At the bottom of a very good piece by the Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd about Kyrie Irving’s summer and the recent rejected rumors about his displeasure in Cleveland is a nugget about the all-star point guard’s inclusion on Team USA next summer.
“As for this week’s minicamp, a Team USA source, speaking on condition of anonymity because no official announcements have been made yet, said Irving is nearly a lock to be part of the 2014 FIBA World Cup team that will compete in Spain next summer.
The Team USA source said no official invitations will be extended for the FIBA World Cup team until after this NBA season, so Team USA officials will have more time to evaluate the league’s young talent.”
If there is a difference between what Mike Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo have done with Team USA and their predecessors it is the true development of the team. Instead of simply naming 12 all-stars to the roster and practicing for a couple of weeks prior to the tournament, Krzyzewski and his staff are taking young talent and working with them alongside the active Team USA members.
Irving was given the opportunity to play against the Olympic team in 2012, and was the talk of camp. This week in Las Vegas, Team USA is holding a mini-camp and Irving is no longer the rookie. He is expected to be a leader on the floor alongside Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and fellow Cavaliers Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller.
The end goal for the players at this week’s mini-camp would be to make the 2014 FIBA World Cup roster and then ultimately the 2016 Olympic team headed for Brazil. Irving will be 24 during the 2014 Olympic Games.