PDA

View Full Version : Hinrich leaves Team USA


dirt_dobber
08-14-2007, 07:32 AM
Hinrich leaves Team USA
Battier, Oden also withdraw as squad tilts toward more All-Star power
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/cs-070813smith,1,5851397.column?coll=cs-bulls-headlines

These have not been the greatest times for the U.S.

There's the mess of the presidential campaigns and talk of a compromise candidate, perhaps Rosie O'Donnell. She, of course, left "The View" television program, though her cohosts were unaware since they hadn't stopped talking. There's the weight problems of Valerie Bertinelli and now this, Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich withdrawing from the USA Basketball team trying to qualify for the Olympics.

How much can a country take?

Hinrich was a somewhat reluctant participant from the beginning, and USA Basketball announced Monday that he was leaving the team, which begins training for the FIBA Tournament of the Americas on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Also withdrawing were Shane Battier and Greg Oden.

The qualifying tournament for two Olympic representatives is from Aug. 22 through Sept. 2. There is still another chance for a country to get to the Olympics, with the third- through fifth-place teams in this tournament invited to a qualifying event next summer.

Also, there are rumors a country can get in if it says, "Pretty please."

For the U.S., it's far more than just qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. This is a continuation of the latest effort to re-establish the U.S. and the NBA as the pre-eminent figures in international basketball.

It began with a series of bad losses, from the 2002 world championships to the 2004 Olympics. A new program was undertaken headed by former Suns executive Jerry Colangelo, but the U.S. team was beaten in last year's world championships.

The story then became that this was a three-year project, presumably culminating with the 2008 gold medal.

Hinrich, the Bulls' point guard and captain, initially rejected an overture to play in 2006.

But he changed his mind after Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski made personal appeals and the team was geared toward using role players as well as stars.

But that philosophy seems to have changed some with Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Michael Redd and Chauncey Billups joining the team this summer.

Hinrich still will be eligible to make the team next summer—assuming the U.S. qualifies—because he played last year and so many others missed last year's games. It was decided that players could play one of the two summers leading up to the Olympics.

Though the Bulls endorsed Hinrich's participation, they were concerned about him continuing to be worn down and are believed to be relieved Hinrich will not participate.

Hinrich was unavailable for comment. USA Basketball said he and Battier withdrew for personal reasons and Oden had his tonsils removed last month and was too weakened. Hinrich's teammate at Kansas, Nick Collison, was added to the team.

"We are adding another 'big' in Nick Collison, and he'll participate in the August training," Colangelo said. "We're excited about his addition. He has had a lot of USA Basketball experience. He's physical, and he handles the pick-and-roll as well as anyone. He's been added to the senior national team for a reason."

Hinrich was married last month in the second-most important NBA wedding this summer. Spurs Finals MVP Tony Parker married Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives" the same day in July, finally relieving Hinrich of all the paparazzi attention.

There are now 16 players on Team USA. The roster will be reduced to 12 for the beginning of the tournament.

There was some speculation with the additions of Bryant, Kidd, Redd, Billups and Deron Williams, Hinrich would have a difficult time making the team. Likewise, Tayshaun Prince and Mike Miller were added, raising questions about whether Battier would make the team.

But both Hinrich and Battier started games in the world championships last year, and the changes seem to indicate the U.S. is returning to its old Olympic formula of using primarily offensive-minded All-Star players.

Hinrich and Battier were generally considered the team's two best individual defenders last year, though it's possible the team may figure out how to defend the pick-and-roll this time and employ some zone principles.

The 16 players on the team are Carmelo Anthony, Billups, Chris Bosh, Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Collison, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kidd, Redd, Miller, Prince, J.J. Redick, Amare Stoudemire and Williams. The most likely cuts are expected to be Redick, Durant, Collison and perhaps Chandler, Prince or Williams.

There apparently is no truth to wild Internet speculation that Hinrich's action is a response to Bryant disrespecting Kwame Brown and Smush Parker.

LonghornDub
08-14-2007, 12:10 PM
The 16 players on the team are Carmelo Anthony, Billups, Chris Bosh, Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Collison, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kidd, Redd, Miller, Prince, J.J. Redick, Amare Stoudemire and Williams. The most likely cuts are expected to be Redick, Durant, Collison and perhaps Chandler, Prince or Williams.


Talent-wise, there's no reason why this group of guys shouldn't be able to beat any team in the world. I hope the coaching staff can actually get them to play as a skilled, cohesive team.

ty
08-14-2007, 03:54 PM
Honestly, I don't really understand the whole "We need role players" theory for Team USA. Who was a role player on the first Dream Team? Christian Laettner I guess? =/

nikeball
08-15-2007, 10:30 AM
Honestly, I don't really understand the whole "We need role players" theory for Team USA. Who was a role player on the first Dream Team? Christian Laettner I guess? =/

Chris Mullin q=X

Jack.Kerr
08-15-2007, 12:01 PM
Honestly, I don't really understand the whole "We need role players" theory for Team USA. Who was a role player on the first Dream Team? Christian Laettner I guess? =/

Well for one thing, the level of competition was significantly lower in 1992; the foreign teams weren't nearly as used to playing against NBA level talent, and weren't as well prepared. In case you hadn't noticed, that has changed. The international teams are, if anything, better prepared now than the cut-and-paste approach used by Team USA in the past.

The "Dream Team" was so good because, in part, because in any given game, one or more of the superstars would give up some of their game. The people running Team USA seemed to've gotten the message. Hinrich and Battier are exactly what an international team needs--not pinheads like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.

nikeball
08-15-2007, 01:58 PM
Well for one thing, the level of competition was significantly lower in 1992; the foreign teams weren't nearly as used to playing against NBA level talent, and weren't as well prepared. In case you hadn't noticed, that has changed. The international teams are, if anything, better prepared now than the cut-and-paste approach used by Team USA in the past.

The "Dream Team" was so good because, in part, because in any given game, one or more of the superstars would give up some of their game. The people running Team USA seemed to've gotten the message. Hinrich and Battier are exactly what an international team needs--not pinheads like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.

uh..

Carmelo was MVP was the world championships last summer and it seems like he will be again this year. He is solid in international basketball..he doesnt depend on foul calls (wade), doesnt need a 3rd step to finish (wade/lebron), and has a more dependable jumper.