Wall on Team USA cut: 'Guess I’m overlooked, again'

Wall on Team USA cut: 'Guess I’m overlooked, again'
August 10, 2014, 8:30 am
Share This Post

There is a corner of the basketball world, populated largely by those self-identifying as fans of the Washington Wizards, who believe John Wall's time with Team USA was essentially over before it started.

John Wall is one of them.

The All-Star point guard's invitation from Team USA arrived late in the process. His exit came earlier than hoped.

Wall was one of three players cut this past week from the men's national team in advance of the World Cup of Basketball later this month.

He was left off the preliminary 28-man roster announced in January. The public announcement of Wall's official invitation came on July 24. Camp started in Las Vegas on July 28.

The NBA leader in total assists this past season spoke with CSNwashington.com on Saturday at his charitable foundation's "Back2School" event for children in Washington. Asked if he was given a fair shot to make the final 12-player roster, Wall said, "Nah, I don’t think so, but it’s a part of the game. I’m just happy to have the opportunity to be there and represent my country. I wish them the best of luck and hope they can win gold."

Wall, who had treatment on his knee last month, stated he was pleased with his performance during the week.

"It was cool. It wasn’t bad at all," Wall said of his left knee. "I got through the whole week. I thought I played pretty well. Things didn’t go in my favor. But, we'll (get) past it."

[RELATED: Wall gives back to community Saturday]

Wall previously participated with Team USA on the junior level, as a member of the Select roster chosen to train against the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and with the National team in 2013.

Several players from the initial group of 28 passed on competing internationally this summer, including point guards Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams. Those absences combined with Wall's breakout performance in his fourth NBA season led to the invitation.

Wall didn't use the relative lateness of the invitation as an excuse, especially since he's shown plenty in the past.

"I’ve been (around) for four years in a row. I think that’s enough time," Wall said. "Everybody had the same fair amount of time as far as being (in Las Vegas) and playing. I think [Team USA] already had kind of in their mind what they wanted to do and what decisions they were going (to make)."

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski are the primary decision makers for the men's national team.

The cut followed a split-squad scrimmage during which Wall struggled with turnovers. Bradley Beal, Wall's backcourt partner with the Wizards, shined in the scrimmage, but was also cut along with Atlanta's Paul Millsap.

Colangelo addressed the decisions while speaking with reporters via conference call on Tuesday and said of Wall, "I believe we'll hear from him in the future."

Point guards Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry are considered Team USA roster locks. That left Wall, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving, who played at Duke under Krzyzewski, competing for 1-2 spots.

As the odd man out, Wall now has a new source of motivation heading into the upcoming season.

"Yeah, definitely, always. You want to make every team you try out for. When you don’t, it’s more motivation for me.

"Not even (against) just those (Team USA point guards), but the NBA, period. I guess I’m overlooked again. I guess have to prove myself one more time."