Jerry Colangelo says he isn’t worried about how Team USA will fair in the FIBA World Cup, despite multiple NBA stars opting out of consideration in recent weeks.
“Honestly, I don’t have any angst,” said Colangelo, Team USA’s managing director (via The Associated Press).
The multiple withdrawals had many questioning if the Americans could win a third World Cup in a row, but some late additions have bolstered those hopes.
Kings star De’Aaron Fox reportedly has been elevated from the Select Squad and the Nets’ Joe Harris was added to the Select roster ahead of the start of USA Basketball’s workouts in Las Vegas.
The first practices for both Team USA and the Select Squad begin Monday under new Team USA coach Gregg Popovich.
More than 50 invitations were sent to round out the 15-man roster for the national team, on top of the 14 players on the alternate squad.
Out of the 35 players who were added to the larger Team USA selection pool starting last year, 30 have withdrawn for a variety of reasons.
Bradley Beal, James Harden, Anthony Davis, CJ McCollum, Eric Gordon and Tobias Harris all withdrew last month, and Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell withdrew last week, among others.
“The focus has to be on who’s here — not who’s not here,” Colangelo said. “A number of the young players in this group have a chance, a real chance, some of them to make this team, some of them to make an impact in the World Cup.”
Kyle Lowry is hoping to be able to play, but hasn’t been cleared by doctors after he had thumb surgery.
Colangelo added that Carmelo Anthony, who has played with the team in the past, wasn’t considered for this year’s roster.
The final roster will be announced Aug. 17 after two weeks of practice and scrimmages. Afterward, the team will embark on a pre-tournament tour in Australia and then the play in the World Cup in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15.