The 20 players selected for the 2012 USA men’s basketball team were revealed today, as named by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. Stephen Curry was not on the list.
CURRY: “My schedule from June to August cleared up.”
While Curry was smiling after practice at the Cleveland Clinic (the Cavalier’s practice facility), it was very clear he was not happy about not being selected for Team USA. He joined Danny Granger as the only two players from the 12-man roster at the 2010 World Championships not on the roster for 2012.
Even with his ankle issues, being left off did not sit well with Curry.
CURRY: “Very disappointed. I had a great experience with it two years ago, playing with those guys and coach K and the whole experience. I had my hopes up that I was going to be able to repeat that – at least make it to the trial stage … try to at least make it to that level where you have an opportunity. That’s kind of the way I approached the World Championships, just to be able to have the opportunity to try out and actually make the team and win a gold medal. I wanted that same experience, so I’m really disappointed. But it’s motivation for 2016.”
Curry said he got a letter two days ago telling him he was not invited. The letter gave him the difficult-decision explanation, citing plethora of eligible players and a host of “veteran guards they think will make the team better.” But as far as explanation, that’s all he knows.
It must be noted that Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwyane Wade nor Kobe Bryant did NOT play in the World Championships. They almost assuredly get roster spots for the Summer Games in London. That means fewer spots for Curry, who joined Chauncey Billups, Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon as the guards.
In the World Championships, Curry averaged 10.6 minutes in eight appearances. He totaled 37 points on 45.2 percent shooting, including 7 of 19 from 3-point range. He also totaled 17 assists and 8 turnovers.
But Curry said he doesn’t know if it was because of his play or because of his right ankle issues. He’s missed the last six games after spraining his ankle three times between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6. Curry initially sprained his left ankle during World Championships preparations in August 2010, which general manager Larry Riley, for one, thinks was the start of Curry’s ankle issues. (The thinking is that Curry, compensating for an injured left ankle which he never had time to rest after World Championships, wound up putting too much pressure on his right ankle. That led to at least four sprains and eight missed games during the 2010-11 and offseason surgery in May).
CURRY: “I don’t want to speculate. I just didn’t make the roster so I’ve got to work for 2016.”
Curry said he is still in the pool of Team USA players, which makes him an alternate. He said he will be ready and willing if they need him to play.
CURRY: “I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. Hopefully I’ll see that reason soon. I don’t know what it is exactly, but if it was meant to be, I would be on that roster.”
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he stayed out of the process, meaning he didn’t call Colangelo and tell him to take his injury point guard off the roster. Jackson said he believes the honor of playing for Team USA outweighs the resulting fatigue or risk of injury.
JACKSON: “I’d like my guys who deserve to certainly be involved. I’m a guy that thinks its great to be around the best, to practice against the best, to see their approach, I think it makes you better. … Talking about (Curry) specifically, obviously you want to have his minutes be in a Golden State Warriors uniform.”