Team USA begins its preparation for the 2012 Summer Games this month. It will release the 18-man roster under consideration for final inclusion as the 2012 U.S men’s basketball team and ESPN reports that there will be some changes from the 2008 squad that won gold in Beijing. The new team will reportedly feature combined rosters from the 2008 Olympics team and the 2010 FIBA World Championships team that also won gold. The result? Blake Griffin is the only likely newcomer to the batch. From ESPN:
A source close to the process told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that four players from the 2008 Olympic team have been ruled out of consideration for the 18 2012 finalists. Those four are Chicago’s Carlos Boozer, Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince, Phoenix’s Michael Redd and Dallas’ Jason Kidd.
The source also said that Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin is likely the only player who wasn’t part of the 2008 Olympic squad or the 2010 world championship roster that will be considered for the 2012 roster in addition to the 20 players.
No real shock on those that were removed from consideration. Redd has undergone too many injuries, Prince is up there in age and Kidd even more so despite his huge role in the 2008 Olympics and Boozer is simply outclassed in terms of talent available. The 2008 team was notoriously star-studded, the so-called Redeem Team, while the 2010 FIBA team didn’t pack as much star punch, but did feature a more cohesive collection of players. Not better. Just more cohesive. It’ll be interesting to see who makes the cut and who doesn’t, especially with the 5,000 guards Jerry Colangelo and Coach K have to work out.