Elite Golden State Warriors players don't usually get as much respect as elite players from other NBA teams. But Anthony Randolph just scored a rare gesture, receiving an invite to join the Team USA basketball mini camp and an opportunity to try out to make the mens' USA basketball team for the 2012 Olympics.
Randolph, last season's youngest player in the NBA, just led the NBA Summer League in scoring with 26.8 points per game. He won't score so easily in Team USA tryouts against the likes of Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Blake Griffin.
The Team USA mini camp begins Thursday, and culminates in a blue vs. white USA Basketball showcase game. And by "showcase," they mean "scrimmage."
But that scrimmage is the first step toward fielding the next USA Basketball Olympic team. The top performers from these camps and scrimmages will be considered for Team USA Basketball.
"While we look to continue to build continuity within the USA National Team program and continue to improve, in 2009 we will get a look at some of the top young NBA players who haven't been involved in USA Basketball at the top national program level," chairman of USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told the AP. "This is their opportunity to be considered for the next generation of players who will help make up the USA Basketball national program."
Team USA will also compete for the FIBA World Basketball Championship in Turkey, June 2010.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks Team USA would have beaten Argentina for the gold in 2004 if they'd only had Adonal Foyle.