Damian Lillard has become the latest star in the basketball world to speak up about Nneka Ogwumike being snubbed for the U.S. women’s basketball Olympic squad.
On Thursday morning, the Portland Trail Blazers star tweeted “They doin Nneka Ogwumike dirty smh.” His tweet immediately went viral, as countless fans agreed with him.
Ogwumike, a six-time All-Star and former MVP, certainly met the criteria to make the U.S. women’s basketball team. Unfortunately, there’s no clear reason why she was left off the roster.
U.S. coach Dawn Staley said that Ogwumike’s knee injury may have played a factor in the selection committee’s decision, but that doesn’t make too much sense since she’s expected to be at full strength by the time the Olympics begin.
They doin Nneka Ogwumike dirty smh
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) June 24, 2021
Los Angeles Sparks coach Derek Fisher put the selection committee on blast earlier this week, as he defended his star player during a media session.
“Where do I start? We’re pissed, honestly,” Fisher said, via ESPN. “Nothing has to be ‘given’ to her. She earned it and she deserves it. That’s the most frustrating and disappointing part.
“You can try to throw the injury out there if you want to; I’m calling BS on that, too. The timeline doesn’t add up for her being unavailable to play during the Olympics. We respect other players, happy for the ones that made it. But no way you can tell me you put a team together and leave Nneka off of it, and try to say it makes sense and adds up, because it doesn’t.”
Ogwumike is the only former WNBA MVP to not make an Olympic roster in her career. That alone proves how flawed this selection process can be at times.