It was announced yesterday afternoon that Jeremy Lin was chosen to participate on the U.S Select Team. The Select Team is a group of young, up-and-coming players who train and scrimmage against the U.S Olympic team.
Lin’s selection is significant for a few reasons:
One: his knee must be feeling better. Yay!
Two: Playing for extended periods of time with some of the best players in the NBA can be a valuable learning experience. Although training only lasts about one week, it could be beneficial to Lin’s development as a player. While one week of training doesn’t compare to a full summer, the 2012 FIBA World Championships proved to be a valuable experience to players like Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, and Kevin Love, who all has breakout seasons following the tournament. For Lin, playing with fellow up-and-comers will be good, but spending a week competing against the Olympic squad, with the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony (!), etc. will be great to teach him a thing or two or seven, hopefully.
Three: For Knicks fans fretting over Lin’s value heading into free agency, his selection could be a nice sense of relief. Though his 26-game breakout still remains somewhat undefined, an anomaly, apparently Jerry Colangelo and the U.S.A Olympic folks think it warranted a Selection Team invite. I’m sure that during training there will be updates as to who is playing well, and it will be very interesting to see the remarks regarding Lin’s play.
Of course, as Marc Berman noted yesterday, Lin’ selection to the team stands as an invitation, not a guarantee. In the past, agents have prevented players from joining the Select Team, especially heading into free agency, as Lin is. As we saw yesterday, Lin’s agent did a bit of posturing and is clearly thinking about his client’s value going forward. It would be a shame in every sense if Lin were to get hurt during this camp.
The Selection Team will gather in Las Vegas on July 5 – by then, free agents will likely have signed or began negotiations with teams; keep that in mind – and then will train and compete against the Olympic squad July 6 – 11.