Stars Dropping Out of World Cup For USA Basketball at Alarming Rate
For years, playing for USA Basketball has been an honour.
Players have notoriously been hungry to wear the red, white, and blue, while representing their country in international competition. Be it the Olympics or the World Cup, some of the greatest players in NBA history have participated, playing for the pride of the United States.
This Summer has been a bit different and it is creating some reason for concern.
For the first time in its program history, USA Basketball has witness an alarming rate of drop outs from their initial invitee list. A star-studded list of drop outs that features the likes of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal and plenty more. At this point, Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton are the only roster holdovers from last year that have committed to playing in the FIBA World Cup in September.
Returnee Kyle Lowry has made a verbal commitment to the team, but his ability to play will all be dependent on his recovery from offseason thumb surgery.
USA Basketball looks to have plenty of new faces this time around and unlike in previous years, the 2019 roster will not boast many superstar calibre names as usual. Currently, Donovan Mitchell, Andre Drummond, Jayson Tatum, Brook Lopez and PJ Tucker are just some of the substitutes that are expected to fill in.
Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed this past Tuesday that Jaylen Brown and Julius Randle were added to the invitee roster. A different report from The Athletic claimed that D’Angelo Russell, Mike Conley, and Marcus Smart are all in discussion for replacement spots. One of the team’s all-time greats, Carmelo Anthony has not received an invitation.
It will be interesting to see what the USA Basketball roster will look like come World Cup.