USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo had issues with DeMarcus Cousins in the opening days of the national team training camp last summer in Las Vegas, but apparently, that's all in the past. Cousins accepted an invitation to participate in the July 22-25 national team mini-camp, again in Las Vegas. The list of invitees is a who's who of young NBA stars, among them Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Ryan Anderson, Damian Lillard, John Wall, and Kawhi Leonard, to name a few.
Players competing in the mini-camp enhances their prospects for being named to the national squad for the 2014-16 international season, including the 2016 Olympics. Mike Kryzyewski returns as head coach, with Jim Boeheim, Monty Williams and Tom Thibodeau as his assistants.
Of greatest significance for Cousins? The list of 27 players only includes three other centers - Greg Monroe, Tyler Zeller and Andre Drummond. Despite his early issues with Colangelo, Cousins also received strong public endorsements last summer from Kobe Bryant, along with private praise within USAB for his effort during the majority of the training session.
"DeMarcus and I talked," Colangelo said the other day. "He has another chance. He did a lot of things well last summer."