The American basketball team prides itself on having so much depth that no single player on the roster has to get worn out by playing too many minutes. So all of Team USA will return to their respective NBA teams well rested and healthy. Unfortunately for the San Antonio Spurs, none of their players are on the U.S. roster, but there are quite a few scattered among the other international squads.
Not only are the Spurs well represented internationally, they also play considerable minutes for their home countries. Manu Ginobili for Argentina, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Nando De Colo for France, Tiago Splitter for Brazil and Patty Mills for Australia are all a big part of their respective teams and they’ve all advanced to the elimination round of the tournament.
So with only about a month and a half of rest until training camp, will the Spurs’ Olympians be good to go for the NBA season?
The quick turnaround will probably be toughest on 35-year-old Manu Ginobili. Not only because of his age but also because of the way he plays. Manu loves to go 100 miles an hour every minute he’s on the floor. He’s scrappy and he’s physical and that type of play takes its toll on the body. Despite all that, I’ve always been impressed with Manu’s resiliency (when he stays healthy), so barring some unforeseen injury, I’d like to say Manu will still be good to go for the Spurs. He’s shown no signs of age to me and still looks like the same old Manu.
For everybody else, I like to think of the Olympics as more competitive pickup games. If these guys weren’t playing in London, it’s not like they’d be at home on the couch with a Big Mac watching The Price Is Right (well… maybe Boris). They’d be out playing everyday, keeping their game sharp. It’s best to think of the Olympics as the perfect way to stay in shape. They may be a little tired afterward, but they’re professional athletes. They should be able to handle it.
If anything, I think the Olympics may help the Spurs come back sharper than normal. They’ve been playing against the best players in the world. All the competition should improve their game, not hurt it.
What about you Spurs fans? Are you concerned about the Spurs players at the Olympics heading into next season?