USA Basketball: Kyrie Irving's Role in Team USA

July 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; The 2012 USA National Basketball team for the 2012 Olympics is presented following a press conference at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The USA Olympic Basketball team was finalized yesterday. Kyrie Irving was on the USA Select Team and took part in the scrimmages between the two squads. Being on Select Team basically just puts you on the radar of the coaches and gets you some valuable practice time with the real team. It is also an indication of things to come. A good number of current USA Olympians started out on the Select Team.

I think it's pretty safe to say that 2012 is the last year in which Team USA will not include Kyrie. Irving's college coach, Coach K from Duke, is also the coach on Team USA and it seems pretty obvious that he wants Kyrie on the roster next time around. After the scrimmages and practices yesterday, Coach K raved about Kyrie in a press conference, according to the Plain Dealer.

I told him that I believed he eventually will be a starting guard for the U.S. team at some time in his career and for him just to get involved with the whole process," Krzyzewski said. "He's as good a player as the select team has and has shown his talents very, very well here.

Team USA is loaded with great guards, including Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams, but in 2016, there's no reason to think Kyrie would be left off the roster. In four years, Paul and Williams will be getting a bit older and Kyrie will just be hitting his prime. Based on what we've seen so far, Kyrie can easily be the best PG in the world by the time he's 24 years old.

USA Basketball chairman, Jerry Colangelo, also had high praise for the Cleveland guard.

"I see great things for him going forward as it relates to an NBA career and very much within USA Basketball. I think we're going to hear a great deal about him in the future."

As far as this year is concerned, I'm pretty happy that Kyrie will be spending his summer training and playing with the Cavaliers. He's going to get plenty of opportunities to play with Team USA in the future and he gets to focus on the Cavs this year.

Here's one more take from someone who was at the scrimmages this week:


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