Between injuries to Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Bosh, and the implosion of Lamar Odom, the U.S. national basketball team that will compete in this summer's 2012 London Olympics looks like it could be suffering from a perilous dearth of big men. The current Team USA roster includes one healthy center, Tyson Chandler, and only three other players — power forwards Blake Griffin and Kevin Love, and recent addition/putative draftee Anthony Davis — who stand 6-foot-10. Even the ranks of non-national-program-approved prospective American big men seem to be thinning, given the apparently impending Filipino naturalization of JaVale McGee.
Man, it's a shame that Roy Hibbert, who earned his first NBA All-Star selection this year and has become an integral piece for an Indiana Pacers team playing in the Eastern Conference semifinals, isn't eligible for Team USA duty as a result of the appearances he has made for the Jamaican national basketball team in international competition over the past four years, including a run as that squad's captain. Hibbert was born in Queens, N.Y., to a Jamaican father and a Trinidadian mother, and he made his first appearance with the Jamaican national team in 2008.
A 25-year-old dude who is 7-foot-2 and averaged 15.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes in the best league in the world would sure seem like someone worth considering for some minutes in the middle against the rest of the world's best. Oh, well.
/walks away, kicks a rock, frowns not quite imperceptibly
In an interview with Robert Bailey at the Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica Basketball Association President Ajani Williams — a 6-foot-10 former forward who earned training camp invites with the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks before retiring, and whom noted international hoops source ShamSports.com referred to as "a basketball vagabond with an enormous vertical leap" — said that Hibbert has asked to be released from his responsibilities to the Jamaican side "in order to become eligible to play for the United States at this summer's Olympic Games."
As you might expect, though, it's not quite as simple as all that:Read More »from Roy Hibbert wants to play for Team USA, seeks release from Jamaican national team