Coach K to announce team Monday
DURHAM, ó Calling it ithe toughest decisionî facing USA Basketball since it began using professional players, U.S. Olympic team coach Mike Krzyzewski said the 12-man roster for this summerís Beijing Games will be released Monday.
Krzyzewski, Dukeís Hall of Fame coach, said the roster will be announced during a news conference in Chicago.
iThe pool of players that we have have all made commitments and have given time and effort,î Krzyzewski said Tuesday during his annual summer news conference in Durham. iReally we have more people qualified for those 12 spots than we can take, so thatís what makes it tough. There will be people weíve coached, either last summer or the summer before, who will not be on this team.î
Earlier this month, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said the U.S. would pick its squad without a tryout. There are more than 30 players in the national team program, but he said officials are down to about 14 names.
The deadline to submit the roster is July 1. The U.S. team will go to Las Vegas to train in mid-July and play an exhibition against Canada before opening the Beijing Games against the host Chinese on Aug. 10.
Last year, the U.S. team started Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Dwight Howard en route to an unbeaten showing in an Olympic qualifying tournament. The roster also included Amare Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams, Michael Redd, Tayshaun Prince, Tyson Chandler and Mike Miller.
iWe understand the level of pressure thatís involved in this and to me the pressure can be looked at in two different ways: it can inhibit you or it can excite you,î Krzyzewski said of expectations to win the gold medal. iMy feeling is it will excite our group. They want that pressure. The most foolish thing you can do is … be arrogant and just say itís going to happen. To me, we have to show the respect of preparation to do it.î
Krzyzewski said USA Basketball has talked with players to make sure they donít have any family or health issues that would prevent them from being committed to the team. He said they also have talked with potential choices about how their roles might change, going as far to tell some, iYou may be the 12th man. You may not be a starter. Are you able to handle that?î
Their responses, he said, have typically been, iWhatever you want.î
iThis team has a chance to be incredibly unique,î he said. iHow itís been put together has shown a tremendous amount of respect for worldwide basketball. Weíve said, ëItís the worldís game, not the U.S.ís game.í î