USA Basketball Rumors
Q: Has James said he will be playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics? Colangelo: I think he is intent on wanting to play for USA Basketball and be in the Olympics next year.
Q: Do you expect LeBron James to be playing for USA in the Olympics next year? Colangelo: He is one of the greatest players of all time. If he wants to be on the team, how is he not going to be on the team? It’s really not my call. It’s really his call. If that is still important to him and what he wants to do, I truly believe that’s what he wants, than he will be there.
Colangelo: In Kevin Love’s case, he really felt bad in not being there to participate after he said he would. That was more about advice he’s getting from legal counsel and his agent. That, too, is a variable. We have no control over that. If that happens next year with one or two players and they’re out, it’s not the end of the world. We have other players. The point is with the roster we have we can take hits like that and there are other guys to step in.
Colangelo: I understand his disappointment. He’s a great player. For whatever reason, the times he’s been with us he just hasn’t played as well as he’s capable of playing. That happens to be at a position where we are overloaded. There is no question about that. And so that’s not a knock on him. I have a great respect for him as a player and through the course of an NBA season, he shows how great he is. The fact that he wasn’t selected really hurt him. He was extended an invitation, but I don’t think he’s coming.
Q: Is there any way you can convince Mike Krzyzewski to coach past the 2016 Rio Olympics? Colangelo: No. This time I know it’s done. I’m already working on the future. But my focus is on ’16. I have so much time on my hands that I’m already working on it. Q: Do you already have a next coach in mind? Colangelo: I always have a guy already in my head. Always did and always will.
But perhaps absence made the heart grow fonder? This morning on Sirius XM’s NBA Radio, Colangelo was asked about James future involvement in the USA Basketball program, and Colangelo sounded as though James might not be done with USA Basketball. “Well, I think LeBron wants to be part of it,” said Colangelo. “You know, when you talk about LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo [Anthony], they were the four young players who were, what, 19 years old, 20 at the best, who were added to the roster when some people dropped out at the last minute. They weren’t quite ready for prime time, if you think back. They just weren’t, and it’s a little bit of a disservice in some ways, but the NBA was looking to promote young, up and coming stars, and I get that. That’s one of the reasons why I was asked to take over the program. I said, ‘Look, I’ll do it, but it has to be complete autonomy, no more committees, no more politics. I’ll pick the coaches, I’ll pick the players if I’m going to be responsible.’ That’s the only way you can really turn the program and make it successful. So, we deal with it as it comes.”