The Chicago Times reported today that Kirk Hinrich and Shane Battier will be withdrawing from the U.S. basketball team prior to the upcoming FIBA tournament. There are a laundry list of reasons for their withdraws, I’m sure, but to me they should have just pissed on a flag. That would have been much quicker and would have probably got them on the front page in Texas.
Our question at APIAS is what constitutes a valid excuse for quitting your national team in any sport? If it were some guy withdrawing from the 100 meters it probably wouldn’t be a big story, but this is basketball. It is one of the three big sports that America is most passionate about. We shared it with the world and now we’ve fallen behind. Apparently Kirk doesn’t feel like being a part of turning it around.
More on Hinrich’s love for Al Qaeda after the jump…
Among the list of reasons for not playing on the American team two stand out. He just got married and they recently added some (read, more skilled) players to the roster. The marriage issue is a non-factor. Kirk is married now, but one would thing his young bride would be intelligent enough to understand she just married an athlete. That $5 million she’ll get when she divorces him doesn’t come from him being home every night.
Besides, they are newlyweds. She should be able to follow him for a summer and be there to support him. There is just no justification for the new change in lifestyle being the reason he can’t play on the Olympic qualifying team.
The addition of new stars to the roster is probably the reason he stepped out. Kobe, J. Kidd, Michael Redd, and Billups were all added this summer. That’s a lot of guards with more NBA experience than Kirk. All of those guys are legitimate stars in the league.
I would be a bit intimidated by that crew. It would be understandable if Kirk was as well. But we’re talking about a guy who hasn’t backed down from one person since stepping onto an NBA court. Hinrich stepped in on Day One and competed like he was owed something. So I can’t believe he would back down from the challenge to compete with the best guards in the world for a spot on this team.
So what is it then? Why would he decide to not be a part of turning USA basketball around? Madden 2008.
This is the only explanation we can come up with. Kirk must be addicted to Madden 2008. He creates himself as a quarterback from Kansas and leads the Bears to the Super Bowl every year. Hell, 2SL will agree that they’d probably be better off if Hinrich quit basketball and stepped in at QB for Chicago.
Seriously Kirk, if this wasn’t so far from Friday we’d have T’d your ass up. At some point you have to realize that there are very few people who get a chance to represent our country in any capacity. The sports world is perhaps the biggest stage on which you can represent your country. Yet you’re just going to step away from all that. It’s disgraceful and unless you have had a secret tonsillectomy, you should have you ass in that gym every day with the red, white, and blue on.