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‘I just didn’t fit in well’, admits Kyrie Irving after shock Olympics snub

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KYRIE Irving has opened up on his failure to make Team USA’s roster for the upcoming Olympics in Paris.

The Dallas Mavericks superstar took home gold in Rio 2016 but was a shock absentee from the 12-man group.

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Kyrie Irving will not be going to Paris with Team USACredit: Getty
Dallas Mavericks star Irving won Olympic gold in 2016

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Dallas Mavericks star Irving won Olympic gold in 2016Credit: Getty

And Irving has admitted that he did not gel well with his potential teammates.

“I wish my brothers well. I just didn’t fit in well with this team,” he said.

“The deliberation process was a tough one. But again, I have nothing but respect for those guys at USA Basketball.

“At this point in my career, I think my focus should be winning a championship.”

Steph Curry, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton are the guards heading to Paris this summer.

Curry is chasing his first Olympic gold medal, as are Edwards and Haliburton.

USA Basketball surprised the lucky few by turning up to team facilities with jerseys.

But Irving believes try-outs should be held again in future.

“I grew up in a time, too, where we actually had to try out for USA [Basketball]. We did meet up as a group and as peers,” he added.

“There was a mutual respect that we earned for one another in trying out and then seeing what five [players] meshed well.

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“I think, obviously, the timing is a bit different.

“But I miss those days of just being able to get everybody together, break bread and then compete against one another.

“Then the deliberation process happens at the end of those four or five days. Even though people know who’s going to be on the team.

“I miss that fun part of it of getting together. But I wish my brothers well.”

Team USA’s Olympic training camp begins on July 5 in Las Vegas.

USA basketball summer schedule

July 10 – USA vs Canada, Las Vegas

July 15 – USA vs Australia, Abu Dhabi

July 17 – USA vs Serbia, Abu Dhabi

July 20 – USA vs South Sudan, London

July 22 – USA vs Germany, London

USA will take on South Sudan on July 20 and face Germany two days later at London’s O2 Arena.

They will then head across the channel looking for a fifth straight Olympic basketball.

Athens in 2004 is the only time the US has not won men’s Olympic gold – dating back to 1992 in Barcelona.

USA basketball managing director Grant Hill said: “I’m grateful to these 12 men for their commitment to represent USA Basketball.

“The United States is home to some of the best basketball players in the world and I appreciate the vast interest in being part of this roster.

“These decisions weren’t easy, but it was a pleasure to go through the process and reach this outcome.

“We have the utmost respect for the level of competition we will face this summer.

“The Olympics represent the pinnacle of sport and the world will be watching the USA as we play in the toughest basketball tournament in history.”

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