LeBron James and Kevin Durant headline the 28 players announced to the USA Men’s Basketball initial roster.
Of those selected, 14 have Olympic competition experience and 11 players were members of the 2012 US Olympic gold medal team. The NBA’s best and brightest stars won’t shy away from international competition and their participation should make Team USA the prohibitive favorite going into the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
“This roster is extremely talented, deep and versatile,” said USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo via the USAB site. “We are very fortunate to have 11 of the 12 members who won gold at the London Olympics wanting to be part of the national team program again. To receive that kind of commitment is remarkable and it demonstrates how much it means to our players to represent USA Basketball and their country.”
Olympic veterans accepting invites are Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), James Harden (Houston Rockets), Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets), Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).
Other NBA stars accepting invites are LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors), Paul George (Indiana Pacers) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers).
Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski will cut the list of 28 down to a 12-man roster for the FIBA games in August, and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
-Patrick Hazel (@pattywack25)