Thursday, 7 August 2014
USA basketball point guard competition a tight one
LAS VEGAS – Damian Lillard sized up Bradley Beal on the left wing on Wednesday, the shot clock winding down as his jab step rose up.
It came in a flash, the right foot of the Portland Trailblazers point guard lashing out at the Washington Wizards shooting guard and forcing him onto his heels. With Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo just a few feet away – his legs crossed at center court as he sat in his folding chair – Lillard rose up through that space he had created for a 3-pointer that left the many onlookers inside UNLV's Mendenhall Center amazed and entertained. And this, mind you, is the guy who may not even make this star-studded team.
The Team USA roster that currently stands at 18 players will eventually be trimmed down to 12 for the FIBA Basketball World Cup that begins on Aug. 30 in Bilbao, Spain, and no spot is more loaded than the point guard position. From Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) to Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Lillard, this elite competition for limited spots is a necessary evil that comes with having so much talent.