Olympics team: USA basketball roster finalized with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

USA has its first game against France on July 29. Photo: AP

OKLAHOMA CITY, July 8, 2012 —The Team USA Basketball roster is set. The three final roster spots went to Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers).

Holdovers from the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medal team are LeBron James(Miami Heat), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets). 

Other new players on this year’s roster are Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks) and Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Team USA will once again be coached by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.

Players like Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh who played in 2008 had injuries and were not available to play, giving the new players a chance at the Gold. Other newcomers like first overall pick Anthony Davis was also considered but had to pull out because of injury.

Like 2008, the team will feature only one true center in Chandler. International play doesn’t feature the post position as much, playing more of a perimeter game.

The team has three sets of teammates from their respective NBA teams (Knicks, Clippers and Thunder) with three players coming from the Thunder. This is the first time ever that an Olympic team has had three players from the same team in Durant, Westbrook and Harden.

In addition to the Thunder players, three additional players have played in Oklahoma. Paul and Chandler played for the Hornets when they played in Oklahoma City while New Orleans recovered from Hurricane Katrina, and Griffin is from Oklahoma City playing his college ball at Oklahoma. Ironically, this gives half the team Oklahoma ties when there wasn’t even NBA basketball in the state prior to 2005.

The Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for July 27th in London, England.

U.S.A. has its first game against France on Sunday, July 29, 2:30 p.m. EST on NBC.

 


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Jason Black

Jason Black is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he recieved a B.A. in Journalism.  While at OU he served as Sports Director for the University television station.  He has recieved multiple awards for public speaking and comedy.

He appears weekly on 18 radio stations across the country and also writes for the magazine distinctly Oklahoma.

Growing and living in Oklahoma for almost his entire life, Jason has a passion for all sports mixed with a little pop culture.

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