Jerry Colangelo Rumors
“The NCAA is still mad at me. The NBA is still mad at me for suing them. Everybody still holds some little resentment. The NCAA sees me and coaches see me, they say, ‘Dammit, I would have had these guys for four years if it wasn’t for that guy right there.’ ” It’s an exaggeration. The NBA and the Hall are tight. All David Stern or Adam Silver had to do was nod in the direction of Springfield and Haywood’s application paperwork would have been misplaced years ago. Jerry Colangelo, the ultimate NBA insider as a former owner and current head of Team USA, championed Haywood’s candidacy and made sure he is invited when USA Basketball makes camp in Las Vegas most summers.
Jeff Zillgitt: Basketball Hall of Fame trying to raise $20 million for improvements, enhancements. HOF chairman Jerry Colangelo said half already raised.
Griffin was chosen for the 2012 Olympic team, but was a late scratch (replaced by Davis) due to a knee injury. A back issue forced him to pull out of consideration for the 2014 World Cup team. And with so much time between now and August, he couldn’t say that he’d definitely be in Las Vegas. Paul was similarly unsure. Attendance at this summer’s mini-camp isn’t necessarily mandatory for those who want to be considered for the Olympic team, but it is a measure of a player’s commitment to USA Basketball. “All of our players are invited,” Colangelo said. “By who attends and who might not attend, that in itself is saying something. Really, this is all up to the individual guy. Each player makes his own decision on how he figures into USA Basketball.”
If Russell Westbrook or LeBron James are unable to make a late push, the league MVP will once again hail from a summer spent playing for Team USA. Kobe Bryant won his only MVP award in 2008 after winning a gold medal in the FIBA Americas tournament. LeBron James won his first MVP in 2009, the season after winning an Olympic gold medal in Beijing. James won his fourth MVP in 2013 – with a near-unanimous vote – the season after winning his second Olympic gold medal in London. Derrick Rose became the league’s youngest ever MVP in 2011 after starting for the gold medal-winning team at the FIBA world championships in Turkey. “It sounds self-serving and it’s not meant to be, but you’ve heard me say this many times now, regarding USA basketball. I think generally, they’re better people, they’re better players for the experience. They bring it back to their respective teams, that culture and the winning,” USA Basketball chairman and managing director Jerry Colangelo said in a recent telephone interview. “You go right down the list. That’s been true on each roster. It’s been repeat history.”
But since taking over taking over the USA national team program in 2005, Colangelo has taken pleasure in repeatedly watching the new leaders of the league emerge following a summer of training with and competing against the best players in the world. “I get such a joy out of looking at the box scores every day and seeing how our guys have fared and how well they’ve done and what they’re doing. So I’m excited,” Colangelo said. “Having a chance to win a championship does not come along every day for people in the NBA. It’s such a positive experience that many of these players have been able to carry that over. That’s a compliment to USA Basketball, in my opinion, the culture and the coaching staff. You feel like you’re giving back to the game.”
Adam Silver: @wardell30, @jharden13 & @boogiecousins receive their @usabasketball @FIBA World Cup Championship rings from USAB Managing Director Jerry Colangelo at #NBAAllStarNYC Practice at @madisonsquaregarden.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told the Tribune that Derrick Rose will be invited to the association’s Las Vegas minicamp this summer, a critical step in 2016 Olympic participation. “He’s going to be invited this summer,” Colangelo said. “We’re bringing all our players back to Vegas. We’re going to find out who’s committed and who isn’t. And we go from there.”
Since starting the national program in 2007 that was previously Serbia and Montenegro, this group has never faced the Americans. Nor have they won an international tournament, with a second-place finish in the 2009 Eurobasket and a fourth-place finish in the 2010 FIBA tournament as top showings. “They have a lot at stake here I feel, and they’re outspoken about it,” Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo told USA TODAY Sports about Serbia. “This is their opportunity they’ve been waiting for, and they have a dream. But so do we, so it works both ways.”
Beyond hiring Krzyzewski as coach in the wake of the Athens debacle, USA Basketball also made a point of getting its players to buy into the meaning of international competition. “We knew we had ask our players for a new level of commitment than was expected previously and we had to get them to realize we weren’t going to win international competitions doing things as we had,” Colangelo said. “We needed them to see themselves not as basketball players but as representatives of our country, doing our service, our piece. We had to get them to feel patriotism and selfless service.”
In 2006, after two poor international showings by Team USA, Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski called a lock-down defensive specialist: Bruce Bowen. They wanted the then three-time NBA All-Defensive first-team selection to be the glue guy the national team had missed in previous tournaments. But he was cut just three days before the start of the World Championship that Japan hosted that year. It seems Bowen hasn’t forgotten. “I’m an american, I had an opportunity to represent my country and I was thrilled about that. It was one of the highlights of that year… Until I was cut”. “It’s not that I couldn’t make the team, I got cut. I still have problems with that”, Bowen said half-jokingly, half seriously in Madrid, Spain.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, meanwhile, remains adamant that the Team USA staff is quite comfortable having included Rose as part of its final 12-man World Cup roster, even if he’s available to them only as a role player as he works his way back to full speed. “I think basically we’re waiting for Derrick to have kind of a bust-out game,” Colangelo said. “And if that were to happen, I think he’d take off from that point.”
Harden’s responsibilities increased once more when Kevin Durant, his close friend and former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, backed out of his commitment, citing fatigue and not the injury to George as the reason. That left the lefty Harden as the only first-team all-NBA player remaining on the squad. The earlier withdrawals of Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook also meant that Harden and Anthony Davis were the only holdovers from the 2012 London Olympics team. “Right now, I think I would look to Harden as that leader,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said as his team continues to prepare for the tournament in which the winner earns an automatic berth in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “Harden is kind of a natural leader and he seems to be willing to accept that role. And you can just kind of feel it and sense. He’s the one.”
The inclusion of Drummond, Cousins and Plumlee, along with starters Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried, all but assures that Krzyzewski will occasionally use lineups at the forthcoming FIBA World Cup that feature Davis or Plumlee at power forward next to a more traditional center. “This gives us an opportunity to do some things we haven’t had a chance to do in the past,” Colangelo said. “It’s true that the preferred style of play [in recent years] has been going small, but you have to ask: Was that by choice or by necessity? “Early on [this summer], we said it would be hard to carry four bigs, but that was kind of put on the shelf. Certainly there won’t be any discussion going forward about, ‘What are you going to do about bigs, what are you going to do about playing teams with size?’ If Coach wishes to show a big front line, he now has the capacity to do so.”
Colangelo told ESPN.com that one scenario under consideration by USA Basketball officials is reducing the current 16-man roster to 12 or 13 players after Wednesday night’s exhibition game against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden. “We’ve said we wanted to wait through the end of the week in New York before we made cutbacks,” Colangelo said Monday, “but that could still change.”
The Ebola outbreak has changed USA Basketball’s travel plans. The team scrapped an Aug. 27 trip to Senegal after health officials said it was too risky. More than 1,100 people have died in the Ebola outbreak sweeping West Africa, making it the largest and deadliest ever recorded. “We really had an issue with canceling because we were so committed to the program down there and wanted to participate,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Friday. “(But) you can’t take any chances. We certainly didn’t want to put anyone at risk.”
But even though he came aboard less than a week ago and went through his first practice with the team Thursday as training camp resumed in Chicago, Jerry Colangelo believes that Gay has a very real shot at making the 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup, which tips off later this month. “Yes, he does have a legitimate chance,” Colangelo said. “Rudy was on our 2010 World Championship team. He made a great contribution there, he’s in pretty good shape, and he stepped in today like he hadn’t missed a bit, either.”
Jay Cohen: Interesting stuff on Durant’s withdrawal from Colangelo. “He found himself in a situation where he had no choice,” Colangelo said. Asked by @nrarmour in terms of, “Just contractual situation,” Colangelo responded.
He loves being on the floor, and he loves to play with great passion. And if he’s not playing like a free spirit, which is who he is, that’s a load on his shoulders. And I think all of it is probably weighing on him. Is he tired? Absolutely. I think mentally and physically, when he says he’s wiped out, I believe he is.
When you sensed that lack of energy and said Durant wasn’t himself, did you or Coach K or anybody on the staff have a conversation with Durant about it? Jerry Colangelo: We kind of looked at it and, in conversation with him, never addressed that issue, but asked him questions: ‘Everything OK? How’s it going? Anything on your mind?’ Of course, there’s been a lot of things circulating about his business dealings. New representation, Nike, Under Armour negotiations, just a lot of stuff. And Kevin’s the kind of guy, at least in my relationship with him and getting to know him, he doesn’t need a lot of clutter in his life.
Marc J. Spears: USA Basketball’s Jerry Colangelo says there is still no plans to add Kevin Love to the roster.
Marc J. Spears: USA Basketball’s Jerry Colangelo says Durant told him his departure had nothing to do with Paul George’s injury & he just feels “wiped out.”