This hasn’t been a great year for Pistons players and the 2012 Olympics.
Last week, forward Charlie Villanueva was cut from the Dominican Republic team by head coach John Calipari for being overweight and essentially slowing down the team’s progress.
This week, it’s shooting guard Ben Gordon. While he grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, he was actually born in London and because of this, he has spoken in the past about wanting to play for the British national team in the Olympics.
Unfortunately for the team, he has yet to show up for any pre-Olympic training camps in Houston, Texas, and has been instead working out with the Pistons. As a Pistons fan, it’s great to see him continuing to work on his game for the upcoming season. His shooting touch from beyond the three-point line is well-documented, but he could definitely stand to work on the rest of his game, both offensively and defensively.
If I were a Great Britain fan, however, I would be extremely upset. For someone who said he hoped to represent the team in the Olympic games, Gordon’s absence from training camp has to be frustrating.
The men’s basketball team has just one appearance in the Olympic Games all-time, and that was over 60 years ago in 1948. Ironically enough, those Games were also hosted by London. The team lost all five games they played that year.
Looking over the team’s roster, they have just one player who has substantial NBA experience – Luol Deng. He joined the team in 2005 and helped lead them from EuroBasket Division B to Division A, a step up in competition.
Gordon’s inclusion on the team would immediately boost their credibility on the international stage, allowing them to compete in future Olympic games.
British Basketball officials have given the former UConn Huskie a week to come up with some answers as to why he hasn’t reported yet. If nothing happens, Gordon would be the second Piston player to drop out of Olympic representation in just a few weeks. For a team desperate for some star power, he could be just what they need on the international stage.