Blake Griffin Withdraws from Olympics and Makes Way for Anthony Davis
Dwight Howard. Chris Bosh. Derrick Rose. Dwyane Wade. And now, Blake Griffin.
Hoopsvibe's Quick Call: The USA Men's Basketball team will still win gold at the London Olympics despite missing key players.
Blake Griffin is the latest player from the USA Men's basketball team to withdraw from this summer's Olympic games in London due to injury. The LA Times reported yesterday that the Clippers star had torn his meniscus and returned to Los Angeles on Thursday for examination.
"I'm disappointed I can't be with the guys in London," Griffin said. "I want to wish them all the best in their pursuit of the gold medal."
Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman, commented, "Blake worked extremely hard in our training camp and certainly would have been a valuable contributor. This is another unfortunate injury, but we have to continue to move on and we're very fortunate to have Anthony Davis available."
Anthony Davis, the Kentucky freshman who was just drafted #1 overall by the Hornets, will be taking Griffin's place on the roster. In doing so, Davis becomes just the third player (since NBA players were first used in 1992) to play in the Olympics before playing in the pros. Christian Laettner and Emeka Okafor are the others.
While many are now questioning whether or not it is wise for NBA stars to be playing in the Olympics (as it increases the risk of injury), I would argue that this is going to be a great opportunity for Davis to get ready for the upcoming season. Despite Davis' size and talent, he has yet to play against any of the big stars in the league. Playing in the Olympics will give him an opportunity to go up against the world's best and get banged around in training by some of the NBA's most talented players.
"Whatever Coach K wants me to do I am going to do...I am going to look forward to the challenges, and I'm looking forward to going overseas and my first time out of the United States," Davis said.
And while Griffin's injury is a disappointment for fans and the Clippers organization, the 7-footer will undergo arthroscopic surgery and should be fully healthy to play in the upcoming season.
"We're relieved that this does not affect Blake's ability to be ready in time for training camp...We're glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.
I'm sure Blake is pretty relieved too.
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Image source: AP Images