Team USA supports Orlando Magic rebuild, Jamahl Mosley adds

For a team that has been out of the main story in the NBA and well out of the playoff picture for much of the last decade, it sure looks like the Orlando Magic will get a brighter spotlight this offseason.

It’s not for any moves they’ve made or new players added to the team. It is the growing excitement of a team on the rise and the internal development growth that everyone expects.

Talent matters, of course — and Team USA director Grant Hill certainly acknowledged that by recruiting Paolo Banchero to the World Cup team — but there’s something else cooking, and it certainly feels like Team USA is trying to at least partially capitalize on Magic’s success.

What Orlando has certainly got right at this stage of the team’s rebuild is a culture of development and growth. Jamahl Mosley deserves a lot of credit for that. He has built an environment where players work to improve together and the product on the floor is starting to show. His team has fully bought into what Mosley has tried to instill, and it has led to at least moderate and early success.

Team USA looked at it and seemed to say, “We want some of that.”

Jamahl Mosley will reportedly coach the US Select Team to help Team USA train for the FIBA ​​World Cup in August. It’s another pillar of the Magic’s rebuild, helping Team USA’s quest for gold.

Team USA reportedly gets set to name Mosley as coach of the US Select Teamthe training roster of young players set to compete against the senior national team, according to Joe Vardon and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Mosley was previously an assistant coach for the select team used to help train Team USA ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021. That group used many of the G-League players who helped the United States qualify for this year’s World Cup.

The Select Team typically draws from younger players in the NBA as a way to introduce them to the Team USA senior national program and eventually graduate them to the main roster. Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Chet Holmgren and Keegan Murray are the reported names on this list.

Banchero would certainly have been in that group if the U.S. didn’t have to sweeten the pool to prevent him from playing for Italy.

Mosley’s job as head coach of this group is to coach them in scrimmages and prepare them to one day be a part of Team USA, helping them develop their game while all working together as he coaches them through scrimmages with the main roster.

Sounds like something Mosley would excel at to a tee.

When the Magic hired him before the 2022 season, they were advertised to get someone who connected well with players and worked mostly as a development coach. He’s starting to put his stamp on his young team as a tactician, but his work in the first two years of his time with the Magic has been largely focused on building the culture he wants everyone to work with.

It’s something several Magic players have talked about, none perhaps more clearly than Gary Harris when he joined the Club 520 podcast (if you listen to the whole thing, be aware that it’s not safe for work and includes pretty liberal use of a word that is, in almost every context, a racist slur, but it’s not being used as a slur in this conversation):

That’s what Team USA is trying to achieve. They want a coach who can quickly connect with a new group of players, teach them and help them improve as they prepare for their upcoming seasons and one day join Team USA.

It certainly also keeps Jamahl Mosley in the pipeline to join Steve Kerr’s national team staff for future tournaments – the Select Team is also a pipeline for coaches.

Between Banchero and Mosley joining Team USA, it’s a beautiful sounding endorsement for two of the pillars of what the Magic are building. It’s certainly a confirmation of the kind of talent that everyone believes the Magic have.

These summers spent with the national team can be instructive for young players in their development.

For example, after Jonathan Isaac returned from his Select Team duty ahead of the 2020 season, then-coach Steve Clifford beamed about what that experience would do for him. In fact, Isaac came out of the gates hot after competing with the players on the World Cup squad in 2019. It was definitely an advantage for him to be exposed to some different coaches and elite competition.

The Magic certainly hope to make that happen with all the players they want participating in the FIBA ​​World Cup – Franz Wagner, Moe Wagner, Joe Ingles and Goga Bitadze will be in the tournament apart from Paolo Banchero. But they can also expect that to happen with their coach.

Mosley will work directly with Kerr to develop what the national team needs for its training purposes. And that means he will get to work with Kerr and his strategy and techniques.

Mosley will certainly add a lot to the team with his ability to develop and grow the teams he has coached. He will also benefit greatly from working with the best coaching staff Team USA will hire — Tyronn Lue, Erik Spoelstra and Mark Few will be assistants on Steve Kerr’s staff.

There will be a pretty good exchange of ideas and thoughts that Mosley can certainly take home with him as he spends the next two months preparing for training camp and the upcoming season.

Still, Mosley didn’t get this chance without the work he’s already put in. So it’s hard to think the rest of the league isn’t noticing the work that Mosley and the Magic have put in. And this opportunity is a recognition of that and a chance to improve on it.

Leave a Comment