I gotta admit that it was hard getting into the US Basketball team this year. Call me unpatriotic if you want, but I just couldn't get all that jazzed about a team headlined by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. I wanted them to win Gold and all that, but honestly I was more interested in the swimming, track, and even gymnastics than I was the basketball team. I was further turned off by the annoyingly constant comparisons to the Dream Team.
Still, if you were to insert just one Celtic into the equation, that probably would have been enough for me to get into it. I guess that's just who I am at this point. So this whole business of Doc Rivers being a top choice for Team USA in Rio has my radar up all of a sudden.
First of all, he's obviously deferring out of respect to Coach Popovich, and that's wonderful. If Pops goes, I would have to imagine that he'd ask Doc to be an assistant. If he chooses not to, for whatever reason, I have to think the younger and nearly as respected Doc is the next option. I think Doc would at least invite Pops as an assistant as well, but if he declines for rest/age reasons, everyone would understand.
So with the London Olympics freshly in the rear view mirror, let's throw this topic open to the comments. Who do you picture joining a potential Coach Rivers in Rio?
I would imagine that Kobe is done with the Olympics. LeBron has hinted at being done as well, though he'll probably still be one of the games very best, so you couldn't really leave him off the list. I'm thinking it might be fully Durant's team by then. Perhaps Blake Griffin and other injured stars would want to make up for missing the games this year.
The U.S. faced its biggest obstacle before it even arrived in London, when injuries decimated its frontcourt. Not only was the U.S. missing the athleticism of stars like Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose in the backcourt, but Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin were unavailable to play. As recently as five weeks ago, when the 12-man roster was selected in Las Vegas, Krzyzewski was planning to go with a more traditional lineup of 7-1 Tyson Chandler and 6-10 Blake Griffin sharing time in the post at center. When Griffin suffered a knee injury on July 11 and was replaced by rookie 12th man Anthony Davis, Krzyzewski had no choice but to go small.
As I alluded to in the last post about this, you have to wonder if Rondo (who kind of quit before he was cut last time out) would be interested if Doc was involved. Also, you have to start projecting out the college players and younger NBA players to see who would develop into that stature. John Wall perhaps?
Toss out some names and let me know what your ideal roster would look like. Obviously projecting 4 years from now isn't easy, but that's what blogs do on a slow summer day.