Monday, May 21, 2012
Jeremy Lin, Kyrie Irving to play U.S.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving of Cleveland and Knicks star Jeremy Lin are among 13 NBA players chosen to scrimmage against the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team in July.
Also picked Monday were: John Wall (Washington), Ryan Anderson (Orlando), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento), Paul George (Indiana), Kawhi Leonard and DeJuan Blair (San Antonio), Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors (Utah), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), Taj Gibson (Chicago) and Klay Thompson (Golden State).
The young players will report to Las Vegas along with the Americans on July 5 and work out against them from July 6-11. Lin's participation is unclear, as he will be a free agent after his breakout season and may not take part until he signs a new contract during that week.
Former Toronto coach Jay Triano, an assistant with the U.S. 2010 world championship team, and Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins will serve as co-coaches of the select team.
The U.S. started working against select teams in 2007 before the qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics, and a number of players have used it as a pipeline toward the national team. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, all candidates for this year's U.S. team, were once select team players.
"The USA select team was a vital part of the USA men's national team's training in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and again in 2012 we'll utilize this team of select NBA players to help get our national team ready for the very competitive summer that is ahead of us," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement.