Team USA Practice Session

Team USA’s World Cup roster still has unprecedented star power

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No Blake Griffin.

No Kevin Love.

And now no Paul George.

Team USA has definitely lost significant talent since releasing its initial World Cup player pool.

Still, the team’s star power remains unprecedented.

There’s no perfect measurement for star power, but All-NBA selection is as good as any. Team USA still has two All-NBA first teamers (Kevin Durant and James Harden), a second teamer (Stephen Curry) and a third teamer (Damian Lillard).

Sure, Griffin and Love, both second teamers, and George, a third teamer, will be missed. But a lot of talent remains.

Remember, this is not an Olympic year, when Team USA draws its biggest stars. The American World Cup roster compares very favorably to past editions for the event (nee the World Championships).

Here’s how many All-NBA players from the year prior made the Team USA World Cup/World Championships roster since NBA players began competing in 1994. First teamers are red, second teamers blue and third teamers white.

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2014

  • Kevin Durant (first)
  • James Harden (first)
  • Stephen Curry (second)
  • Damian Lillard (third)

2010

  • Kevin Durant (first)

2006

  • LeBron James (first)
  • Elton Brand (second)
  • Dwyane Wade (second)
  • Carmelo Anthony (third)

2002

  • Jermaine O’Neal (third)
  • Paul Pierce (third)
  • Ben Wallace (third)

1998

None (NBA players, anticipating a lockout, elected not to participate.)

1994

  • Kevin Johnson (second)
  • Shawn Kemp (second)
  • Derrick Coleman (third)
  • Shaquille O’Neal (third)
  • Mark Price (third)
  • Dominique Wilkins (third)

So how should we compare seasons? I use a simple scoring system that follows All-NBA voting – five points for first team, three points for second team and one point for third team.

With 14 points, the 2014 class leads.

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Of course, Jerry Colangelo hasn’t made his final cuts. I’m counting Lillard, and he might not even make the team. After all, with Curry, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and John Wall, the Americans are absolutely stacked.

Which is the point.

Russell Westbrook gets so hot, he has to cool himself down (video)

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NEW ORLEANS — Russell Westbrook hit 4-of-6 3-pointers in the third quarter.

This one apparently put him on fire to the point he had to cool himself off.

Stephen Curry literally lays down on defense to avoid ending up in Greek Freak poster (VIDEO)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 19:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks on in the first half of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center on February 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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It’s hard to find a new low for defense in an NBA All-Star Game.

But Stephen Curry was laying down on defense. Literally.

The result was a Giannis Antetokounmpo dunk and Curry ending up in the highlight anyway.

Russell Westbrook off the backboard to DeAndre Jordan for the dunk (VIDEO)

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Hey, DeAndre Jordan, where was this Saturday night during the Dunk Contest?

The Clippers’ big man threw down an off-the-backboard alley-oop from Russell Westbrook during the All-Star Game Sunday that was better than anything he did on Saturday night. Enjoy

LeBron James passes off backboard to himself for dunk (video)

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NEW ORLEANS — Even in a game conducive to highlights, LeBron James went above and beyond.