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.
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.”
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.”