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Team USA managing director admits team’s performance at World Cup a disappointment, praises rest of the world

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, September 18, 2019 1:33pm

Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo said that the team’s performance in the recently concluded 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup is a disappointment that the squad has not had in a while while also giving credit to the rest of the competing teams.

Colangelo took over the team on April 27, 2005. In his 14-year tenure, the team won gold in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics. Team USA broke a 16-year gold medal drought in the FIBA World Cup by winning it all in 2010 and before repeating in 2014. Colangelo will end his tenure next summer.

Speaking to Chris Mannix of SI.com, Colangelo said that the result of the team’s campaign in the quadrennial tournament will be on his mind until they get a chance to redeem themselves in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“There has not been any disappointment around USA Basketball in a while,” Colangelo told SI.com. “This will bother me until the 2020 Olympics.”

The team is made up of Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics); Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs). Coaching the team is Gregg Popovic (head coach of the San Antonio Spurs) assisted by Steve Kerr (head coach of the Golden State Warriors), Lloyd Pierce (head coach of the Atlanta Hawks), and Jay Wright (head coach of Villanova University).

Colangelo also gave credit to the other teams who had excellent performances in the World Cup in China.

“Basketball is the ultimate team game,” Colangelo said. “The more familiarity that players have with one another on the court, the better. Look at guys on Spain, Argentina. Luis Scola played [for Argentina]. He’s 39, played like he was 20. Manu Ginobili was there, he told [USA coach Gregg Popovich] that he was so proud of the Argentineans…you have to give credit to the rest of the world.”

Colangelo also said that he has an issue with the National Basketball Association stars who initially expressed their commitment to Team USA only to back out before the start of the tournament. Among the NBA standouts who opted out of playing were Anthony Davis, James Harden, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan, and others. Davis, Lillard, and Harden were among those who withdrew Team USA late.

“The disappointment I feel is not from the guys who said they wouldn’t play,” Colangelo told SI.com. “It’s those that said they would, and then backed out.”

“We’ll deal with those cases individually,” Colangelo said.

He, however, stressed the importance of having fielding in a team filled with top-class talent for the Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s important to field as strong a team as possible,” he said.

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