The 2012 London Olympics will feature a wonderful global basketball tournament, and players like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose are sure bets to represent the USA Men's Basketball team in their quest for a gold medal. However, Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer will not be asked to rejoin the USA Men's Olympic team after his appearance in 2008, according to Mark Stein of ESPN. Boozer is one of only four players from the 2008 squad that has already been ruled out of consideration for the 2012 team, joining Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd and Jason Kidd.
Director of USA Men's Basketball Jerry Colangelo has been busy reaching out to player representatives and individual players about the opportunity, and recently said the program plans to announce the 18 finalists for the 2012 USA Men's squad by January 18th. The final 12-man roster, including six alternate reserves, must be officially submitted by June 18th, but the initial list of all 18 finalists needs to be provided to the U.S. Olympic Committee by the end of January to initiate the IOC drug testing program to ensure compliance.
Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose is a lock to return to the Olympic team in 2012, so the Chicago Bulls will be well represented in international play, but the fact that Boozer has been eliminated from consideration as even an alternate speaks to the recent drop off in his game. Not only is it bad news for Boozers, but it might be bad news for the Bulls. If he can't compete with the top-tier of the NBA and has been deemed unfit to compete with the top-tier of international players, Boozer can hardly be considered a necessary or sufficient championship piece. That is quite a bit of money and a heavy front-court investment that could saddle the Bulls in the next few years.