ESPN ran a story earlier today dealing with what the NBA lockout could mean for the Olympic Games the summer of 2012. The idea was that if a deal isn’t reached in time, one way or another the Olympic team would most likely be affected. At the least because players aren’t supposed to have interactions with management – including coaches. That would exclude some of Coach K’s assistants including Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan. More interestingly though is that some agents suggest that unless an agreement is reached, the NBA players likely wouldn’t play for the USA at all. The idea is that while the NBA cannot ask it’s players to play for team USA or not, the players union can. And in fact, they did in a 1998 tournament in Greece, sending a team made up of players from Europe and two college players.
In all likelihood the disagreement won’t last that long. If it does and the entire season is foregone, there’s still no certainty that the Union would push for the players to sit out of the Olympics. But if the chips happen to fall that way… could we see Kentucky players get a chance to play for the Gold in London? Wouldn’t you want an Anthony Davis in your lineup of college contributors?
I love watching the Dream Teams of the NBA compete in the Olympics every four years, but if they’re too busy with negotiations then a team made up of college players would add a flavor of underdoggedness to the USA and make those events a must see.