Damn, all these cats on the DL…Disabled List that is!
Amid all of the nostalgia over the 1992 Dream Team, the latest version of USA Basketball is becoming Team Nightmare. New Orleans power forward Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in last week’s NBA draft, suffered a sprained ankle in a Hornets workout Saturday that may eliminate him from consideration for the Summer Olympics in London. The Hornets confirmed Davis’ injury in a statement, saying he was day to day and that his availability to train with Team USA would be determined later this week.
ESPN.com reported last week that Davis was set to join Clippers forwards Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom in auditioning for U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski in Las Vegas on Wednesday, two days before the rest of the U.S. hopefuls are scheduled to arrive for training camp. USA Basketball is expected to announce its 12-man Olympic roster on Saturday. If Davis is ultimately scratched from Team USA’s plans, he would join a lengthy list of players who have been ruled out by injury.
That group includes Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (knee), Magic center Dwight Howard (back), Clippers point guard Chauncey Billups (Achilles), Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (hip), Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (knee) and Miami power forward Chris Bosh (abdominal strain). Lakers center Andrew Bynum — who would have been a natural fit to replace Howard — passed on the opportunity to join Team USA because he plans to have the same platelet-rich plasma therapy on his knee that teammate Kobe Bryant had last offseason. Davis, who led Kentucky to the national title as a freshman, and Thunder shooting guard James Harden were added to the list of roster finalists in early May to compensate for injuries.
Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo was unsure of the specifics of Davis’ injury as of midday Monday. “I heard that Anthony Davis sprained his ankle … but I don’t know how serious it is,” Colangelo said. “It was in a workout. I’m not going to worry about that unless I’m advised at this point.” Seconds later, Yahoo! Sports reported that Davis’ injury was severe and that he was likely to forgo the Team USA experience. Colangelo, when again reached by SI.com, said that he would need to know more to get clarity.
“Just getting a [media] report that his ankle is serious doesn’t mean anything to me until we get an official doctor’s report on what that means,” he said. “Does it mean he can’t practice for a week? Does it mean he’s out for a month? You know what I’m saying. I don’t like to speculate.” Because Colangelo originally opted to leave two vacant spots on the list of roster finalists submitted to FIBA in early May, it remains unclear whether he would be permitted to make more additions in light of Davis’ injury.
“I’m not 100 percent certain,” Colangelo said. “So that will be another call.” Along with Davis, Griffin, Odom and Harden, the rest of the finalists are Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony, Bryant, Knicks center Tyson Chandler, Thunder small forward Kevin Durant, Grizzlies small forward Rudy Gay, Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon, 76ers small forward Andre Iguodala, Heat small forward LeBron James, Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love, Clippers point guard Chris Paul, Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and Nets point guard Deron Williams.
Davis was seen as a possible 12th man as it was — team officials view Griffin, Love and Chandler as the primary rebounders, while Anthony, Durant and James have the ability to play power forward — so Colangelo may not be inclined to expand his roster even if an amendment is allowed. If he does, however, Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins is itching to fill the void left by Davis. Cousins, already a member of the Select team that will train with and compete against the Team USA finalists in Las Vegas, has been vocal about his plan to play his way onto the London squad.