Tuesday, February 28, 2006


USA Basketball on Sunday will announce the names of the 25 players invited to compete for national team spots during this summer's world championships and the 2008 Olympics.

Allen Iverson's name, weirdly, will not be on the list.

This seems odd for two reasons:

First, the notion that Iverson isn't one of the best 12 players in America, let alone among the top 25, is absurd.

Second, when the U.S. team was busy embarrassing itself at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Iverson was about the only cat who came off as a stand-up guy. While others fought with Larry Brown, failed to recognize the subtle differences to the international game, or generally showed up without any passion, Iverson spoke of the honor it was for him to compete and backed that up by playing his tail off in a doomed effort. When the U.S. was relegated to the bronze medal game, and the rest of the team was busy checking to see when their flights home were boarding, Iverson spoke of the importance of at least medaling. And when he spoke on January 4 with Jerry Colangelo, who's in charge of picking the team, Iverson said he'd be honored to have another chance in 2008.

Alas, Iverson won't get it. Ridiculous. He deserves better.

Ironically, Kobe Bryant will be donning the red, white and blue even though he's proven to be a pariah to pretty much every teammate he's ever had. I bet he's already wondering if he can singlehandedly outscore Angola.


Anonymous priest, they called me said...

Dear Unknown Column,

Any truth to the rumor that Allen Iverson was omitted from the list because J.J. Redick has become a strong candidate to be selected by Coack K for the final roster? I think J.J. Redick would be great addition to our nations basketball team.

2:18 PM  
Blogger UnknownColumn said...

Priest, I can see the smile on your face from here as you mention one of your Dukies. Touche.

In all seriousness, Redick could be a nice addition to the team because shooting is so important in the international game. It would suit him well. I wouldn't mind seeing him being on the squad, especially if it means that cats like Stephon Marbury are left home this time. (Who's bright idea was it to bring friggin' Marbury to Athens? Good lord. Who thought THAT was a good idea? I make better decisions at BJ's at 2 in the morning.)

That said, if Redick gets chosen in lieu of Iverson, well, that's some garbage.

By the way, how's Junior doing?

3:00 PM  

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