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Report: Chris Paul leaning toward playing in the 2016 Olympics

Jul 27, 2013, 6:30 PM EDT

London Olympics Basketball Men AP

The reason that USA Basketball held a four-day mini-camp in Las Vegas last week that featured 28 current and rising NBA stars (and a couple from the college ranks) is due to the fact that there’s plenty of uncertainty as to who will return to the team to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Program chairman Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski talked multiple times about the need to keep a fluid pool of players, because everything from injury to personal matters could keep anyone from ultimately participating two years from now.

We’ve already gotten word that LeBron James could be out, and the same was thought to be true for Chris Paul. But thanks to the return of Krzyzewski to the sidelines for another shot at a gold medal, Paul is apparently willing to reconsider.

From Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com:

Chris Paul has changed his mind and is leaning toward playing in the 2016 Olympics.

The Los Angeles Clippers point guard, who was on the 2008 and 2012 gold medal teams, said he was leaning heavily toward bypassing the 2016 Games — until Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski announced he was returning to coach the team.

“If it had been another coach than Coach K, I was prepared to be done,” Paul told ESPN.com.

It’s worth noting that the only quote from the player said to be making the decision here is non-committal, at best.

But assuming the conversation that didn’t make it into the story verbatim has Paul indeed leaning toward returning for 2016, he would join an extremely crowded backcourt that would be likely to include Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose, among others.

Paul has been a part of two USA gold medal runs through the Olympics in 2008 and 2012, and has been a part of the USA Basketball program consistently since appearing on a developmental team back in 2002.

  1. tru2joelu4eva - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    What’s wrong with these people? Why would you choose not to represent your country in the Olympics? Too big of a pay cut? Pathetic.

    • adoombray - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      whooooa, settle down there Beavis. It’s not a “pay cut”, because their NBA salaries aren’t tied in any way to the Olympics, but it is FREE INJURY RISK, because they don’t receive a dime for “playing for their country”. Chris Paul is a professional basketball player on a MAX contract and it’s a big committment to be a part of team USA. The guy plays for free during the very small window of time that a professional player has to rest and rehab, and the olympics are supposed to be about youth and amateurism : he’s taking a roster spot from a young up and coming guy like Kyrie Irving for example, and he is being paids gobs and gobs of money to be the best player he can be for the clippers.

      Plenty of NBA players take full injury risk for free for their “country”. It’s called playing in the NCAA, which he doesn’t get a dime for while the college rakes in the cash and flips out if the kid so much as takes a box of Ramen for his efforts. I don’t need CP3 to prove his patriotism to me via the olympics.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        Well put.

        Chris Paul was among 3 Team USA players to get injured during the last Olympics (he hurt his thumb and required surgery).
        The others were Blake Griffin (who tweaked his knee during training camp and had to back out), Russell Westbrook (who got injured in Team USA’s second-to-last game and sat out the Gold Medal game).

        So you can bet that a guy who got injured while playing for team USA (and whose teammate also got injured) is worried about injuries in any future competitions.

      • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:24 PM

        it’s a maximum of 8 games every 4 years to nearly guarantee your country a gold medal, not played because of a risk of injury. lebron could’ve blown out his acl filming his headphones commercial. i guess i just don’t understand how if there was ever a situation that warranted playing despite the normal risk of injury that accompanies every single other game or practice, this would be not be it.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        Not Beavis…”Beavith”!

      • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        “Bergeron in Boston-area hospital since conclusion of Game 6 (Update: Has hole in lung)”

        http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/26/bergeron-has-been-in-boston-area-hospital-since-conclusion-of-game-6/

        you better believe this guy will be representing his country at sochi less than a year after this was published.

  2. seanb20124 - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Sounds a bit entitled to assume he will be picked for the squad.

    • abchome - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:15 AM

      Shouldn’t he? 2 gold and 1 bronze medals, 5 times all nba (3 x 1st team), 6 times nba all star, and in his prime at 28.

      • jgillmeister - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        If he decides to play, he’ll be a great back-up to DRose

  3. tv63 - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    He changed his mind due to his big EGO first and foremost. He’s not about to let Kyrie take over and he’s out of the picture. Second, there ain’t no way LEbron Is OUt! Even Chris Paul knows that. Lebron won’t allow his legacy to have Kobe with more Olympic appearances than himself.

    • herkulease - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Kobe only appeared in two Olympics, 2008 and 2012.

      Lebron has more appearances than Kobe. He appeared in 04, 08, 12. He has more Olympic medals too. 1 Bronze, 2 Gold.

      Lebron’s deal will be whether he feels he has the legs. By the 2016 olympics he would likely have logged close to 45K minutes for his career. Add in deep playoff runs in the next 3 seasons and he may be close to 48K minutes.

      Its going to be a lot to ask of him to give up some much needed rest. It not like as if Team USA is hard up on talent. There are plenty of players with fresher legs who can get the job down.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        Losers gonna lose: like some punk Knick fan.

    • jgillmeister - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Kyrie will take over from DRose in 5 yrs or so. CP3 is being pushed down the list.

  4. kingbeason52 - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    He wants to keep racking up those gold medals because he knows he wont be getting any rings..

  5. casualcommenter - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    I love these, “NBA Star is leaning towards playing/not playing in the Olympics 3 years from now, but he hasn’t made a firm decision either way, so it’s too early to draw conclusions” articles.

    Keep ‘em coming!

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:32 PM

      Sarcasm much?

  6. sportsnut101 - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Won’t he be in his 30′s. When next game comes

    Will he be able to to pick his coach for the USA squad Ego stars who cares if they get injured I sure don’t wake up saying man I hope cp3 doesn’t get injured in tonight’s game

  7. durno99 - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    So he hurt his thumb playing for our country? Ignorant statement. I am leaning towards letting him stay in this country. Pathetic!!!!!!!

  8. lebronhair23 - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    OVERRATED point guard. Nuff said

  9. emosnar - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    He can be the old symbolic guy. Lillard, Rose, Westbrooke are the guards. Sorry old dude try living up to your hype and focus on winning a title.

    • emosnar - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      and Kyrie.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Old? He’s still going to be in his prime in 2016.

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