Team USA Basketball 2012: Anthony Davis' Presence Is Wasted Spot on Squad

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJuly 26, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12:  Anthony Davis #14 of the US Men's Senior National Team tosses a t-shirt into the crowd after the pre-Olympic exhibition game against the Dominican Republic at Thomas & Mack Center on July 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Davis replaced Blake Griffin on the US Olympic team after Griffin injured his knee.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images

Someone should ask Anthony Davis what it feels like to be Christian Laettner. He's playing the role of insignificant collegiate player to the 2012 US Men's Olympic team, just like Laettner did in 1992.

Davis' situation may be even worse because this team could actually use him.

Davis playing decreased minutes for Team USA is understandable, but it almost seems as though he's being avoided.

He didn't play until the last moments of the game against Spain, and he's averaging just nine minutes per game overall. This is the case, despite the fact that bigs are the one thing Team USA lacks.

Aside from Tyson Chandler, Davis is the closest thing they have to a center.

I believe Davis is more of a power forward in the NBA, but in international competition he could surely play the middle. But he isn't getting the opportunity, and at nine minutes per game he isn't giving anyone a major rest.

So why is he on the team again?

Is it just to have one player on the team who hasn't played a minute of NBA ball? I get it, he's just there for his amateurish charm.

I understand that having Davis play significantly more minutes than a veteran could be awkward, but that's even more reason he shouldn't be on the team.

I can think of at least three current NBA bigs (Roy Hibbert, Josh Smith or Marcus Camby) who could have helped, and there wouldn't be the rookie vs. veteran dynamic.  

No one would have batted an eye if one of these players got a solid 15 or 16 minutes per game.

Davis could be gaining valuable experience in a competitive environment. I'm not sure he's getting that in the Team USA practices.

This amounts to a waste of a body and a roster spot. Luckily, it probably won't matter when its all said and done. But it would have been nice to see him get some meaningful time.

The games haven't officially started, but it doesn't seem as though his playing time will increase when they begin.


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