Returning Olympic champions Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant highlight the 12 players who will represent the United States in men’s basketball at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The 10 players who will join Anthony and Durant are Harrison Barnes, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson.
Anthony becomes the first player to be named to four U.S. Olympic men’s teams, after helping Team USA to Olympic bronze in 2004 and back-to-back golds in 2008 and ‘12. Should Team USA medal, Anthony would become only the third man to earn four Olympic basketball medals, joining Gennady Volnov and Sergey Belov of the Soviet Union.
Durant, the most valuable player at the 2010 world championship, was the leading U.S. scorer at the 2012 Olympic tournament in London, averaging an Olympic record 19.5 points per game. Five of the team members have won gold in World Cup (formerly the world championships) competition: Durant in 2010 and Cousins, DeRozan, Irving and Thompson in 2014.
“I think I can speak for the entire coaching staff and say we’re extremely excited about the team we will field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” said Jerry Colangelo, men’s national team managing director. “I love our depth, which is another indication of the depth of talent in our national team program is blessed with. We’ve got a great mix of talent, scorers, past gold medal winners and outstanding youth.”
Irving, who earned MVP honors at the 2014 World Cup, recently helped lead the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2016 NBA championship. Nine of the players were named 2016 NBA All-Stars (Anthony, Butler, Cousins, DeRozan, Durant, George, Green, Lowry and Thompson). Seven were All-NBA selections: Jordan (first team); Cousins, Durant and Green (second team); and George, Lowry and Thompson (third team). Jordan and Green won first-team NBA All-Defensive honors, while Butler and George were picked to the second team.
Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski will lead the U.S. men at the third consecutive Olympic Games, matching the record held by the legendary Henry Iba. Should the U.S. secure the gold medal, he would become the first coach to lead the United States to three Olympic championships. He likes his team’s makeup.
“Looking at this team, our overall balance is what strikes me,” he said. “We have lightning-quick guards who can score as well as distribute the basketball. We have great shooters and explosive scorers, we’re big and athletic, and I think we’ll really be able to defend.”
The 12 men will train July 18-21 in Las Vegas before embarking on a five-game, five-city USA Basketball Showcase domestic tour, playing Argentina, China (twice), Venezuela and Nigeria. Just five days after the final showcase game, the U.S. will open Group A play in Rio Aug. 6 against China. Two other teams still must qualify to join Australia and Venezuela and round out the six-team group.
Here is the complete roster, with NBA teams and colleges:
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, Syracuse University
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors, University of North Carolina
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls, Marquette University
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings, University of Kentucky
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors, University of Southern California
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, University of Texas
Paul George, Indiana Pacers, Fresno State University
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, Michigan State University
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers, Duke University
DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers, Texas A&M University
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors, Villanova University
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, Washington State University