Team USA was dealt a huge blow with All-Stars Bradley Beal and Kevin Love both missing the Tokyo Olympics. The vacant roster spots, however, opened the door for some other NBA stars to get a look. The decision to call up JaVale McGee definitely surprised some, but Gregg Popovich stands firm with the decision.
Popovich on picking C JaVale McGee for Team USA: “We decided that was the most logical and appropriate choice. Given the choices we had, he fit the best.”
While it may seem puzzling to some, especially with a handful of other young options on the Team USA Select squad, it really does make perfect sense. The same way any NBA team needs established role players, so does one with multiple superstars sharing the rock. That’s why even stars like New York Knicks’ Julius Randle wasn’t reportedly given an offer.
One Team USA source said its brain trust heavily discussed making Randle an offer but decided to go this route, feeling the roster didn’t have a true shotblocker on it.
JaVale McGee probably won’t see too many minutes. But just having a 7-footer who knows his role could be invaluable.