A few hours after USA Basketball officially released the 16 finalists for its 12-man FIBA World Cup roster without Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal (and Hawks forward Paul Millsap) included, managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski took part in a conference call with reporters.
Much of the discussion centered on the ongoing debate over whether NBA players should participate in international competition in the aftermath of Pacers guard Paul George’s gruesome leg injury in last Friday’s intrasquad showcase, but Colangelo was eventually asked to address the decisions to cut Wall and Beal after last week’s training camp in Las Vegas.
“The fact is both players had a good week,” Colangelo said. “Beal is a player who has been involved with USA Basketball in the past and I feel confident that he will be part of the future because he’s an outstanding talent. This was strictly a numbers situation with him.
“As it relates to John Wall, you look at the guards moving forward in terms of our point guards and he’s truly a point with great size and really very good defensively and that was a tough call as it relates to asking him not to go forward because of the people we felt were ahead of him in terms of talent and what they might bring to this particular team. But John also has put his time in with USA Basketball and I believe we’ll hear from him in the future also.”
The moves were not exactly a surprise. As Colangelo alluded to, the backcourt competition featured plenty of talent, including all-stars Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden.
And Wall and Beal are young. Wall turns 24 in a month. Beal celebrated his 21st in June. They are likely going to get a shot to compete for a spot in the 2016 Olympics, especially if they continue where they left off last season.
In the meantime, it you’re in need of a Wizards international fix, Nene is expected to suit up for Brazil in the World Cup and Drew Gooden plans to play for Finland.