Jack McCallum: Greg Monroe’s agent didn’t keep him off U.S. Select Team

I’ll have a few posts up this weekend about “Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever,” Jack McCallum’s new book. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book for review.

“Dream Team” is a fantastic book that’s more than a compellingly detailed history of the Dream Team, which it also is. What sets the book apart – for better or worse, but mostly better – is Jack McCallum’s first-person accounts of the experience, his experience. McCallum was with the Dream Team at nearly every step, and while it would be impossible to get the truth of the 1992 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball, I’ll happily settle for McCallum’s truth. He establishes himself as knowledgeable and fair, and mort importantly, presents his biases for the reader to judge.

Above all, my biggest judgment of McCallum: He gets it. A veteran Sports Illustrated writer, McCallum consistently demonstrates his knowledge of professional basketball’s off-court politics and the on-court tactics.

So, even though McCallum wasn’t specifically reporting on this year’s Olympics, when he spoke to the TrueHoop Network about his book, I wanted his opinion on the idea that Greg Monroe was left off the U.S. Select Team because David Falk is his agent.

“If that committee thought that they needed Greg Monroe, they wouldn’t have cared who his agent was,” McCallum said. “He would be on the team.”

Without specific knowledge of Falk’s importance, I agree with McCallum. The select team is a scout team, and he players chosen ahead of Monroe possess certain skills that he doesn’t. There’s a plausible explanation for Monroe being left off that has nothing to whom his agent is.

Besides, does Falk really ruffle anyone’s feathers any more, to the point the selectors would take decades-old grievances out on Monroe?

“My sense is he probably would not have that currency right now,” McCallum said of Falk.

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