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Colangelo says Rudy Gay has ‘a legitimate chance’ to make USA Basketball roster

Aug 14, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

Turkey v USA Turkey v USA

CHICAGO — Rudy Gay was a late addition to this summer’s USA Basketball roster, joining the team after mini-camp in Las Vegas had ended and only being needed by the squad thanks to the unfortunate injury suffered by Paul George.

But even though he came aboard less than a week ago and went through his first practice with the team Thursday as training camp resumed in Chicago, Jerry Colangelo believes that Gay has a very real shot at making the 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup, which tips off later this month.

“Yes, he does have a legitimate chance,” Colangelo said. “Rudy was on our 2010 World Championship team. He made a great contribution there, he’s in pretty good shape, and he stepped in today like he hadn’t missed a bit, either.”

Gay’s place in the starting lineup of the White team for the day’s final scrimmage — alongside Derrick Rose, James Harden, Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis — essentially confirms Colangelo’s statement. But Gay hasn’t been told whether he’ll be in the same spot in the future.

“We don’t know,” Gay said of the team’s starting lineup. “Coach K keeps that in his back pocket until it’s go time.”

Once Team USA lost George to injury, there was no guarantee that they would bring in anyone else — both due to time constraints, as well as because of the unfamiliarity the majority of candidates have with the USA Basketball program. And, the team can only take 12 players to the World Championships, so some guys who have been there from the beginning won’t make the cut. But Gay reached out and asked to be added, and the prompting to do so came from an unlikely source.

“My ownership with the Kings, he pushed me into it,” Gay said. “And then my agency, they told me I probably should think about it. I had fun last time. I learned a lot, and it was great for me. Also, the guys — a couple of the guys I played with before, and also the World Championship team. They kind of pushed me into playing here again.”

Mark Cuban has famously said he would have his players nowhere near international competition if it was his choice, but Colangelo doesn’t believe that those remarks have much to do with the players.

“His comments were about money, they weren’t about players playing,” Colangelo said.

Gay believes that the owner of the team he plays for, however, is interested more in the basketball side.

“He’s a basketball guy,” Gay said of Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive. “Not to say anything about Mark Cuban, because he’s protecting his investments. Obviously, to an extent, everybody has personal feelings about whether guys should play during the summer or not. But we talked, and he felt the way I felt … that the thing with Paul was kind of a freak accident.”

Gay is no lock to make the team, but it’s more than possible Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski decide that with Kevin Durant gone and the team needing to get its offense now from a wider variety of sources, he’s one of the better options. Krzyzewski was asked what his plans were to redistribute Durant’s “20 shots per game,” and for obvious reasons, he wasn’t exactly worried about who in particular might be willing to step up.

“I’m sure there will be a lot of hands raised,” Krzyzewski said.

  1. nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Prediction for the 2016 Olympic starters? My guess:

    PG: Irving
    SG: Durant
    SF: James
    PF: Love
    C: Davis

    • innovativethinking87 - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      Kyrie? No way

      • nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        In 2 years? He’s already in competition for the starting spot right now.

        Considering he’ll have significant chemistry with two other co-starters, that may be enough to bump him ahead of Curry & Paul.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:02 PM


        good point about two more years from now… if Kyrie continues improving and I think he will due to the presence of one Lebron James.

        the other 4 are locks in my mind if they’re healthy.

        Chris Paul is better than folks think though. If his game doesn’t slip between now and then I don’t think Kyrie will improve enough to over take him.

        Chris Paul has the 6th HIGHEST PER of all time. All time and one can’t bumble and stumble their way that high on that list.

        MJ is #1
        LBJ is #2

        Chris Paul is #6

        I still like Paul’s chances though to be the starting point guard in 2016 as he’ll still be young enough.

    • blaxmyth - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:04 AM

      Chris Paul? DRose? ‘Melo?

      • nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Chris Paul is definitely the most likely be in there. Just a hunch that maybe he doesn’t play in 2016. DRose I’m guessing loses explosiveness in 2 years. Melo could replace Love but not sure rebounding loss would be a net benefit with “small-ball” PF.

  2. genericcommenter - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    This makes sense because he said it wasn’t about picking the best players.

  3. campcouch - Aug 15, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    “His comments were about money, they weren’t about players playing,” Colangelo said.

    Says the guy that’s sold or been removed from franchises because of financial issues.

  4. canadatude - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Derozan does not play a minute against Brazil so Gay can play? When TO dumped Gay, they became a much better team. He is a black hole on offence, plays no D and has never been a team player. Good call, coach K.

    • Kurt Helin - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      Did you see Gay play in Sacramento? Or on Team USA four years ago?

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