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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 at 9:30 am  |  39 responses

Jerry Colangelo Backs Down from Olympics Threat

This is what happens when the world’s biggest basketball star calls your bluff, as the Toronto Sun reports: “Skipping the World Basketball Championship this summer won’t necessarily keep LeBron James and others off the 2012 U.S. Olympic team after all. Speaking to Sun Media after the 2010 hall of fame class was announced Monday, USA Basketball head honcho Jerry Colangelo clarified statements he made earlier this week that raised the ire of James. ‘We appreciate the fact they’re willing to give their time. We have to be flexible,’ Colangelo said. ‘Some players may have to miss for whatever the reason may be — contracts, injuries, family issues…free agency this year is big.’ Previously, Colangelo had said he would not provide ‘free passes’ in terms of playing in London in 2012 for players who skipped the worlds without a valid excuse. That had sparked an angry response from James, the likely NBA MVP. ‘There’s a lot that goes on with being a professional athlete other than just basketball,’ James told reporters. ‘I’m not trying to bash Jerry or anything like that because he’s a good guy and I respect him. I don’t respect (his statement) because of the commitment we’ve all given to the U.S.A.”’

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  • LA Huey

    “Flip” Colangelo has a nice ring to it.

  • The Philosopher

    The King has spoken.

  • http://slamonline.com MooButter

    During the Cavs-Celts game Sunday, Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown were laughing about this basically saying, if Lebron James offers his services in 2012, you take it…no matter what.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Jerry sh*t the bed on this one. LeBron, Kobe, Wade, etc don’t need another gold medal, but Colangelo needs one every four years if his tenure is to be considered a success.

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  • Mr. Robinson

    @The Philosopher: The King has defenitely spoken. Loud and clear.

  • Michael Scorn

    This is adding to LeBron’s uncoachable stigma.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I’m glad James called his bluff. Those guys brought the US team back and will do it again in 2012. jerry should see the Worlds as a chance to get a look at some of the younger guys, like KD and one or two of the up and coming point guards.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Man please. This is not evidence of Lebron having a big ego.
    This is him saying “I’m not going to risk injury every summer just so you can pat yourself on the back about winning Colangelo. And you need to chill with the grandstanding because I don’t need you as much as you need me.”
    Jordan only played for the Dream Team one time. After that, he said he had other things to do with his off time.
    His career survived.

  • larrylegend

    Cheryl…don’t forget they let the usa down in 2004. i would LMAO if argentinia or greece would claim theirselves world champion 2010. sure, free angency doesn’t come in handy in the summer, but i think, it’S also a bit of, pah, world chip, there is no gold medal or the best only compete in the best tournament, nba or olympics. i don’T know, i am no professional athlete…

  • larrylegend

    *call

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    He got tired of conversations over dinner as each time LeBron spoke, Colangelo’s wife got an orgasm.

  • LA Huey

    @Allenp, cosign alladat

  • tomtom

    They all signed up to a commitment for a predetermined amount of time. If he backs out of this commitment he deserves to miss the Olympics. ’nuff said…

  • whooo!

    LeBron’s played in ’04, ’06, ’07, and in ’08. four summers, 3 of which were in succession isn’t enough tomtom? i’m pretty sure the predetermind time was from world championships until olympics in ’08. well, that was an absolute success, and he did his job. nobody should act like dude’s bailing – hell, kobe only joined for the olympics in ’08. Colangelo was a fool for trying to call out LeBron (and Wade n co) to the MEDIA.

  • whooo!

    also, i HATE the fact that Coach K is gonna lead the 2012 team again.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    TomTom
    Lebron fulfilled his committment. Colangelo was seeking another committment, and Lebron is (rightfull) telling him “I’ll have to think about that.”
    Colangelo is trying to spin it like the players are grandstanding and acting like prima donnas. The U.S. should have more players involved, and then have different teams for different competitions.

  • LA Huey

    We need two teams. A younger squad flanked by vets for the WC and a more experienced squad shadowed by a few pups for the Olympics. Aint enough time in these games to do justice for the Wade/Kobe/Melo/LBJ/KD Megazord.

  • T-Money

    If Colangelo thinks he’s going to have the ”A” team locked up every summer from now on, he’s batsh-t crazy. What, he expects someone like KD to play TEAM USA ball every single summer for the rest of his career if he wants to be on every Olympic squad?! They need to follow the Brazilan model and have different teams. For instance, Brazil usually sends a ”B” team to the Copa America, a U-23 team to the Olympics and the ”A” to the World Cup.

  • Rob

    I agree with the fact Lebron’s ego is huge, but in this case, there’s nothing wrong if he doesn’t want to be part of Team USA. His problem isn’t doing or not doing stuff, his problem is him talking, getting expectations high and then backing out. He shouldn’t say anything. He’s been with Nike his whole career and yet he doesn’t seem to get the “Just Do it” philosophy? c’mon!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nima Zarrabi

    Co-sign Ryan. Free passes? WTF. I’m pretty sure all the players that give their time and effort to Team USA do so, for free. They don’t get paid for their service, unlike Jerry. I don’t think they should be paid for reppin the country, but they should be shown some respect for giving their time and commitment to USA Basketball.

  • T-Money

    Rob: Could you actually show me a quote where Bron even committed to London 2012?! People are straight talking out their a–es.

  • LA Huey

    @Nima, I believe these cats gets paid. It’s chump change compared to their NBA checks though.

  • Michael Scorn

    Doesn’t LeBron like to play basketball?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Huey
    You can’t get paid by your country and perform in the Olympics.
    That’s a violation of the rules, if I’m not mistaken.

  • The Philosopher

    With all due respect to Jerry Colangelo, I think he underestimated LeBron’s audacity. He probably was caught off guard by LeBron’s response. You don’t “threaten” the king. He IS the king.

  • Mr. Robinson

    Colangelo would never have come out of his mouth like that if Team USA were…

  • LA Huey

    Researched what I guess was some BS oldheads told me when I was a young’n: Olympic athletes cannot be paid to compete. However, countries can pay out “medal bonuses”. Team USA pays $25,000 to their Olympic athletes for a gold medal.

  • Rob

    @T-Money I’m not talking about 2012, I’m talking about this summer, which is the reason why this controversy started in the first place, so no I can’t show you a quote.

  • http://IJustWantMyNameToLookBig.com Chukaz

    LeBron’s ego is f*ckin huge!!! In his defense, if i was LeBron James, i’d have a massive ego too. Guys like Kobe and LeBron have earned the right to have massive egos. We should applaud LeBron for not tellin Colangelo to go f*ck himself. If you keep Bron out of the Olympics cuz you tryna get a point across, you should get fired, if not deported.

  • Shem

    DUKE

  • DOOM

    Colangelo has said that the whole time, I heard him on the radio days before LBJ spoke on it say the exact same thing…. its got NOTHING to do with what LeBron said

  • DOOM

    And seriously no one could take us even if LeBron didn’t play. I think we underestimated Spain in the gold medal game in 08, won’t happen again though

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    For the first time ever, I’m co-signing Chukaz

  • doyouwantmore

    ^^^ Okay, but don’t say you’re committed to playing for your country as just lip service. If you’re playing for your country, then you’re playing when the country needs you to. If you’re only playing when there’s a freakin’ Olympic gold medal in it for you, then just admit you’re playing for yourself. – - – Might as well just show up for the Gold medal game, then.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    doyouwantmore: HIS COMMITMENT IS OVER! He had a four year commitment! He played it! He did -not- make a second commitment! He said he was ready to play in the worlds, and he has gone back on that, but he NEVER said he had made a commitment.
    You’ve either misheard something, or you’re blatantly lying. Which is it?

  • Jackie Moon

    I think he misheard. What Lebron said was, “My word is as good as Barry Bonds’”.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Sigh, some of y’all.

  • Reemo

    So what about what LeBron or D-Wade need to do? There supposed to drop everything at Collagelo’s whim? If your boss told you you had to work 18 everyday no matter sickness, illness, whatever to even think about having a job I think you’d say the same thing LeBron said

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