Rudy Gay is something of a forgotten star. He is good enough to be the best player on a very good team, but most of the time not good enough to be an All Star. Flashy enough to earn a major contract and live up to it, but obscure enough to make people question his worth.
Gay is a very good player.
Still, no one complained when this stalwart from the 2010 U.S. World Championship team was left off the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. The lament was for LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin being unable to make the trip because of various injuries. They are both very good players and would have bolstered the U.S.'s front line, but even just looking at last year, it is hard to say Rudy Gay was not deserving of at least a good, hard look instead of rookie Anthony Davis.
Maybe Gay's time passed him before he was even considered for that kind of stage. Still, staying home during the Olympics had to be something Gay thought about as his teammates from that 2010 team took hom the gold medal in dominating fashion.
Gay finally made it to London this past week… for the NBA3X Tournament. He spoke with John Hobbs of TalkBasket.net and said it hurt that he was not included on the Olympic roster:
It hurt, of course it did, I loved playing in Turkey for Team USA but at the end of the day it's not my choice. It is what it is, you have to roll with the punches and think about what happens next, and of course for me, that was the NBA season with Memphis.
Gay still has a lot ot focus on entering this season. After missing the 2011 Playofs with an injury, Gay returned to average 19.0 points per game and a career-best 6.4 rebounds per game. He shot 45.5 percent from the floor and posted a career-best 17.8 PER.
Gay had a great season and got his first taste of the postseason in the Grizzlies' seven-game series against the Clippers.He may be ready for another solid season.
It would have been nice to see him display his offensive flair and defensive prowess and supreme athleticism on an Olympic stage. Gay though has a lot of work to do for himself and for the Grizzlies.
When he returns from London, he will have a lot of work to do.