Tuesday, June 28, 2016

2016 Olympic Basketball Team

— Once again, the U.S. Men's Senior National Team has, by necessity, a lot of new faces.

Selected for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, which is seeking a third consecutive Olympic title, were: Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks/Syracuse); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors/North Carolina); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls/Marquette); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings/Kentucky); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors/USC); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder/Texas); Paul George (Indiana Pacers/Fresno State); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors/Michigan State); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers/Duke); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers/Texas A&M); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors/Villanova); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors/Washington State).

Only two of the 12 Americans -- Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant -- set to play in Rio this summer were on the squad that won gold in London in 2012.

Another four won gold at the World Cup in Spain in 2014, but half of the team has never played in an international competition on the senior level. The 12 players have combined to represent the U.S. just 11 times previously, and Anthony, making his fourth Olympic appearance, accounts for five of those 11 times.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and Senior Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski named a pool of 30 players in January, adding the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard a couple of weeks later. And by the time the NBA season was done, they basically had to go through the whole list before coming up with 12 guys who were both willing and able to play in Rio.

 Really, only 11 of the 12 players came from the January pool. The Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, who wasn't on the original list, was added because of the need for a second point guard.

This is the first time since the 2006 World Cup -- the last competition that the U.S. didn't win -- that Colangelo and Krzyzewski are only taking two point guards on their roster. Along with LeBron James, point guards Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook (all National Team vets) are the most notable players who chose not to participate this year.

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