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Kevin Love And Other Team USA Thoughts


USA!  USA!  USA!  USA!  I could go on – and i will USA!  USA!  USA!

After Celtics Rajon Rondo withdraw from team USA, the 12-man roster was set for the FIBA World Championships.  Even if by default.  Which means Kevin Love is on the team.  Love status was uncertain, but after Rondo withdrew, Love is now a member of the team heading to Turkey to defend their Olypic gold in a attempt to win the FIBA Championship for the first time since 1994.

"It’s a tremendous honor to be named to the USA Basketball roster and have the opportunity to represent my country on an international stage,” Love said. “Expectations will be very high for this team and I look forward to doing everything I can to help the team bring back the gold from Turkey.*"

Here is the entire roster:

Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets), Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies), Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers), Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers), Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Love is one of only three players listed 6’10” or over and should see sometime with his combination of skills, but has been used sparingly in the teams exhibition games .

So congrats Kevin.  You will represent your country and the Timberwolves well.  I have no doubt.

Kevin Love Side-Note:  Love is the latest in line of a highly-regarded position on team USA.  The White Big Man.  This role has been filled by some of the greatest, from Christian Laettnar to Tom Gugliotta to Nick Collison to Brad Miller to Love.  Raise your hand if you think Love will have a better career than everyone on that list?  I am raising my hand.

Other MN White Guy Side-Note: Wally Szcerbiak was on the ’99 USA roster.

*Quote from this Timberwolves.com article.

Other Thoughts On Team USA

There has been a lot said and written about the players who are the on this team, and there has been even more said and written about who is not playing on this team.  Which players decided they need a break, time to focus on family matters, or just didn’t care – but for whatever reason, they are not wearing the red, white and blue.

ESPN.com Chris Sheridan called the team the ‘B-Deem Team’ after their defeat of France and then went so far to suggest this roster is the C-Team on Friday after Rondo’s withdrawal and Chandlers ineffectiveness;

"You could actually make the argument that this is America’s “C” team, because three of the players (Amare Stoudemire, David Lee, Brook Lopez) who were with the team back in mid-July when they gathered in Las Vegas the night before their first practice would probably be here at the crossroads of Europe and Asia if circumstances hadn’t forced their withdrawals."

While this roster is not full of one-name wonders ala LeBron, Kobe, ‘Melo and D-Wade, it is full of guys who are out to prove they are worthy of wearing the uniform.

And what pretty way to cultivate a more even player pool then to have players play then to get some younger players experience.  Other countries do it.  Why not build a crop of players who know the coach, know the system, and have faced international style of basketball before.

Another reason to get more players involved; the evolution of players into better players, better teammates, and better ambassadors for the game.

As team USA gears up to face Croatia, and after, analysts will continue to doubt the team and the process.  But Team USA has failed when players could not buy into the system and could not check their ego to take a lesser or different role than their were used in the NBA.

These team will not have that issue.  There will not be any issues or players fighting, or not giving 100% of defense, because the B-squad wants to win the FIBA World Championship for the first time since 1994 and silence all the critics.