Left Menu
Development News Edition

Popovich: Team USA not 'C' players

Reuters | New York | Updated: 06-08-2019 22:58 IST | Created: 06-08-2019 22:57 IST
Popovich: Team USA not 'C' players
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

When Gregg Popovich agreed to take over as head coach of USA Basketball for Mike Krzyzewski, many envisioned names such as Harden, Love, Lillard and Davis on the backs of the uniforms. Those top-level NBA stars dropped off the Team USA roster and won't compete in the FIBA World Cup in China next month, but Popovich doesn't sound worried about his team.

"I've said that we're going to be fine and by that what I really meant is that we're blessed with a lot of depth in USA Basketball," he told reporters after a team practice in Las Vegas. "All of the players here want to be here, there's no question about it. And that's a big part of the battle itself. And so, when you look at the enthusiasm, the youth, the athleticism and versatility, that'll really work well for us because our depth will be a factor." Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker is one of those players. He said he's happy for the opportunity to vie for a spot on the final 12-man roster.

"This is like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of us," said Walker, an All-Star Game starter in February who relocated from Charlotte to Boston via free agency in July. "I think a lot of us are happy those guys pulled out because this is our chance. It's our chance to get on the big stage and showcase our talent. A chance for us to do something new. It'll be a new-look team. Everybody is kind of doubting us, but I think we're hungry." Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, and Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are among the NBA stars who decided not to take part.

In their place are players such as Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and Walker's new Celtics teammates, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum. "These are not 'C' players," Popovich said. "You've heard a lot of criticism about who isn't here, and I keep repeating that it's about who is here. There's some really good talent and it's going to be difficult getting to a 12-man roster when you really think about it. So, every day is important to these players and I would say today's effort was terrific. We had a great first day of practice. Certain individuals did an outstanding job. Overall, it was terrific."

The World Cup begins in China on Aug. 31. Team USA opens play the following day against the Czech Republic.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Uganda COVID-19 response: Was off to a good start but reopening dwindled prospects

Uganda has shown success in using health information to enhance efficiency of disease surveillance, reporting and monitoring. The success, however, has critical challenges confronting it as the country resumes normal activities....

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Videos

Latest News

Germany to allocate over USD 2mln for ICRC to help crisis-torn Nagorno-Karabakh

Berlin Germany, October 30 ANISputnik Germany will allocate 2 million euros over USD 2.3 million for the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC to provide Azerbaijans breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh with humanitarian aid, Foreig...

U.S. appeals court upends Minnesota plan to extend deadline for receiving ballots

A federal appeals court on Thursday said Minnesotas plan to count absentee ballots received after Election Day was illegal, siding with Republicans in the battleground state. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said the...

Genomic study reveals role for hypothalamus in inflammatory bowel disease

Using sophisticated 3D genomic mapping and integrating with public data resulting from genome-wide association studies GWAS, researchers have found significant genetic correlations between inflammatory bowel disease IBD and stress and depre...

Skydive Auckland wins Supreme Business Excellence Award at Westpac

Skydive Auckland has won the Supreme Business Excellence Award at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2020 North West region.The adventure tourism operator, based at Parakai Airport, offers the highest tandem skydive in the Southern Hemi...

Give Feedback