USA Basketball names 30 finalists for U.S. Olympic men’s team
USA Basketball announced 30 finalists for its 12-man Olympic basketball roster on Monday.
The list is led by LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, seeking to become the first men to make four U.S. Olympic basketball teams. They were gold medalists in 2012 and 2008 and bronze medalists in 2004.
James, though, is no guarantee to suit up in Rio, even if USA Basketball wants him to.
“I haven’t thought about it,” James said Monday. “The last thing I thought about Team USA was Kobe [Bryant] taking his name out of the pool. That’s the last thing I kind of really thought about, so I’m not any inch closer to playing or not any inch closer to not playing. I haven’t really thought about it much.”
Finalists include nine of the 12 players on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, missing Bryant, Tyson Chandler and Deron Williams.
Other missing players include point guards Derrick Rose and Damian Lillard and 2004 and 2008 Olympian Dwyane Wade, who were not on a 34-man August camp roster. Bryant, Chandler and Williams were also not on that camp roster.
Potential first-time Olympians include NBA MVP Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin (originally named to the 2012 team but later withdrew due to injury) and Paul George, whom Colangelo reportedly said had “a spot for him” waiting in 2016 six days after George broke his right leg in a U.S. camp scrimmage on Aug. 1, 2014.
USA Basketball did not say in the press release when the final 12-man Olympic team will be named. In 2012, it named its Olympic roster three weeks before the Games.
“Obviously selecting the official roster of 12 players for the Olympics in 2016 will be a very, very difficult process,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a press release. “As has been the case with past USA Basketball teams, the goal once again is to select the very best team possible to represent the United States.”
Carmelo Anthony -- 2004, 2008, 2012 Olympian
Anthony Davis -- 2012 Olympian
Kevin Durant -- 2012 Olympian
Blake Griffin -- On original 2012 Olympic roster, then injured
James Harden -- 2012 Olympian
Dwight Howard -- 2008 Olympian
Andre Iguodala -- 2012 Olympian
LeBron James -- 2004, 2008, 2012 Olympian
Kevin Love -- 2012 Olympian
Chris Paul -- 2008, 2012 Olympian
Russell Westbrook -- 2012 Olympian
MORE BASKETBALL: Carmelo Anthony Olympic medal auctioned