Team USA is ready to head out for the Tokyo Olympics, although it has been a roller coaster of a week. Bradley Beal went into health and safety protocols as did Jerami Grant. Then Kevin Love announced his withdrawal from the Games, clearing up two roster spots after the announcement of Beal missing the games. One option was New York Knicks big man Julius Randle.
Unfortunately, Randle wasn’t selected, as Team USA instead went with JaVale McGee and Keldon Johnson to fill out the roster. Well, Marc Berman of The New York Post gave some clarity on the snub of the Knicks All-Star.
“The U.S. Olympic team, in search of two replacement players for Tokyo, never made Knicks All-Star power forward Julius Randle an offer, according to multiple industry sources.”
Wait, not even an offer? It is a shock that McGee was the choice. Johnson makes sense for his fit with Gregg Popovich and his position. However, the decision of McGee over the Randle, who was sensational for the Knicks, was more than shocking.
It turns out that Team USA had a somewhat valid reason, although it’s still confusing.
“One 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.”
Still, Randle is one of the better big men in the game and Team USA definitely could have used his services. The decision of McGee brought a ton of reactions, and leaving off Randle will never make sense regardless of the number of explanations given by anybody.
Hopefully it doesn’t hurt Team USA in the long run, though.