Long shot Odom pulls self out of Olympic consideration; Lin leaves USA Select Team
He was a long shot anyway after the disaster of a season he just had, but Lamar Odom — who had an invite to Team USA Training Camp — is dropping out of consideration.
Via the only other national media member that went to my high school, ESPNLosAngeles’ Arash Markazi, on twitter:
After what can kindly be called a wasted season in Dallas (Mavs fans use less kind words, with good reason) Odom is not in the shape he needs to be in for the London games. After his past season he was likely not making the roster anyway, something that was leaked long ago. Odom was just traded from Dallas back to the Los Angeles Clippers in a four-team deal.
If you’re asking why he even has an invite, you need to go back and watch how he played in the 2010 FIBA World Championships, when his versatile game was a key for Team USA to create matchup nightmares. He was the Odom that won Sixth Man of the Year.
With bigs Odom and very likely Anthony Davis out — along with Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and LaMarcus Aldridge — it seems almost a certainty that Blake Griffin will get a spot on Team USA. When Bosh pulled out coach Mike Krzyzewski said he wanted to have Davis, Odom and Griffin in for a special pre-camp workout, but now two-thirds of them are out.
It is highly unlikely that anyone is added to the team at this point as it is past the first drug-testing deadline for the games and it would take special dispensation to get any players added.
Also out for Team USA are Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Chauncey Billups.
Don’t shed any tears for a team that will could well start Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Tyson Chandler and bring Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook off the bench, with Andre Iguodala as a defensive stopper if you want.
On other news, USA Basketball has confirmed that both Jeremy Lin and Greg Stiemsma have pulled out of the USA Select Team — the team that practices against Team USA in camp and is looked at for future United States teams — because of their contract status.
Lin is currently a restricted free agent negotiating a deal and an injury in camp could radically change that. Lin is expected to re-sign with the Knicks but there are scenarios that could pull him away from New York.
“Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to participate in the 2012 USA Men’s Select Team this summer,” said Lin in a released statement. “It was such an incredible honor to be selected, but I have withdrawn my name from the team because of my status as a free agent. I hope to have the opportunity to participate with USA Basketball at some point in the future.”
Stiemsma is expected back with the Celtics but is in a similar situation as a restricted free agent.