Injuries will cost C's Pierce chance at Olympics

Updated: May 9, 2007, 7:21 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Paul Pierce had lobbied hard to make the USA Basketball team, but he can't seem to convince his body to follow his heart.

Paul Pierce
Pierce

Jerry Colangelo, the managing director of the men's team who has been putting together the squad, told reporters on Tuesday that the Celtics star will not be on the team that will compete in qualifying this summer.

"By not playing this summer, he is pretty much eliminated from playing in the Olympics," Colangelo said, according to the Boston Globe. "It would be hard to make the case that you should play in the third year after missing the first two. He understands that."

The U.S. squad will play in a qualifying tournament in Las Vegas this summer, but Pierce will be nursing a couple of injuries that derailed his Celtics season. A sore elbow and painful knee cut short his 2006-07 campaign and cost him 35 games over the course of the season.

That Pierce won't play for the national team doesn't bother Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge one bit.

"I'd like to see him make a 100 percent commitment to the Boston Celtics," Ainge said last month, according to the Globe.

The Celtics limped to a 24-58 record last season and have a good chance at the top pick in the NBA draft. That could potentially snag them Ohio State center Greg Oden or Texas forward Kevin Durant, both of whom will take part in this summer's Team USA training camp.