Over the last couple of weeks, the USA Basketball squad has begun to take on a very different look. First, there was the horrific leg injury for Paul George, which not only ended his involvement with the upcoming FIBA World Cup, but also his season.
Then a week later, the team were struck another big blow with the withdrawal of Kevin Durant. In an attempt to replace arguably the squad’s two biggest stars, Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings has been brought in.The announcement of Gay’s involvement came as a surprise to many. The 27-year-old hadn’t been involved in any of the recent training camps, or scrimmages, yet he was the man chosen to fill the void.
Many argued that a more logical replacement would have been Paul Millsap, who was cut from the squad only a few days prior. Millsap’s game is tailor-made for international basketball, yet the selection committee decided to go in another direction.
With the loss of George and Durant, it would have seemed like the team’s rumored small ball strategy would have been put to one side, but the selection of Gay suggests otherwise. From top to bottom, Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski want an athletic and interchangeable group of players.
Gay may not have been the most deserving recipient of a spot in the squad, but he can help the team. Let’s take a look at just what Team USA may have had in mind when they called up Rudy Gay.