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Friday, June 26, 2009

Ramble On...USA team to assemble in Vegas with or without its trusted leader

Will Coach Mike Krzyzewski take the plunge and commit to another three-year stint with the USA Men's Olympic team or will the Duke coach step down and set sail to the sunset with the memories of Beijing nestled nicely in his mind?

That is the question.

I truly hope that Coach K will step up to the challenge but I believe in my heart that if he were coaching the team, it would have already been announced. The camp is only 26 days away and the cynics are clearly wondering why the most prestigious and important coaching position in the entire word of basketball has not been filled.

I believe that Coach K would love to coach the Olympic team in London in 2012, but that he learned -- the hard way, I might add -- that the road to the Olympics is a very, very long trail. It begins in a wonderful hotel/casino in Vegas but it lasts forever as it weaves its way through Istanbul in 2010 and to places like Serbia, Madrid, Berlin and maybe even the 02 Arena.

Look for an announcement soon, possibly one that names a coach for 2009-2010 but not the Olympic team.

In other USA Basketball news, the USA Basketball Men's National Team mini-camp will feature practice sessions on July 23 and July 24 at Valley High School, and the mini-camp will be capped by the USA Basketball Showcase, a Blue-White intra-squad game, on July 25, 8 p.m. (PDT) at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.

Accepting an invitation to attend the July 22-25 mini- camp were: Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers / Texas); Trevor Ariza (Los Angeles Lakers / UCLA); D.J. Augustin (Charlotte Bobcats / Texas); Jerryd Bayless (Portland Trail Blazers / Arizona); Ronnie Brewer (Utah Jazz / Arkansas); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder / Texas); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies / Connecticut); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers / New Mexico); Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder / Georgetown); Blake Griffin (University of Oklahoma); Devin Harris (New Jersey Nets / Wisconsin); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers / Arizona); Kyle Korver (Utah Jazz / Creighton); David Lee (New York Knicks / Florida); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets / Stanford); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves / UCLA); O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies / USC); Paul Millsap (Utah Jazz / Louisiana Tech); Greg Oden (Portland Trail Blazers / Ohio State); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls / Memphis); Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers / Washington); Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks / Oak Hill Academy, Va.); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder / UCLA); and Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia 76ers / Georgia Tech).

"While we look to continue to build continuity within the USA national team program and continue to improve, in 2009 we will get a look at some of the top young NBA players who haven't been involved in USA Basketball at the top national program level previously. Although some of these players have represented USA Basketball in the past, this is their opportunity to be considered for the next generation of players who will help make up the USA Basketball National program. As was the case in 2005-08, the roster for the national team program will be fluid in 2010-2012 and we will make adjustments to the roster each year to help insure we have the strongest program and the strongest teams possible," said Colangelo.

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