Jerry Colangelo Rumors
Team USA will face Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba in the first round of qualifying for the 2023 Basketball World Cup. The Americans, who won a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo but finished only seventh at the most recent Basketball World Cup two years ago, found out their qualifying opponents Tuesday when the draw was held at FIBA headquarters in Mies, Switzerland. It will also be the first major tournament for USA Basketball with Grant Hill as managing director. Hill is succeeding Jerry Colangelo in that role; Colangelo oversaw each of the last four Olympics for the U.S., helping assemble teams that won gold medals each time.
“What is encouraging is that we had the best offensive player, maybe of all time, wanting to be a part of it, along with a lot of our best young guys wanting to be a part of it,” Hill told BasketballNews.com in his first interview since taking over the position previously held by Jerry Colangelo. “I do believe there is a widespread excitement and desire to be a part of it.”
Ben Golliver: USA Basketball’s Jerry Colangelo was holding back tears while praising Kevin Durant for leading gold medal win over France at 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He added: “The last [gold medal] is always the best one. … I want a glass of champagne.”
Richard Jefferson: Wow Jerry Colangelo! You should have used your burner account for that statement. This is what arrogance looks. How about protecting the people that decide to come to play for USA when so many people told y’all no YEAR AFTER YEAR. This should really help recruitment of vets!!!
Colangelo on Trae Young: “I’m happy that he wants to play for USA Basketball. We had him in one of our camps. We know him in USA Basketball. He’s done really well in the NBA. But predicated on what we felt we needed, he didn’t fit the bill this time around. He’s a young player, he has a future with USA Basketball but it was the opinion of our staff that it wasn’t now. It’s for others to make the declaration ‘you made a mistake.’”
Can roster continuity ever return? Colangelo: “Some things are under your control and some things are not. When I took over I did have some control over setting the tone. I did want a three-year commitment. I needed three-year commitments and I got them. Be it from Carmelo, LeBron, Wade, Chris Paul, etc. We had a good format where we had competition every two years. But the powers that be changed the format and they thought it was going to be a positive — and I immediately said it may be good for the rest of the world but it’s not for USA Basketball.”
As for the players, Colangelo pointed to injuries to Kyle Kuzma, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart that did them in during the World Cup, and the pandemic-condensed schedule that kept a quarter of the roster away because they were in the Finals. And also, this team, as constructed, can still win gold. “If we had everyone in training camp at one time and we were working collectively toward all of our goals and objectives, we would have been much further along. … If all things were equal, we all had the same time to practice, we all had our rosters set, blah blah blah, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion. I don’t. But that’s not the case. So we are gonna do everything we can to overcome it now, and I believe we will.” — Colangelo