When USA Basketball sends a dozen players to the Olympics in London this summer, the roster will come from these 20 finalists, released by USA Basketball on Monday:
Guards: Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Chauncey Billups, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant
Forwards: LeBron James, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love.
Centers: Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler.
This is similar but a little expanded from the list leaked last week.
I don’t envy Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the cuts he has to make to get this down to 12. (Cuts he will have to make without a training camp as the Olympic roster has to be sent in by June 20, before the NBA finals likely end.) As I said before it really gets hard because I think you need to keep both Howard and Chandler on the roster at center to match up with the size that Spain will throw out there with Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka off the bench. Spain and the USA are the two clear favorites to meet in the Gold Medal game.
If you keep those two plus the sure things such as LeBron, Durant, ‘Melo, Bosh, Kobe, Wade, CP3 and Rose and suddenly you are down to two final spots for a lot of good players. I think you need Kevin Love (his game fits well with international ball). Then with that last spot do you take Griffin or Aldridge for size, Odom for versatility, E. Gordon because he can shoot or a slasher like Iguodala or Gay? Let go of Chandler so you can take two of them?
Tough choices. But that is going to be one stacked team?