Being a two-time All-Star and the best player on the Washington Wizards isn’t going to be enough for John Wall to make it into the 2016 Olympics Team USA, but it’s a good thing he’s not deluding himself.
Chris Paul has already won one Olympic gold medal. Steph Curry had an amazing last year and just won the World Cup. Kyrie Irving just won the World Cup. Russell Westbrook will probably be on the team. They’ll use him as a 2-guard. So, I probably won’t make it. I’ll be out of the picture, I’m just being honest. (Westbrook won gold in both the 2010 world cup and the 2012 Olympics).
It’s tough, but I’ve been overlooked my whole career. I’m used to it. Just more motivation and fuel to my fire. Going into this year, Team USA is an opportunity, but my main goal is focusing on the Washington Wizards.
Wall has made significant progress over the last two seasons, which includes helping the Wizards make the playoffs two years in a row. But unless the players he mentioned step down and remove themselves from the selection (which doesn’t happen when Olympic tournaments come around), he’s not going to Rio de Janeiro.
Damian Lillard, angry about being removed from the roster last year before the World Cup in Spain, didn’t show at all this time, saying it’s going to be a waste of his time knowing that he’s not even considered for a roster spot. He does make some sense. Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski didn’t really need the minicamp to know who they’re going to call up. It’s more about giving them a sense of hat options are available to them, even if it’s a year from now that they’ll be heading to the tournament and making the final selections.
Maybe in the next world cup (2018) or the 2020 Olympics Wall will be a little bit higher up the hierarchy of the decision makers to make the team. For now, and it’s better for both him and the Wizards, he’s not good enough to make it out of a selection pool of the league’s best players. With Team USA traditionally taking three point guards to these tournaments, he’s going to need a while before making it in. Irving might not actually be better than him, but he’s a preferred choice for Colangelo and Krzyzewski.