Now that the rest of us have had almost a full day to comment on John Wall's invitation to join USA Basketball Men's National Team, it's time to hear from the point guard.
Now that the news is official, we can.
“I am honored to be invited back to participate with USA Basketball and to have the opportunity to represent my country,” Wall said in a statement released by the Wizards.
The NBA leader in total assists last season will be among 19 players in Las Vegas next week as Team USA preps for the upcoming FIBA World Cup of basketball in Spain.
Bradley Beal, the other member of Washington's starting backcourt, is also on the roster.
“I am also proud that Bradley and I will be able to represent the Wizards organization together while competing for roster spots against our peers from around the league," Wall continued.
Wall previously participated with the national team, but was left off the preliminary 28-man roster announced in January. The combination of his breakout season for the Wizards and other players passing on participating in international competition this summer led to his late inclusion.
“We are excited that John is now able to participate in our training camp. He had an outstanding season with the Wizards and was a strong performer for us at last year’s National Team mini-camp,” USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo said. “As we’ve said in the past, we can only extend the invitations to be part of the USA team; the players have to make the final decision and sometimes that decision changes because their circumstances have changed.”
In 2013-14, Wall led the Wizards to the Eastern Conference Semifinals by averaging career highs of 19.3 points (20th in the NBA), 8.8 assists (second in the NBA) and 1.81 steals (eighth in the NBA) to go along with 4.1 rebounds while playing in all 82 games. He earned his first All-Star selection and was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice. Wall joined Chris Paul as the only two players in the NBA to average at least 19 points, eight assists, four rebounds and 1.8 steals.
The group of 19 will be cut to 12 sometime before heading overseas. The FIBA World Cup begins August 30.
Earlier I looked at the chances for either Wall or Beal to make the final cut. Wall will be one of five point guards in the mix, along with Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose and Damian Lillard.