Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard on Nneka Ogwumike's Olympic omission: 'they doin' her dirty'

Trail Blazers

When USA Basketball announced its 2020 Tokyo Olympic women's team, there was a glaring omission.

An omission so big it led to Damian Lillard and other WNBA players speaking out about it.

 Download and Subscribe to the Talkin' Blazers Podcast

The committee had left Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike off the roster in her third time of Olympic eligibility. A travesty. 

Lillard tweeted the following:

On the latest episode of Talkin’ Blazers, former Blazers Channing Frye and ESPN's Ramona Shelburne delved into her being omitted from the team, and her being injured isn’t a big enough excuse.

“That’s wildness,” Frye said. “You put her on there. Let her have whatever role until she’s healthy. She’s a player-coach and you let her rehab with the team.”

Just a year ago Ogwumike was MVP of the 2020 FIBA Qualifying Tournament. A tournament in which she turned down a seven-figure salary, as Ramona Shelburne mentioned on the latest episode.

Ogwumike, 30, has a resume that could see her make the Hall of Fame: former MVP and champion, six-time All-Star, four-time All-WNBA, five-time All-WNBA Defense. 

What more does she need to make the Olympic team? She’s literally one of the top players in the game.

Her omission is akin to Candace Parker’s in 2016. Another player who has a Hall of Fame case and was a two-time MVP at the time of her Rio snub.


On the men’s side, the elite players are usually locks for the national team, but clearly, it’s a little different for the women.

Lillard, fans, and WNBA players speaking up to shed a light on what seems to be a travesty!