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Greg Monroe’s USA Select Team snubs angers Pistons front office, but not me

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

There was genuine anger in the Pistons front office this week when USA Basketball released the roster for the USA Select Team that will help the Olympic team prepare for the Summer Games in London.

USA basketball spokesman Craig Miller said Wednesday that Monroe’s absence is not a slight — it’s just that USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski were specifically looking for certain skill sets geared toward the international style of play.

"Of course Monroe was considered," Miller told the Free Press. "We are very aware that Greg had an excellent season. The selections were based more on what the coaching staff felt would help the team prepare better."

I certainly don’t mind the passion from the Pistons front office. I actually welcome it.

But, in this case, I can’t match it. I find Miller’s explanation completely believable and reasonable.

Greg Monroe is probably better than the bigs chosen ahead of him. But his all-around game that lacks only positional defense might not be suited to developing the national team – which is the primary responsibility responsibility of the select team.

DeMarcus Cousins is more explosive. Derrick Favors is more athletic. DeJuan Blair is stronger. Taj Gibson defends better. Ryan Anderson shoots better. Mike Krzyzewski can use those players in specific roles more so than he could Monroe.

It’s like when a team uses a scout-team cornerback to imitate an opponent’s running quarterback. That doesn’t mean the cornerback is a better quarterback than the third-string quarterback. The cornerback just brings a look necessary to prepare for a specific foe.

It would have been nice for Monroe to make the select team, especially because that would help put him on the path to the national team. But Monroe has already proven he deserves consideration.

USA basketball can watch hours of Monroe via Synergy and other similar tools. At this point, there should be no serious questions about Monroe’s attitude and work-ethic. There’s little need to see him up close, like there might be for someone like Cousins.

As long as USA basketball doesn’t have Monroe behind these other players on the national-team list – and there’s no indication it does – I’m fine with Monroe being left off the select team.


  • May 24, 20123:51 pm
    by Desolation Row


    That’s too bad — a big story from the last Olympic team was how Kobe’s work ethic rubbed off on a lot of the other players, pushing them to work harder at their own games and improving their play (and overall quality of the NBA). Even though he’s improved a ton in only two years, it would have been great for him to see how other elite players prepare… not sure he’s getting the best example from CV Shitty-One.

    • Jul 9, 201211:31 am
      by Dave


      If Feldman wishes to list player attributes, why omit Monroe’s superior passing unless he’s pushing an agenda? The Select team isn’t just a form of honorable mention — rather, it is about preparing the Olympic team to face international players who often play a classic give & go style. Monroe has excelled at that since college. When the Olympians get back-doored over and over again, it will be because USA Basketball lacked the foresight to arrange adequate preparation.

  • May 24, 20123:53 pm
    by Desolation Row


    Also saw that Jerry Sloan is interested in the Bobcats coaching position… any news on this front with the Pistons at all? Would be great if they could make a play for him… wouldn’t be the first time we fired a promising young coach in favor of an established name!

    Sloan coaching the pick and roll with Knight and Monroe? I may need some tissues…

    • May 24, 20124:16 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I think the Bobcats are interested in Jerry Sloan, I’m skeptical that feeling is mutual. Charlotte has been floating just about every high profile name out there as someone they are targeting or planning to interview. There were also anonymous rumors that Nate McMillan was interested in that job. I think it’s more Charlotte trying to create some buzz around a franchise that has none than Sloan or other big name coaches actually being interested. If they do indeed win the lottery and have a chance to draft Davis, I think that might change things. But Sloan or McMillan would have no incentive to jump at that job, or any job really, at the moment.

      A coach of Sloan’s stature will have his pick of great gigs. The Clippers job could open up. The Lakers job could open up. If Miami is bounced again, that job could open up. The Orlando job is open and that’s still an attractive job as long as Dwight is on the roster. I would think all of those teams would be interested in Sloan if they decide to make coaching changes.

      • May 24, 20125:09 pm
        by Desolation Row


        Great point! What intrigues me is that Sloan coached in Utah forever — he almost seems to be cut of the same mold as Larry Brown (see: SMU), in that he’d probably prefer a project to taking on a roster of stars like Miami or LA. But Charlotte is more disaster than project.. will be interesting to see where he ends up if he is actually interested in returning to coaching.

        • May 24, 20125:17 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          Yeah, perhaps the fact that Charlotte is low key could be a selling point, although I would assume Sloan wouldn’t take that job without assurances that they would spend some money and improve that roster quickly. He’s old, so a major rebuilding process probably isn’t in the cards for him.

          But if they get Davis, they instantly go from one of the league’s worst jobs to one of its best.

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