LeBron leads USA Basketball team roster; no Kobe

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2014 at 11:41 am •  Published: January 23, 2014
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With LeBron James sticking around and some of the NBA's best players joining him, the U.S. basketball team could be better than ever.

"The roster itself is the strongest roster we've ever had," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said.

Even without Kobe Bryant, who had said the 2012 London Olympics was his last international competition, it's a formidable group. James and 10 others from the 2012 U.S. Olympic team are remaining in the national team pool, joined by a group of newcomers hoping for their first chance at gold.

USA Basketball selected 28 players Thursday to choose from for the World Cup of Basketball this summer in Spain and the 2016 Rio Olympics. Carmelo Anthony was also chosen, giving him and James a chance to play in a fourth Olympics and win a third gold medal.

They won't play this summer, but might still put on the red, white and blue one more time down the road.

"We really do want to give some of the younger players an opportunity in Spain this summer, but they want to remain there and stay in the mix for being on our roster in Rio," Colangelo said on a conference call.

Also selected from the 2012 gold medalists were: Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kevin Love, Deron Williams, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Tyson Chandler and Andre Iguodala.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is back to lead the Americans, as he has done since 2005.

The other players picked were: Chicago's Derrick Rose, Houston's Dwight Howard, the Clippers' Blake Griffin, Indiana's Paul George; Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson of Golden State; LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard of Portland; Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving of Cleveland; San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard; Washington's Bradley Beal; Atlanta's Kyle Korver; Detroit's Andre Drummond; Denver's Kenneth Faried; and Utah's Gordon Hayward.

It's an experienced, star-filled group — it includes the NBA's top 10 scorers — and the Americans stressed it will be "fluid," meaning more players could be added over the next three years.

And unlike recent U.S. teams, it's big. The Americans have been undersized up front, but have plenty of post players to choose from with Howard, Chandler, Cousins, Davis and Aldridge.

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