ESPN's Marc Stein reports that Utah Jazz max player Gordon Hayward will not be making the USA Basketball team that will play in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain later on this month.
ESPN sources say Utah's Gordon Hayward is the first of four players Team USA must leave behind Saturday to have already learned his fate— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 23, 2014
Hayward would've been informed by Saturday. But I'm told he asked about his status directly this week when signs pointed to not making team— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 23, 2014
Hayward was one of four DNP-CDs in Friday's exhibition win over Puerto Rico along with Andre Drummond, DeMar DeRozan and Damian Lillard— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 23, 2014
Jody Genessy of the Deseret News has this to add:
That's a bummer for Gordon Hayward, but you have to think this Team USA experience has been invaluable for him.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) August 23, 2014
And our blog founder Basketball John explains the big picture here:
Sorry to jinx you @gordonhayward. That was before the Gay signing.— Kris (@5kl) August 23, 2014
Personally this does suck because you want "your guys" playing for "your country". And I know that no one is going to take it harder than Gordon will. Of course he will say all the right things and chalk this up as a great experience on it's own. But he's a guy that wants to be the best and wants to prove that he belongs. The Olympics in 2016 will be his next shot at it, but will be hard to get on that team as you figure that LeBron James and Paul George will both be ready to go. The next World Cup will be in 2018, two years after that.
Being one of the last cuts is fine, but you were still cut. Competition drives a guy like Gordon. He didn't work his butt off all summer to lose. And he's done with losing. And we'll see the results of this mentality on the court this season.
John Stockton and Karl Malone didn't make the 1984 team back in the day, and even today you know it means something to them that they were overlooked. Let's not all start singing "Kumbaya" and celebrate not making the team. Gordon isn't going to. We shouldn't either.
The USA bball team will play one more tune up before the World Cup starts. The Jazz are survived by Dante Exum (Aus), Brock Motum (Aus), Rudy Gobert (Fra), Raul Neto (Bra), Ante Tomic (Cro), and Carlos Arroyo (PR).