Mike Krzyzewski can add Chris Paul’s name to the list of players he will no longer be choosing from as he compiles Team USA’s 2016 Olympic roster. The ‘no-go’ list now includes Paul, Anthony Davis and Kobe Bryant, who each played for the 2012 Olympic squad that won gold in London.
Although Paul has been a staple with the national team since he entered the league in 2005, point guard is arguably the deepest position Coach K has to choose from. With Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, John Wall and Kyrie Irving expected to be available, Paul’s decision to sit out might simply make roster cuts a bit easier.
Team USA will miss Paul’s veteran leadership, but it’s his reasoning that should have Clippers fans worried. The 11-year veteran said, “”I feel my body telling me that I could use the time [off].”
With the Clippers getting ready for the postseason, the last thing the Clippers need is a beaten down Paul. It’s easy to understand why Paul might be a bit more exhausted than usual, as he has had to shoulder a much heavier load during Blake Griffin’s absence.
Griffin hasn’t played since Christmas Day, but thanks to Paul’s elevated play, the Clippers have gone 29-14 during that span and sit as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. While they are in position to have home-court advantage in the first round, a matchup with the Golden State Warriors looms in the Western Conference Semifinals.
If the Clippers are to have any chance in that series, Paul better rest up. Otherwise, it’s going to be another second round exit for the NBA title-less franchise.