The people in charge of USA Basketball and the ongoing editions of the “Dream Team” are going to announce a 28-man roster (which will get trimmed down) for the 2014 Basketball World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, which includes LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose among the veterans of previous Team USA squads, but also some new faces.
Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski will announce that some of the bigger name stars named to the expanded roster won’t be taking part in the 2014 World Cup in Spain. LeBron James announced last summer that he won’t be playing international basketball in 2014, but might consider coming back for the 2016 Olympics. He also skipped the 2010 World Cup roster, headlined by Kevin Durant, leading the team to the gold medal while winning the tournament’s MVP.
Kevin Durant has committed to playing for Team USA in the upcoming tournament, and so has Kevin Love; James Harden is also likely to join them. Some are surprised by the mention of Derrick Rose, who has hardly played basketball over the last two years, but that’s probably more of a long-term kind of thinking, hoping for him to be in form and healthy when it’s time to make up the team for the 2016 Olympic games. Dwight Howard is also probably intending on taking part of the 2014 World Cup after missing the 2012 Olympics due to back surgery.
The split between experienced players in international competition is 14-14. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, James Harden, Dwight Howard, Stephen Curry, Deron Williams, Tyson Chandler, Andre Iguodala and Anthony Davis on the side of guys who have already played; Paul George, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal, Gordon Hayward, Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver, Kenneth Faried, Kawhi Leonard and David Lee are waiting for their first major appearance for the national team. It’s worth mentioning that Griffin would have played in London if it wasn’t for an injury sustained during training camp.
As you can see, this isn’t only about picking the best players in the NBA, but also focusing on needs and specialists, like Korver and Thompson for outside shooting; Andre Drummond might be one of the best centers in the league when it’s time for the 2016 Olympics, so there’s also some future thought.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are both headed for free agency this summer and won’t return after winning the gold medal back in 2008. Kobe Bryant, who won the gold medals in 2008 and 2012 has already announced that he’s had enough of international basketball.