Starting Five: D-Will to Olympics?

January, 23, 2014
Jan 23
6:00
AM ET
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams will be announced Thursday as one of 28 players selected by USA Basketball to potentially play in games over the next three summers, ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Dave McMenamin reported Wednesday night.

Williams is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist: 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London).

Despite an up-and-down last couple seasons, Williams made the team over John Wall, who is already being called the biggest snub.

The first event is the 2014 FIFA World Basketball Cup in Spain.

The 2012 Olympics was, Williams said, when he first injured his ankles, which have continued to give him problems ever since.

Williams received his first cortisone shot Oct. 25, 2012. Two days later, he told reporters that the inflammation he had been experiencing in his left ankle -- which he believed at the time might have to be "cleaned up" in the offseason -- started when he was playing for Team USA in London.

"I was hurting really bad in the Olympics, it swelled up pretty good during the Olympics, so I had to get on some anti-inflammatories," Williams said.

"We've been trying to strengthen it and do things to get it loose, but just throughout the course of a game it never gets loose. I thought it was just from old age.

"I couldn't jump off my left leg. I can't even dunk off one leg, so I went in and got an MRI and it showed the inflammation."

The problem has obviously persisted. Williams would have two more cortisone shots and a PRP injection before the treatment finally took following the All-Star break last season.

Williams was rejuvenated as a result, but a right ankle sprain and bone bruise he suffered during an offseason workout in Utah set him back, and he hasn't really recovered.

On Jan. 6, Williams, who has already sprained his ankle three different times in 2013-14, had a cortisone shot and a PRP injection in both of his ankles.

Williams has come off the bench in his first two games since returning to the lineup and played well.

USA Basketball President Jerry Colangelo, who selected Williams for his 2014-16 player pool, said his ankle inflammation occurred at the 2012 Olympics because he was "out of shape" at the time.

"Deron Williams, for the Olympics, was not in the best shape," Colangelo said. "He was a little overweight, and I told him that at the time."

Williams had blamed the fact that he only took four days off during the summer after he signed his five-year, $98 million contract as the reason why ankle injuries plagued him for the majority of last season.

And it's continued to be an issue, which makes you wonder if Williams will decide it's better for him to rest rather than play for the international squad. Williams, 29, will be 32 by the time the 2016 Olympic Games take place in Rio de Janeiro.

Question: What do you think Williams should do?

Stat of the day: Nets coach Jason Kidd is also a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist: 2000 and 2008.

Up next: Practice Thursday morning.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Deron Williams
PTS AST STL MIN
18.4 6.6 1.4 37.6
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 8.3
AssistsD. Williams 6.6
StealsD. Williams 1.4
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8