A formality at this point, USA Basketball officially announced Blake Griffin as a member of the final 2012 Team USA Olympic roster. James Harden of the OKC Thunder was the only other addition not on a previous USA team.
Of course, Griffin is joined by his Clippers teammate, Chris Paul, on the roster. It’s unclear how much playing time Griffin might receive. On NBATV, Coach K mentioned that he would be using Blake more as a 5-man for international play simply because there is a dearth of centers on the team (Tyson Chandler is the only officially listed center). The immediate thought is that Blake could be used much like Lamar Odom was on the 2010 World Championship team. But the team is so positionally versatile, Griffin might not see any significant time at all (like Kevin Love on the ’10 team).
Either way, this is an incredible experience for Griffin. Many of the previous USA players returned from the international stint to have career years (e.g. Odom won 6th Man of the Year the season after participating on the 2010 team). Griffin’s inclusion will only mean great things for Team USA and, quite possibly, the Los Angeles Clippers.
And if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, Blake Griffin hit his elbow against the backboard today at Team USA practice. And then did this after:
UPDATE: Here’s the video of Team USA’s press conference in case you missed it.