough year so far, and the impact will be obvious Friday when the Americans open training camp with about three weeks until their Olympic opener.
The Americans planned to arrive with their 12-man squad already selected, keeping the focus entirely on the road to London. Instead, their plans, just like their roster, have been wrecked by injuries.
When practice opens on the campus of UNLV, the top priority will be determining who among the players still standing get the last available spots. The Americans will finally select their team Saturday night.
“We would have already made the decision if it wasn’t for the injuries and the length of the NBA season,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We have a pretty good idea of who will be on the team, but the last one or two spots, you’re not sure of, so you want to see the guys physically and talk to them.”
“They’re not trying out; all of them are good enough to be on the team. It’s where are they at right now, and how do they complement the nine or 10 guys that you already pretty much know are already on the team?”
NBA All-Stars Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who would have made up one-third of the team, all have been lost to injuries. Lamar Odom, who still had a shot despite his miserable NBA season, opted not to play. Anthony Davis‘ health is uncertain after the No. 1 pick sprained an ankle working out with the New Orleans Hornets.
All the injuries forced the Americans to scrap their plans to name their 12-man roster June 18. They’ve lost some of their size and explosiveness, figuring they still have plenty left to defend their Olympic title.
“While it is unfortunate to have lost the players we have, Coach Krzyzewski and I remain extremely confident with the group of players we’ll have at our training camp in Las Vegas. We believe that we will still have an outstanding collection of talent,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement this week announcing Odom’s withdrawal.
The Americans are left with five players from Beijing: James, Bryant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Williams, who agreed this week to a five-year extension with the Nets that will pay him about $98 million. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love return from the young squad that won gold in Istanbul two summers ago.
Blake Griffin would seem to have a good chance if he’s recovered from some knee trouble that slowed him in the playoffs, because the Americans could use his size. Beyond that, questions remain.
• Is Davis healthy enough and talented enough to overcome his inexperience?
• Is there room for Andre Iguodala as a defensive specialist?
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- ICT trade mission to Azerbaijan successfully completed
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- JACOBS: Prepare for a fight on driverless vehicles
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- White House faces press revolt over access to Obama's South Africa flight
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow