ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jalen Rose said recently that Cleveland Cavaliers veteran Kevin Love made Team USA only because he’s white, adding the team doesn’t have “the courage” to send “an all-black team” to play basketball at the Olympics.
But it appears Rose forgot about literally the last time that Team USA basketball competed in the Olympics, in 2016, when the gold medal-winning U.S. basketball team was made up of all black players.
“Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism,” Rose said on his “Jalen & Jacoby” podcast Thursday. “Don’t be scared to make an all-black team representing the United States of America. I’m disappointed by that.”
Rose argued that Love didn’t deserve a spot on the 12-man roster representing the U.S. in Tokyo next month — and that anyone who watched the NBA this year could clearly see that.
“Anybody that watched the league this year knows Kevin Love did not have a stellar season, was not the best player on his team, and did not necessarily deserve to be on this squad,” he argued.
The former NBA star acknowledged that he’s still “excited” about the team and is sure that the U.S. will win gold at the Olympics, but said that will not stop him from critiquing the decision to include Love, who played in only 25 games this season and averaged 12.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Love joins a roster that includes Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Khris Middleton, Draymond Green, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday, Bam Adebayo, Zach LaVine, and Jerami Grant. He is the only white player on the team.
It should be noted that several of the NBA’s best American players, such as LeBron James, Steph Curry, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard, opted not to compete in the Olympics this time around.
Nonetheless, Rose suggested that Love — who is a former Team USA gold medalist — still should not have made the cut. Instead, Rose argued, the Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton should have been given Love’s roster spot.
“I’m disappointed in Team USA for not having the courage to send an all-black team to the Olympics,” Rose reiterated, claiming that white favoritism is nothing new for Team USA’s selection committee.
He claimed Duke University star Christian Laettner made the 1992 “Dream Team” due to favoritism. Though again he failed to mention that the U.S. sent an all-black team to the Olympics in 2016 when they won gold in basketball for a third consecutive time.
Author : Phil Shiver