LAS VEGAS -- LeBron James won a championship. Deron Williams became nearly $100 million richer. Kobe Bryant got Steve Nash as his backcourt partner.
See, it hasn’t been all bad news for the U.S. men’s basketball players.
But overall it’s been a rough year so far, and the impact will be obvious Friday when the Americans open training camp with about three weeks until their Olympic opener.
The Americans planned to arrive with their 12-man squad already selected, keeping the focus entirely on the road to London. Instead, their plans, just like their roster, have been wrecked by injuries.
When practice opens on the campus of UNLV, the top priority will be determining who among the players still standing get the last available spots. The Americans will finally select their team Saturday night.
"We would have already made the decision if it wasn’t for the injuries and the length of the NBA season," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We have a pretty good idea of who will be on the team, but the last one or two spots, you’re not sure of, so you want to see the guys physically and talk to them."
"They’re not trying out; all of them are good enough to be on the team. It’s where are they at right now, and how do they complement the nine or 10 guys that you already pretty much know are already on the team?"
Krzyzewski said the Americans were deeper now than
NBA All-Stars Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who would have made up one-third of the team, all have been lost to injuries. Lamar Odom, who still had a shot despite his miserable NBA season, opted not to play. Anthony Davis’ health is uncertain after the No. 1 pick sprained an ankle working out with the New Orleans Hornets.