Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 10/25/11
Playing for Team USA has at times not been a priority for some NBA stars. But Jerry Colangelo isn't figuring that will be a problem at next summer's Olympics. The ongoing NBA lockout has the risk of creating a fan backlash. With that in mind, the USA Basketball chairman sees an opportunity for the London Games to be a positive for the NBA. "It's in the players' best interests to represent their country with all the negative stuff out there," Colangelo said in an interview Tuesday with FOX Sports Florida. "If there is a deal (to end the lockout) made, (negativity) will subside. But if there's the worst-case scenario, I think it really will be important (for top NBA stars) to play." Yes, there are questions surrounding the effect of the lockout on USA Basketball, especially if there is no NBA season at all. But Colangelo said he has spoken to all the agents for the 34 players on USA Basketball's national roster and has been told all want to play. Colangelo also said Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is expected to be added to that roster. That would make Griffin a 35th player vying for 12 Olympic spots. When asked about specific players on the national roster, Colangelo reiterated that "every one of them wants to participate" in the London Games, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12. So that would include Miami Heat stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who were noncommittal when speaking last season about the Olympics. Fellow Heat star LeBron James, who joined Wade and Bosh in winning an Olympic gold medal in 2008, already has said he plans to play in London. It's unclear whether the lockout could change anything. For instance, what if there's no NBA season and players have insurance issues? "Those are all legitimate questions," Colangelo said. "But I'm not going to address that. When it's time to adjust, we'll adjust. But I'm not going to speculate." Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, though, has speculated on what a very lengthy lockout could mean for the Olympics. "We're obviously really concerned," Krzyzewski said last week on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" show. "What if there isn't a season? What if they expand (the season past June) if they start playing? We begin (Olympic) practice the 4th or 5th of July. The gold medal game is Aug. 12. If the NBA has to go into July, what does that do for us? If they don't have a season, will (NBA players) play (in the Olympics)?" Krzyzewski also said he "would worry about . . . injuries (and) the conditioning" of players if the lockout were to linger. "He's voicing his concern from a coaching standpoint, and I understand that," said Colangelo, who saw Krzyzewski at a recent meeting in Las Vegas with coaches and staff members. But Colangelo, whose Americans also won the World Championship last year, said all he can do is progress as if it's business as usual. In mid-December, he said, USA Basketball will submit a list of 20 players to Olympic officials because names are needed for drug-testing procedures. While Colangelo said adjustments still could be made after the date, the bulk of the 12 players on the Olympic team likely would come from that list of 20. "It's going to be a blended roster," Colangelo said of expecting the final Olympic roster to mostly be made up of players off the 2008 Olympic and 2010 World Championship teams. The final roster is due in mid-June, likely before the end of the NBA Finals. But Colangelo said he's not concerned about that date being earlier than usual due to the London Games being the earliest starting Olympics since 1996. In addition to James, Wade and Bosh, other Olympic holdovers include the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Orlando's Dwight Howard, New York's Carmelo Anthony, New Orleans' Chris Paul and New Jersey's Deron Williams. World Championship team holdovers include Chicago's Derrick Rose, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City. Want another reason why Colangelo expects all the top stars to want to play in London? "They're going to want to protect their brand," said Colangelo, who said he's also spoken recently to several top Olympic candidates but wouldn't offer names. "They have shoe contracts, apparel contracts. They're going to be on a world stage." Regarding that stage, Colangelo called Argentina, France, Spain and Lithuania the likely biggest challengers in London for Team USA. Among those four, Lithuania has yet to qualify, but Colangelo expects they will in the summer. "People talk about Argentina getting too old, but I don't think so," Colangelo said of the 2004 Olympic gold medalists in Athens. The Americans sent a watered-down squad to those Games due to many defections. But Colangelo isn't expecting that to happen in London.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Try Outs, Ep. 1: What happens when two regular dudes attempt to workout with professional boxer Raquel Miller
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Helfrich, Kelly spoke about possibility of Kelly returning to Oregon

Paul Maurice: Game plans won’t work trying to stop McDavid

Report: Nats considering Ian Desmond reunion

Eric Dickerson: Rams would be better off without Jeff Fisher

Sheriff: Joe McKnight shooting suspect fired from inside car

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Revis insists he has 'a lot' of football left, still loves game

Report: Siemian misses practice Friday, Lynch likely to start

Report: Five teams chasing Chris Sale, asking price high

Von Miller gifts every AFC West player custom bottle of wine

Bucs C Joe Hawley claims Seahawks player spit in his face

Report: A.J. Green jogging, no timeline for return from injury

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker