Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote:
: He had the opportunity to be an Olympian last year, but Kyrie Irving passed on playing for Australia to preserve his chance of playing for Team USA in the future. In a few weeks, he’ll get a little closer.
Irving will be one of about two dozen players invited to Las Vegas at the end of July in preparation for the 2014 FIBA World Cup team (formerly known as the FIBA World Championship). No invitations have been formally extended yet, but USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo confirmed in a phone interview on Saturday that Irving will be among those invited.
“You can be assured that he’ll be one of the invitees,” Colangelo said. “He’s already established himself as one of the top three or four point guards in the league.”
The formal invitations will be extended after the season ends, but Irving secured his place with a dazzling performance for the U.S. Select team last summer in Las Vegas. He wowed Colangelo, Team USA coach (and his former college coach) Mike Krzyzewski and a number of Olympians who heaped praise on Irving for his confidence, ball-handling skills and ability to score against the best players in the world.
It has been a dizzying 12 months for Irving, beginning with his Rookie of the Year award, the popularity of his “Uncle Drew” character in the hit PepsiMax series, his success with the Select team in Las Vegas and most recently his 3-point championship and All-Star Game appearance.
“He’s done really well, he’s getting better and better,” Colangelo said. “He’s a great kid and he’s got a great foundation. I told him last summer that he figures prominently in our future.”
The invitation to the four-day camp this summer is the next step in that process. Colangelo wouldn’t go into specific players beyond Irving, but said the foundation of this summer’s player pool will be the majority of players chosen for the U.S. Select team last summer. That team was composed of Irving, DeJuan Blair, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Derrick Favors, Paul George, Taj Gibson, Gordon Hayward, Jrue Holiday, Kawhi Leonard, Lance Thomas, Klay Thompson and John Wall.