The rooks will help the big team get tuned up for the Olympics
Julius Randle might have been left off of Team USA in favor of Kevin Love, but the Knicks will have some form of representation in the red, white and blue prior to the Tokyo Olympics.
Knicks rookies Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley have been named to the 2021 Team USA Select team, USA Basketball announces.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 1, 2021
Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin both made the roster of 17 young players on the Team USA Select Team.
2021 Team USA Select Team:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2021
So what does this mean for Quickley and Toppin? For one, they’re not “on” Team USA. The Select Team is basically a group of younger players that serve as practice bodies for the big Team USA to scrimmage against in preparation for the Olympics (or whatever international tournament happens to fall on any given year).
That said, occasionally the Select Team gets some shine, like in 2019, when the trash bag 2019 FIBA World Cup team full of Celtics — that would go on to finish seventh in the tournament — got their asses handed to them by a much less heralded Select team than this year’s version in a scrimmage:
Luckily, with the Olympics being a bigger event than the FIBAs, we might get to catch some of these scrimmages on NBATV instead of from some dude’s cell phone on YouTube. Not quite as cool as seeing RJ Barrett and Frank Ntilikina ball out for their countries on the big stage, but it’s the offseason, so we’ll take it.
Here’s hoping Quickley gets to splash a triple in Jayson Tatum’s face and Obi dunks all over Kevin Durant!