Zach LaVine "Almost Jumped Through the Phone" When he Got the Team USA Call

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Zach LaVine “Almost Jumped Through the Phone” When he Got the Team USA Call

Chicago Bulls

In February of 2020, Zach LaVine failed to make the 44-man USA basketball preliminary Olympic roster. He went on to tell 670 The Score’s Cody Westerlund that the committee’s decision was yet another log to throw on the fire.

Fast forward a year, and LaVine’s fire is burning brighter than ever. Not only did the Bulls cornerstone get added to the preliminary roster this year after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to the pandemic, but he went on to crack the official 12-man roster. And, according to National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo, LaVine had quite the reaction when he heard the news.

“He’s full of enthusiasm. It wasn’t that long ago when he and I spoke on the phone. He almost jumped through the phone he was so excited about the opportunity. And I love that,” Colangelo told NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. “When you have a few people who maybe didn’t expect to be there and who are just so exuberant about the opportunity, they add a lot of juice to the whole situation. That’s where he falls.”

When you get a dose of failure so close to a swig of success, I’m sure the swig tastes that much sweeter. LaVine went from being snubbed of a 44-man roster spot to an All-Star representing his country in just one season. It goes to show how sticking to the grind can payoff.

I also have to imagine that the Team USA process might as well be LaVine’s paradise. An obsessive offseason worker, this will allow the 26-year-old to hone his craft in one of the most competitive environments he has ever seen. Instead of running through sand traps with his dad in Seattle, LaVine can take on Kevin Durant one-on-one in practice and try to outshoot Damian Lillard on a nightly basis. Oh, and he can win a gold medal in the process! That’s worth some excitement.

Team USA workouts are expected to start on July 6th in Las Vegas. A five-game exhibition series will begin on the 10th and the Olympic games will tip-off on July 23rd. More LaVine content coming soon!



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.