The Case for Kirk Hinrich
Chris Sheridan writes about his prospects of making Team USA in future tournaments:
Supplanted Chris Paul as the starting point guard, but does anyone honestly believe he's the best point guard in America? If Billups plays next summer, he could get squeezed off the active roster -- especially if the team hierarchy believes it'll pay more long-term dividends to keep Paul on the active roster.
This strikes me as the wrong mentality. It doesn't especially matter whether or not Hinrich is "the best point guard in America?" Hinrich doesn't need to be a superstar on Team USA -- LeBron, Wade, and Anthony are there to do that job. Hinrich is certainly good enough in terms of his talent, doesn't make a ton of errors, plays in the NBA on a squad with good team defense, and most everyone feels he's an important part of that sound team defense. Chauncey Billups also fits that description, and he's a better player, so it makes a ton of sense to add him to the team. Chris Paul, though he's going to have a fantastic NBA career, doesn't really suit Team USA's needs. The team has relatively little need for additional levels of dynamic playmaking at the cost of experience and defense.
What's more, in a less serious vein, every Team USA needs to have at least one white dude and I'd much rather have that guy be Hinrich than Brad Miller. The other thing I note from Sheridan's article is that talk of recruiting Paul Pierce and/or Adam Morrison for the team really ought to consider that LBJ and 'Melo playing the same position is already a bit of a problem and the last thing USA needs is more small forwards (though I'd be happy to see the underrated Pierce get some love).