Paul George wants to give playing for Team USA “a shot” in Rio. He’s in the 31-player pool for the Olympics to be contested Aug. 6-21. There is a USA Basketball training camp in July and exhibition games beforehand.
I was just hesitant on the simple fact that, the past couple years has obviously been tough for me—just felt like I didn’t have enough time to myself, and time to recover, and you know, give my body a rest. I didn’t want to jump out of a season, jump right into the Olympics. But I think I kind of said that too prematurely.
I didn’t give myself enough time to really think it through. I think since I’ve been off, my body’s telling me yes, my mind is telling me yes, people around me are telling me yes. So I feel good about it. And, you know … I want to give it a shot.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com less than one week after George’s injury that the team was planning to keep his roster spot open if he was healthy and willing to play in 2016:
We thought it’s the right thing to do. That’s it…. We didn’t give thought to all the detail. Just that when a guy goes down and all these things, the circumstances, his career passes before him, he’s out for a year, a year-plus, he’s not able to participate now with us—we wanted to throw that out and say, ‘We’re counting on you. You’ve got a spot in ’16.’