by Yusuf Gadlin
Kevin Love recently informed Team USA that he will not, I repeat WILL NOT, be participating in the World Cup games later this summer.
Architect and the brains behind Team USA Director Jerry Colangelo said he’d be “crying tears into beers” because of Love’s withdrawal. But one has to think he shed a tear on his pillow thinking about his now thin front line, and his available big men he has with no shooting range.
“The fact is we can only look to players we have available,” Colangelo told reporters. Those players looking to grab Kevin Love minutes are Detroit Piston Center Andre Drummond who is extremely athletic, maybe the most athletic big man in Las Vegas competing for a roster spot. But Drummond lacks experience and is known for making mental mistake—and you can’t have that when you’re in a pressure packed game against savvy European veterans playing for their country.
Denver Nuggets Forward Kenneth Faried is a beast on the boards and has a very high motor. He is athletic but once again he lacks experience and has a suspect jumper. Rebounding is a great attribute to have but in overseas play your big man needs to be able to stretch the floor with shooting, and in Team USA case we prefer three-point shooting. Kenneth Faried, while great, just doesn’t fill that void. Then you have Sacramento Kings Center Demarcus Cousins my pick for Love’s replacement.
Demarcus Cousins is the total package. While he has the ability to hit a face up jumper, maybe not the range of a Kevin Love, Demarcus will be able to produce like a Kevin Love, and the big man has superior footwork, a rebounding monster. Great touch around the basket, and I can see him providing great energy for TEAM U.S.A. as its lacks a player with a fiery personality. But that’s exactly why Jerry Colangelo has some serious thinking to do, While Demarcus is the favorite to land a roster spot, it is his immaturity, inexperience, and his hot head mentality that will have Colangelo brain trust thinking twice.
Close your eyes and imagine this:
Team USA In the gold medal game against rival Spain; it’s a close game in the fourth with about three minutes left. Anthony Davis has fouled out. So Demarcus is our only stabilizing presence, getting scared yet?
Known for his dirty play, Spain big man and Oklahoma City Forward Serge Ibaka has been fouling Demarcus all game. But this time he crosses the line and it’s a flagrant foul… How and the hell will Demarcus Cousins react?
That’s the million dollar question. Will he calmly sink the free throws and swing the momentum back toward the U.S. or will we all witness the palace of Auburn Hill brawl part 2 the overseas version? That’s what’s at stake with Colangelo and his boys ‘decision. Because we all know New Orleans Pelican forward and the future of the NBA Anthony Davis will make the roster; but who will be his back up in case of foul trouble is a real question. Is Demarcus cousins worth that risk? He definitely will ensure gold for the U.S. But he certainly can make that road a lot difficult than it has to be.
Decisions. Decisions. Jerry Colangelo Decisions. Decisions.