It’s fairly obvious Team USA made a pretty egregious error by not including Trae Young on the Olympic roster. He’s easily better than half of the players currently in Tokyo, and it’s also become pretty evident Team USA lacks an elite facilitator to create easy offense. It sure would be nice if they had one of the best playmakers in basketball on the roster, like maybe… Trae Young. However, today I read the first legitimate answer from somebody apart of Team USA regarding Young’s absence, and it made my blood boil a bit.
Here’s what Jerry Colangelo, Team USA’s Managing Director, had to say about why Young wasn’t chosen to be a part of the team.
From @WindhorstESPN: Jerry Colangelo on Trae Young: "I'm happy that he wants to play for 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."
— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) July 30, 2021
There are two parts of this — one I think is stupid; the other I think is downright offensive. I’ll start with the stupid first, and that’s Colangelo saying, “But based on what we felt we needed, he didn’t fit the bill this time around.” I’ll admit Team USA does have a lot of guards, several that Young is better than. However, what they don’t have is an elite facilitator. Damian Lillard is one of the best point guards in basketball, but he’s not one of the best playmakers. Young would help this team mightily when the offense stagnates, which has been a problem for Team USA. So, maybe the people who make up the roster didn’t realize it at the time, but leaving off an elite playmaker when the team doesn’t have one was a gross oversight.
I understand being stubborn and ignorant. You still don’t want to give Trae Young his due… Fine, he has plenty of time left to prove you wrong, and trust me, he will. But what makes my blood boil is the first two sentences of Colangelo’s response.
I’m happy he wants to play for USA Basketball. He’s done really well in the NBA.
Something about that just comes off as patronizing to me. This roster should be begging for Trae Young to be a part of it. It’s clear they need a player like him, but instead, this response seems to downplay his talent and what he has to offer. Perhaps I’m looking too deep into this, but the fact Young wasn’t included on the roster was a joke from the beginning, and this kind of response only makes Team USA look more foolish.