After several weeks of discussions about who would finally emerge on the U.S. Men’s Basketball team given all of the injury issues and the crazy off-season so far, the roster has been finalized.
During a special on NBA TV, the following NBA stars were announced as members of the team that will take on the world later this month in the London Olympic Games:
1. Kobe Bryant, G, Los Angeles Lakers
2. James Harden, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Chris Paul, G, Los Angeles Clippers
4. Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
5. Deron Williams, G, Brooklyn Nets
6. Carmelo Anthony, F, New York Knicks
7. Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Blake Griffin, F, Los Angeles Clippers
9. Andre Iguodala, F, Philadelphia 76ers
10. LeBron James, F, Miami Heat
11. Kevin Love, F, Minnesota Timberwolves
12. Tyson Chandler, C, New York Knicks
Obviously, the presence of the Oklahoma City Thunder is substantial, as it should be. After their unbelievable run to an NBA Finals appearance this spring, it makes sense for Jerry Colangelo to capitalize on the momentum and chemistry which James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook have playing together.
There are a few guys on the roster that still have some lingering injury issues including Chris Paul and Kevin Love, but there is enough depth throughout the roster, that these injuries won’t pose too much of a problem.
While Tyson Chandler stands alone as the only true back-to-basket post player on the roster due to LaMarcus Aldridge‘s injury issues and Dwight Howard‘s decision not to compete, a change in style to a more up-tempo and fast-paced style will likely be the adaptation to be put in place.
This lack of size down low could create potential issues against a team like Spain, who, with the Gasol brothers and other strong post players, could grind the pace down to a crawl and make things challenging for the Americans.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski has plenty of amazing pieces to work with and shouldn’t have much problem leading Team USA to yet another Olympic gold medal on the hardwoods of London later this month.
This team will look different than Olympic teams we’ve seen in the past, but it’s still one of the most talented collections of basketball players on the planet and one, that when on their game, should be very tough to beat.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.