Injury-hit US finalise Olympic squad
The injury-hit United States named their 12-man basketball squad for the London Olympics yesterday with Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala and James Harden nabbing the final three spots available.
“We projected we would have difficulty getting down to a roster of 12, regardless of the number of injuries that have taken place, because they are such an outstanding group of people and athletes,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said.
“The final selections keep us in concert with our game plan to have athleticism, versatility and strong depth on our roster.
“I think our final squad epitomises all of that.”
LeBron James, coming off his first NBA title with Miami, will be joined by 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning team-mates Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams on the squad once again guided by Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski.
NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City team-mate Russell Westbrook, who lost to Miami Heat in the NBA final a few weeks ago, will be joined by 2010 World Championship team-mates Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love, two vital big men for the Americans.
Missing out as the final selection was made were Eric Gordon, Rudy Gay and top draft selection Anthony Davis of New Orleans, who could not practise last week because of a sprained ankle.
Krzyzewski echoed Colangelo’s comments on the difficulty of selecting the team, despite injuries that ruled out such NBA stars as centre Dwight Howard, guards Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade, and forward Chris Bosh.
“It’s the best challenge that you could have, because everyone has been so committed,” he said.
The US basketball training camp in Las Vegas will run through Thursday, ending with a game against the Dominican Republic.