June 19, 2024

Kyrie Irving expressed frustration at not being given the opportunity to compete for a spot on Team USA’s roster for the 2024 Olympic Games by Grant Hill, a former Duke basketball legend and the managing director for USA Basketball.

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Despite his accolades and previous contributions to the team, Irving was not selected for the 12-player roster announced by Hill, which includes NBA stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry.

“I would have loved to play for Team USA,” Irving stated before the Dallas Mavericks began their postseason. “I wish my brothers well, I just didn’t fit into this team and I think the deliberating process was a tough one.”

Irving, who was named the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year in 2014 and earned the Most Valuable Player award at the FIBA World Cup in the same year, played pivotal roles in securing gold medals for the American team at the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

He was part of the 41-player pool from which the roster was selected but didn’t have the opportunity to showcase his skills on the court alongside his peers.

“I grew up in a time where we actually had to try out for USAB, and we did meet up as a group and as peers, earning mutual respect through the tryout process and seeing which five meshed well,” he explained. “I miss those days of getting everybody together, breaking bread, competing against each other, and then having the deliberation process at the end of the four or five days.”

Kawhi Leonard was the last player added to the roster by Grant Hill.

Irving had an impressive season for the Mavericks, averaging 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc. In his 17 appearances for the USA Men’s Basketball National Team, he averaged 11.8 points and 4.2 assists per game with a shooting percentage of 48.9 from three-point range.

Although former Blue Devil Jayson Tatum made the Team USA roster, there remains a slim possibility that Kyrie Irving could be named to the team if a player is unable to participate due to injury before the start of the Olympic Games.

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