Last July, Harrison Coburn did not hold back in his Friday Rant, wondering when Team USA was going to put some respect on the Hawks’ name. John Collins and Trae Young both made the Select Team, but when you consider some of the players that made the actual roster, one has to wonder how at least one of them — if not both — did not make it over the likes Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and Mason Plumlee. It was ludicrous, and it’s no wonder why Team USA embarrassingly finished seventh — their worst result ever in an international tournament — a month later at the FIBA World Basketball Championships.
However, despite genuinely terrible play to go along with their awful finish, it doesn’t seem like Team USA has learned their lesson. Because today, they announced their 44 finalists for the roster that they will take to the Olympics this Summer, and neither Trae Young or John Collins is on it.
Keep in mind, while there are plenty of stars among the 44 finalists, there are also players like Mason Plumlee, Marcus Smart, Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez, Derrick White, Myles Turner, and Dwight Howard on this list, who are nothing more than average role players. Trae Young was named a starter in the All-Star Game, is arguably the best point guard in the Eastern Conference, averaging nearly 30 points and 10 assists a game, and is likely to be the future of Team USA at the point guard position for the foreseeable future. I can understand the argument for coaches to pass over John Collins because of the 25-game suspension he had earlier this season, but not naming Trae Young a finalist is ludicrous — a genuine embarrassment to the game.
Now, I’m not sure Young would have ever been named to the final roster. After all, many more superstars are going to be back in the mix after passing on the FIBA World Championships and watching Team USA get embarrassed. But the fact that he was not even named one of the 44 best options for a roster spot is just a slap in the face. I’m not going to sit here and act like any reasonable human believes Marcus Smart and Derrick White are better point guards than Trae Young. That’s simply preposterous. Perhaps, for some reason, Young did not want to take part in the festivities after suffering an injury while a member of the Select Team last year, but knowing how competitive he is and how much he enjoys the game of basketball, I’d be shocked if that was the case. This is as disrespectful as it gets, and Team USA should be ashamed of themselves.
You must log in to post a comment.