Haynes & Jaynes: Putting a Bow on Offseason
ORLANDO – USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo has left the door open for Portland Trail Blazers All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge to represent his country if he has interest in doing so.
However, Colangelo reiterates that he is not reaching out to players. He only wants players who are willing to make the necessary commitment to going through the entire process.
When asked about Aldridge's chances of being added to the USA Basketball program, Colangelo's response was basically that he needed to hear from Aldridge, himself.
“I am always interested in players who seek to compete,” Colangelo told CSNNW.com Tuesday night. “My phone is always available. Unless one is hungry and passionate about USA Basketball, there is little chance.
“Certainly we won't solicit.”
In mid-April, Aldridge informed CSNNW.com that he would participate if requested. It is unknown at this time if Aldridge will contact Colangelo.
Aldridge, 28, has the perfect game for international competition. At 6-10, he's excellent at running the floor, he can shoot the outside jump-shot with consistency and range. But most importantly h can guard multiple positions.
On Sunday, @Sean_Collins23 tweeted a question to Aldridge asking him if he had thought about playing for Team USA. Aldridge replied back, “Yeah, I want to.”
For various reasons including the health of his mother, Aldridge was forced to pull out of the program in the past.
Colangelo told CSNNW.com last week that he will narrow the pool of players to 25-30 names in January of whom will have an opportunity to compete at the FIBA World Cup next summer in Spain and the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Kevin Durant and Kevin Love have committed to playing in Spain and beyond. Colangelo says he expects other high-caliber players to follow suit.
If Aldridge does reach out to Colangelo, there's the unique prospect of teaming up with his Trail Blazer teammate Damian Lillard.