Chris Paul Passes Up Opportunity for 3rd Gold Medal
After a decade of immense contribution as the U.S basketball team mainstay point guard, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul recently announced his decision to withdraw from consideration for the 2016 USA Men’s Olympic team. Paul, who is a decorated point guard, has previously won prestigious awards like: NBA Rookie of the Year Award, two Olympic gold medals, and led the NBA in assists four times and steals six times. Chris Paul has also been selected and featured in nine NBA All-Star teams, seven All-NBA teams, and seven All-Defensive teams.
Chris Paul: “I feel my body telling me that I could use the time”
Chris Paul, who played for the U.S. in the last two Olympic tournaments, passed on the opportunity to join the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, who are the only men to win three Olympic basketball golds. Paul recently stated, “What we do is such a small thing compared to what the people do to protect our freedom. But when I put on that USA jersey it always gave me goose bumps because you realized you were part of something so much bigger than yourself. I feel my body telling me that I could use the time.”
This is the second major loss for the U.S, as high profile player Anthony Davis was forced to pull out recently due to knee and shoulder injuries. The U.S still has prolific players like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Damian Lillard and Mike Conley among the remaining point guard choices.
Managing Director of U.S Basketball, Jerry Colangelo, appreciated Paul’s contribution to the team and commended Paul’s decision to withdraw, stating: “The guard position is one of our strong suits, so this opens up an opportunity for someone who might not otherwise have been considered to be one of those.”
It is believed that Paul’s decision to withdraw his name from consideration potentially opens an opportunity for Portland’s Damian Lillard to be selected. Damian Lillard, who recently expressed his desire to be considered for the U.S. Olympic Team and to remain involved with the USA National Team in the future as well, might just have his request granted.
We would have to wait until June to find out who will be the new mainstay point guard for the U.S basketball team.