Three-time Olympic medalists Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) headline the list of 30 finalists today named for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team by USA Basketball. The player selections were approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors. The official 12-member 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster will be announced later this year.
Featuring 18 players who have collected 29 Olympic or FIBA Basketball World Cup gold medals and six bronze medals, the 30 finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team include: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Anthony Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors) Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); James; DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Again leading the 2016 USA coaching staff is Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Serving as USA assistant coaches are Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder).
“It seems like I say this each time we have to narrow down a roster, but I am struck by the remarkable commitment the players in the USA Basketball National Team program continue to display and the enthusiasm they have for representing their country,” said USA Basketball chairman, who has served as the managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005.
“The depth of talent that exists in the national team program is extraordinary. Repeating as gold medalists at the 2016 Olympics will not be easy, but we feel confident that we have 30 finalists who offer amazing basketball abilities and special versatility. We’re also fortunate that the roster is comprised of so many veterans of international basketball. In addition to 18 players who have won Olympic and/or World Cup gold medals, there are 16 finalists who have played between 20 and 72 games for USA Basketball. That experience is extremely valuable and something we’ve not always had available to draw upon.
“Obviously selecting the official roster of 12 players for the Olympics in 2016 will be a very, very difficult process. 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.”
Krzyzewski, who has coached USA National teams to a sterling 52-1 record in official FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions since 2006, while also compiling a 23-0 mark in exhibition games and leading teams to gold medal finishes at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, 2012 London Olympics, 2010 FIBA World Championship, 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, echoed Colangelo’s comments on the difficulty in selecting a roster.
“This selection process was difficult from the start, and obviously it is only going to get more difficult as we look to get to the official, 12-man roster,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m excited about the possibilities this team has. Among the finalists we have multiple players who won gold medals at the Olympic or World Cup level. The roster of finalists features incredible talent, great balance, outstanding leadership, and I believe like we had with our previous teams, this team will have a special chemistry.
“Having a deep, very talented, and extremely versatile roster is of critical importance in our pursuit of the Olympic gold medal in Rio. All of the players who have been part of the national team program should be recognized and commended for their commitment and contributions, acknowledged for their willingness to do whatever asked and for representing the United States in such outstanding fashion,” added Krzyzewski.
Anthony (2004 bronze and 2008 and 2012 gold) and James (2004 bronze and 2008 and 2012 gold) are three-time Olympic medalists who are attempting to make a historical fourth U.S. Olympic men’s team, while Paul (2008 and 2012) is a two-time Olympic gold medalist seeking to become one of four (Anthony, James and David Robinson) three-time U.S. Olympic players.
Nine players from the gold medal winning 2012 U.S. Olympic team that went 8-0 in London remain in contention for the 2016 U.S. Olympic squad, including Anthony, Davis, Durant, Harden, Iguodala, James, Love, Paul and Westbrook. Anthony, Howard, James and Paul also were members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that compiled an unblemished record of 8-0 and captured gold in Beijing. Additionally, Anthony and James earned bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Ten members of the 2014 USA World Cup Team that finished 9-0 and captured gold in Spain are among the list of finalists, including Cousins, Curry, Davis, DeRozan, Drummond, Faried, Gay, Harden, World Cup MVP Irving and Thompson. Six finalists were members of the 2010 USA World Championship squad that went 9-0 and captured gold in Istanbul, Turkey: Curry, World Championship MVP Durant, Gay, Iguodala, Love and Westbrook all were members of the golden 2010 USA team; while Anthony, Howard, James and Paul earned a bronze medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
The finalists represent 17 different NBA teams, with the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors leading the way with five players (Barnes, Curry, Green, Iguodala and Thompson); while the Cleveland Cavaliers (Irving, James and Love) and Los Angeles Clippers (Griffin, Jordan and Paul) each feature three players; the Houston Rockets (Harden and Howard), Oklahoma City Thunder (Durant and Westbrook), Sacramento Kings (Cousins and Gay), San Antonio Spurs (Aldridge and Leonard) and Washington Wizards (Beal and Wall) each have two players among the 30 finalists; and the Chicago Bulls (Butler), Denver Nuggets (Faried), Detroit Pistons (Drummond), Indiana Pacers (George), Memphis Grizzlies (Conley), New Orleans Hornets (Davis), New York Knicks (Anthony), Toronto Raptors (DeRozan) and Utah Jazz (Hayward) each are represented by one player.
All 30 finalists possess international or USA Basketball National Team experience with Anthony leading the way with 72 games of international experience. He is followed by James (68), Paul (50), Gay (41), Curry (38), Howard (38), Iguodala (33), Durant (31), Love (28), Westbrook (28), Davis (25), Harden (25), Drummond (25), Thompson (25), Cousins (20), Irving (20), Beal (16), Faried (16), DeRozan (15), Hayward (12), Jordan (10), Green (9), Conley (6), Barnes (3), Wall (3), George (2), Griffin (1) and Leonard (1). Both Aldridge and Butler have participated in previous USA National Team training camps.
The USA National Team’s complete training schedule for 2016 will be announced at a later date.