USA Basketball announced a 44-man preliminary roster for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. There are zero Chicago Bulls on the list. Not even Zach LaVine.
Here’s the list, which features some rather questionable choices upon first glance:
Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson -- they're all on the @usabasketball 44-man preliminary roster for the Tokyo Olympics just officially announced ... pic.twitter.com/Y6RzKfJer4— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 10, 2020
JaVale McGree, eh?
In all seriousness, a number of these players have participated with USA Basketball in the past, giving them an edge in terms of making this preliminary roster. LaVine turned down a FIBA World Cup invite last summer because he wanted to rest an ankle injury, and one has to wonder if that affected him when it came to selecting this group. LaVine was never going to make the final 12-man Olympic roster, but it’s still a bummer that he’s not even on this list. There are obviously questions about his game and how conducive it is to winning, but he’s still a borderline All-Star thanks to his high-level scoring and shooting ability. I doubt he turned down a spot, so I’m curious what the decision-making process for this was like.
There are a number of other notable snubs among young stars, including Trae Young, Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and De’Aaron Fox. There has to be a limit somewhere, but it’s still surprising to see these players not included (Fox did have some Team USA-related controversy in the summer).
Back to the Bulls, though, this list is just another example of their irrelevance. Many fans have lost interest in another downer of a season, and The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg wrote a good column this morning about how little buzz there is surrounding this franchise as the All-Star Game comes to Chicago this weekend. It’s a rather sad state of affairs.