Ty Lawson invited to USA Basketball mini-camp

Nuggets PG Ty Lawson will be in Las Vegas from July 22-25 to participate in USA Basketball's four-day mini-camp
by Aaron Lopez

A person’s status in life sometimes can be measured by the company he keeps.

In a few weeks, Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson will be in very good company.

Lawson is one of six point guards invited by USA Basketball to take part in a four-day mini-camp with the U.S. National Team from July 22-25.

“The last couple years, I wanted to go to the tryouts,” Lawson said after a recent workout at Pepsi Center. “I’m excited to get my chance to go out there and see what I can do.”

The invitation illustrates how far Lawson has come in the past 28 months.

He served as Denver’s backup point guard to start the 2010-11 season but took over as the full-time starter when the Nuggets made their blockbuster three-team trade on Feb. 22, 2011.

Since then, Lawson has emerged as one of the NBA’s rising young stars, averaging 16.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.44 steals in 157 games as a starter.

Asked when he thought a future with USA Basketball might be possible, Lawson said: “Right after the trade. If felt if I was good enough to start, I could at least try to make my way on to the USA Team.”

Lawson will have some strong competition as USA Basketball coaches and staff begin to evaluate potential players for the U.S. National Team roster for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Other point guards invited to the mini-camp are Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies), Jrue Holliday (Philadelphia 76ers), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats).

“It’s going to be tough,” Lawson said. “Everybody’s really going to show what they’re made of. You might play against them in a game once or twice (during the NBA season), but four days straight with two-a-days are going to show what level player you really are.”

Lawson will be joined by Nuggets teammate Kenneth Faried. The duo will try to catch the eye of Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, the longtime coach at Duke University. Lawson, who played at rival North Carolina, doesn’t anticipate any problems playing for Krzyzewski.

“He’s a cool guy. I’ve seen him a couple places and talked to him,” Lawson said. “The Rivalry was real when I was at UNC, but it’s over with. I can definitely play for Coach K.”