May 6, 2009

Aldridge and Oden Need to Accept those Team USA Invititations

As Sports Illustrated reported over a week ago, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden will be invited this summer to compete for spots on the 2010 Team USA roster that will play in the World Championships in Turkey. An invitation to Team USA should not be taken lightly by these 2 players and should be considered a mandatory event if you are the Blazers front office and coaching staff. Sure, Brandon Roy was also reportedly invited, but the last thing we need is his body not getting enough rest after that grueling season. LA and Oden on the other hand, need the work.

Some of the biggest names in the NBA including LeBron, Wade, Chris Paul and Deron Williams all became “elite” once they took to the biggest basketball stage on the planet. Obviously we all knew these players would turn out to be hall of famers, but once they lived, learned and grew together over the few summers leading up to the Olympics we saw an almost overnight or exponential change.

When you play with greatness, you are forced to be “great” and the best thing for Aldridge and Oden at this point in their young careers, is to play with the best players on the planet. Grinding. Hating. Loving. Improving. Hurting. While many of the players from the 2008 team pass the torch to the new wave of talent, this is the opportunity as Blazers fans, you should be begging your players to grasp.

And on a final note...Brandon, just stay home and relax, you deserve it.

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JDP 5/6/09, 9:59 AM  

I agree with you that Oden and Aldridge should consider this an indispensible opportunity, but the thing that worries most is that Roy will decline the offer. He is the one who has the best chance of actually being on a team that competes for another Olympic gold medal. As good as Roy is, he could benefit from the experience as much as anybody.

Also, part of my concern is about his legacy. Roy has the chance to be the best player to ever put on a Blazer uniform. Olympic medals are second only to NBA championships in terms of separating the all stars from the hall of famers. Nor do I think the additional wear and tear will be a detriment. A little extra court time is more likely to increase the chances the blazers win an NBA title than to decrease it.
For some reason I am getting this sick feeling that Roy will decline the offer in order to spend time with his family. That is a noble goal, but I would still fault him for it. He has the chance to be great and declining the offer to play for Team USA would be a huge mistake. 2012 is the year Roy can play for the gold. If he chooses not to, come 2016, he is going to seriously regret his decision.

Does anyone else have the impression Roy will decline or is it just me?

sterles 5/6/09, 10:34 AM  

I remember Brandon gave an interview last year that he really, really wanted to be a part of the next Olympic squad (and thank you Google Reader for helping me relocate it: I can't imagine him passing up that opportunity.

kellex 5/6/09, 10:50 AM  

I'm sort of torn on whether or not I think Roy should accept the invite. If he accepts, he'll make the team for sure, but what scares me is the beating his body has been taking over the last couple of years.

Knees drained, surgeries, fingers,'s got to add up after a while. He may only be 24 but sometimes it feels like he's a 29 year old veteran.

At the same time, if he's going to go for gold, he should do it now rather than later.

And thanks for the input guys!

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This Portland Trail Blazers blog definitely isn't your basic "recap/report the news" kind of blog. We tend to lean a little to the sporadic and unsystematic side of this young and sexy basketball team. Oh, and you'll definitely see a lot of Blazer Dancer action around here, so bring your bucket of ice.

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