Atlanta Hawks superstar Trae Young led his upstart squad to the Eastern Conference Finals, but the 22-year-old phenom seems a little salty about not being on Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics.
The American national team has struggled to two exhibition losses, and could perhaps use a young, fresh floor general like Young to lift the spirits as the Summer Games near.
Apparently, Young was snubbed off the squad — even after Bradley Beal and Jerami Grant were reported to be put in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. How do we knows this? Check out this post from Young’s Twitter feed:
The clip in question is from the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance, in which Detroit Pistons Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas spoke about being left off the 1992 USA Olympic Dream Team. It’s speculated that Thomas’ rivalry with MJ led to his exclusion.
Young is suggesting something similar happened to him, minus any known beef with a Team USA player. Even if he was dealing with a foot injury down the stretch of the playoffs, Young would still be a huge asset.
Then again, it isn’t easy to beat out a bunch of fellow NBA stars who have greater experience, and with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich at the helm, it’s no surprise he’s prioritized less youth and more versatility on the Team USA roster.
But after watching how flat the Americans were in losses to Nigeria and Australia, there are doubts creeping in about whether they’ll, in fact, win the gold medal. Having a streaky, explosive scorer like Young who can also create shots for others at will seems like a no-brainer.
It’s not as if Team USA is going off popularity or excitement to build the best roster possible, though. If that were the case, surely Young and Zion Williamson would’ve gotten spots. Oh well. They’re bound to be Olympians at some point anyway.
Beal has officially been ruled out of the Olympics, so someone is going to replace him on the roster. Young seems to be out of the running, which is unfortunate given how electrifying he was during the Hawks’ surprise playoff run.