2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski spent about 30 minutes on the phone Wednesday answering questions about the recently announced 2010-12 USA Men's National Team roster. And while the teleconference was for media

USA Men's National Team Teleconference Quotes: Jerry Colangelo And Mike Krzyzewski

Feb. 10, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.

USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski spent about 30 minutes on the phone Wednesday answering questions about the recently announced 2010-12 USA Men's National Team roster. And while the teleconference was for media only, USABasketball.com takes you on the inside with teleconference quotes.

From Colangelo's opening statement:
This roster has been carefully combed over, and we're very happy and pleased with the depth that we have at the various positions. It is a very talented group of players, and it speaks well for where we are in terms of our country and the quality of players that are now available. It's also a strong endorsement for a plan that we set in place a few years ago to really build our pipeline of talent. It's also indicative of the great interest our players have in representing their country. So, I think we have a great group to select from, and we don't need to do anything more than announce who these players are. They will all be invited to our mini-training camp in Las Vegas in July, and it's only then we will determine who the roster will be going forward.

Kobe Bryant seemed like the alpha dog in 2008, but he has suffered from injury since. Has he ever expressed doubt about playing with the National Team?
I would say this about Kobe: He is totally committed to USA Basketball. He has been. It's very much appreciated. That is why he is part of this pool, because of his interest in continuing. There is no doubt that a lot of players have wear and tear during the course of their careers, and that's why it's important not to put the cart before the horse. We are taking one step at a time here. We're hopeful that all of our players are going to be healthy for our mini-camp in July, but only time will tell. As far as Kobe, we couldn't say enough things about him in terms of his leadership and the job he did for us in this last run we had.

How did the performance at the mini-camp last year play into this decision, and did you consider rookies for this roster?
You know, it's a fluid list. There are some rookies who are in the process of having outstanding years who are going to put themselves in the position for consideration as we go forward. The excitement though as we talked about, Westbrook, you know there are like 12 players who were a part of the Select Team who at one time were rookies and now they have a couple of years under their belt and much better prepared to make a run at making a roster. So, their time will come, maybe sooner rather than later.

On having so many 2008 returners:
I think continuity is an important part of building a program, and so when you look at what was accomplished, the effort that was put forth, what was accomplished in the unity, camaraderie that developed; it was truly a team effort in every respect. And if you can keep something going like that, you do. Within your control, within your powers, you try to do that. The reason they're back is because they are deserving of being back.

How concerned are you about free agency running into the July mini-camp, and could players have a second chance in August?
Well, for sure it's a factor. The facts are these: free agency comes into play on July 1st, there are three weeks before we have our mini-camp, it is conceivable that many will have their business taken care of and then again maybe not. The camp in August, which would start August 9th or 10th, that is six weeks out after free agency. You would think that most everyone would be finished taking care of their business. We are hopeful of that, but it's an unknown, and it's just a fact of life. We would not put our players at risk if they do not have their contracts sign. We are going to play it by ear, and I'm hopeful that the teams in the NBA take care of their business sooner rather than later.

Can you talk about how deep the USA is at point guard and what Deron Williams brings to that position?
It's a strong position for certain, and we are pleased about that because it's significant. It gives our coaching staff a lot of flexibility because there are times he will go small and play more than one point guard in the game at the same time. Deron Williams is a player who keeps getting better and better at his trade. He's much improved over the last couple of years, and that doesn't surprise me. He has a passion for the game, he loves to play and he's honing his skills as we speak. So, we are very happy to have Deron involved, and he too has been a lifer regarding USA Basketball. He's been in our program for many, many years.

Many of our players were familiar with China, but I imagine they are not very familiar with Turkey. Has Hedo Turkoglu reached out to anybody as an ambassador as his country?
We haven't asked him to do that. If he has, I would thank him. I happen to have seen him in Toronto just a week-and-a-half ago for a Toronto game. I think you are right. It's going to be kind of an exciting time for our players as we go to Turkey. For many of us it will be our first trip there, but we hear a lot of wonderful things about Istanbul and the country, so it's going to be an educational experience for all of us also.

From Krzyzewski's opening statement:
I echo Jerry's words of excitement about the level of talent and commitment that we have in the pool. I think we have taken a step up from the pool that we had in the last quad, and it's exciting to see this many people interested in being a part of the program. A couple things that Jerry did during the last quad was to have a Select Team at the beginning of this quad to have a camp last summer for about 20 younger NBA players and each was well attended and I think we are seeing the benefits of not just having a World Championship Team or an Olympic Team, but also these other teams that give everybody a chance to be a part of USA Basketball.

Can you talk about getting the word out to the players about the importance of the World Championships?
Well, we believe it is extremely important. The world looks at it as the world championship. We were kidding about it during the Olympics and saying they should call it the World Cup for Basketball, and it would get even more significance. There are actually 24 teams involved in the World Championship where there are only 12 involved for the Olympics. We are trying to make that commitment through USA Basketball, and the players are showing that commitment by being part of the pool. I think by us showing that commitment, we will give it greater recognition and hopefully have success in it in Turkey this summer.

How did the performance at the mini-camp last year play into this decision, and did you consider rookies for this roster?
Well, really one of the rookies was hurt. Blake Griffin we felt would have brought the athleticism and toughness that we would be looking for. This pool is what is announced right now. During the next couple of years, just like we did in the last quadrant, people can be added to the pool.

There is a lot of talk about who is in and who is out. Are you anxious? Or are you willing to wait until July for players to say definitively what they are going to do?
This is the first step is naming the pool, announcing the pool, and then we see what happens with all the guys with family situations, with injuries, contracts and all that. Over the three years, a little bit over three years, that I was associated with (the USA National Team) before, I learned not to, like what Jerry said, put the cart ahead of the horse because there is just a lot of human things that go on. We have to allow those things to go on and then react accordingly, but having a strong pool gives us some flexibility in that regard.

What were you looking for in the new players?
We are looking at every area. We had nine of the 12 Olympians come back on this roster, which I think is an incredible amount, and you want to make sure you are looking at each position. That is why like a Kendrick Perkins, he'd be a great defensive player for a big. To have Lamar Odom, Amar'e Stoudemire, Lopez, these guys in the big's position. Not having Michael Redd back, to make sure that we do have shooters to compliment that guys we already have. Durant is an outstanding shooter; Granger -- an outstanding shooter. To get backups at the point guard position. I think what we've done is the pool is much better organized, and the pool is better than the one we had in the last quadrant and the interest level is higher. And so we feel like we are moving in the right direction and those were the things we were looking for.