Kawhi Leonard and DeJuan Blair on USA Basketball Select Team
Spurs forwards Kawhi Leonard and DeJuan Blair (let’s be honest, he’s not a center) were named as part of a 13-man roster of young NBAers who will practice with and scrimmage Team USA ahead of the London Olympics.
In total, they’ll spend about a week in Las Vegas working out with and against the top American basketball players in the NBA. Essentially, their job is to give the senior national team some good competition to go against for a few days in hopes that Team USA can develop some chemistry and get a rhythm before heading abroad.
This is a great thing for Leonard, whose impact this season has been surprising for the Spurs. The idea that working out with the top players is great for the development of young players, because they can see the effort that it takes to become elite, is one that is passed around in NBA conversations. Whether it’s true or not, I can’t see any downside to Leonard playing with this group, outside of injury, that is.
And considering Leonard was unable to have a regular offseason last year because of the lockout and still had the season he did this year, this could be a great development for the Spurs. The same sentiments can be applied to Blair’s inclusion on the team, though I wonder how much more development Blair has left, save for adding a jumpshot to his skill set.
If I remember right, the final scrimmage between Team USA and USA Select is usually broadcast on NBA TV or something of the such, so this news may give Spurs fans a reason to pay attention to Team USA a little this summer. You know, outside of national pride and all.