Should Cavs Big Three Play for Team USA Next Summer?
The year 2015 is almost out and 2016 is just around the corner which means it is almost time for USA Basketball to once again lead the showcase of world class talent at the Olympics Games. This time, the men’s star-studded team can possibly feature the core unit of the Cleveland Cavaliers if LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love all suit up.
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo has made next week’s minicamp in Las Vegas mandatory for all qualified players that intend to compete. Reports indicate that James will be in attendance, but will leave early due to his annual Family Reunion by the LeBron James Family Foundation.
LeBron James is set to move one year ahead in his 30’s this year and the Cavaliers’ two other stars in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are both coming off season ending injuries, thus, it would seem evident sitting out next year’s Olympics will be in both the team’s and the players’ best interests. The biggest and most important reason being “health.”
1. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is coming off a great year in the international basketball scene being honored as USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year after leading the men’s team to a gold medal finish in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. His quality play continued up to the 2014-2015 regular season, but came to an abrupt end in the first game of the NBA Finals when he fractured his knee cap. Irving is currently rehabbing his knee and although the summer games are not until next year, the Cavalier point guard should elect to sit this one out considering his checkered medical history.
The ugly season-ending injury that Indiana Pacers forward Paul George sustained during last year’s USA Basketball scrimmage influenced marquee players to activate their caution button. But keeping off those commitments is not an assurance of good health as Kevin Durant, who elected to withdraw his name, still suffered a foot injury that kept him out of action for most of the year. Kevin Love also opted to pass on Team USA while he entered a contract year. Irving should use next year’s off season to polish his game and rest instead of competing at such a high level in the summer especially with the Cavaliers now poised to play intense basketball until May and June.
Click “Next” to see the impact Kevin Love will have if he suits up for Team USA!