Five members of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors have been named among the list of 30 finalists announced Monday for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala represent the Warriors as finalists, the most from any NBA team.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans are three-time Olympic medalists who are attempting to make a historical fourth U.S. Olympic men’s team.All five Warriors have prior USA Basketball National Team experience, with Iguodala earning Olympic and FIBA World Championship gold, and Curry and Thompson also collecting gold in FIBA competition.
The player selections were approved by the USA Basketball board of directors. The official 12-member 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster will be announced later this year.
According to Yahoo! Sports, USA Basketball is tentatively scheduled to begin training camp in Las Vegas on July 18 and will play as many as five exhibitions, which are expected to all be in the United States.
The other finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team includes: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (Spurs); Kevin Love (Cavaliers); Chris Paul (Clippers); John Wall (Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Thunder).
Duke’s Naismith Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski again leads the 2016 USA coaching staff.
Serving as USA assistant coaches are Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams (Thunder).
“It seems like I say this each time we have to narrow down a roster, but I am struck by the remarkable commitment the players in the USA Basketball National Team program continue to display and the enthusiasm they have for representing their country,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005, said in a statement.
“The depth of talent that exists in the national team program is extraordinary. Repeating as gold medalists at the 2016 Olympics will not be easy, but we feel confident that we have 30 finalists who offer amazing basketball abilities and special versatility. We’re also fortunate that the roster is comprised of so many veterans of international basketball. In addition to 18 players who have won Olympic and/or World Cup gold medals, there are 16 finalists who have played between 20 and 72 games for USA Basketball. That experience is extremely valuable and something we’ve not always had available to draw upon.
“Obviously selecting the official roster of 12 players for the Olympics in 2016 will be a very, very difficult process. As has been the case with past USA Basketball teams, the goal once again is to select the very best team possible to represent the United States.”
Krzyzewski has coached USA National teams to a 52-1 record in official FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions since 2006, while also compiling a 23-0 mark in exhibition games and leading teams to gold medal finishes at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, 2012 London Olympics, 2010 FIBA World Championship, 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship.
Coach K echoed Colangelo’s comments on the difficulty in selecting a roster.
“This selection process was difficult from the start, and obviously it is only going to get more difficult as we look to get to the official, 12-man roster,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m excited about the possibilities this team has. Among the finalists we have multiple players who won gold medals at the Olympic or World Cup level. The roster of finalists features incredible talent, great balance, outstanding leadership, and I believe like we had with our previous teams, this team will have a special chemistry.
“Having a deep, very talented, and extremely versatile roster is of critical importance in our pursuit of the Olympic gold medal in Rio. All of the players who have been part of the national team program should be recognized and commended for their commitment and contributions, acknowledged for their willingness to do whatever asked and for representing the United States in such outstanding fashion.”
Anthony (2004 bronze and 2008 and 2012 gold) and James (2004 bronze and 2008 and 2012 gold) are three-time Olympic medalists, while Paul (2008 and 2012) is a two-time Olympic gold medalist seeking to become one of four (Anthony, James and David Robinson) three-time U.S. Olympic players.
Nine players from the gold medal winning 2012 U.S. Olympic team that went 8-0 in London remain in contention for the 2016 U.S. Olympic squad, including Anthony, Davis, Durant, Harden, Iguodala, James, Love, Paul and Westbrook. Anthony, Howard, James and Paul also were members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that compiled an 8-0 record and captured gold in Beijing. Additionally, Anthony and James earned bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The finalists represent 17 different NBA teams, with the Cavaliers and Clippers each feature three players.
Retiring Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant removed his name from consideration last week for a spot on the U.S. team for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer. He won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012.
The USA National Team’s complete training schedule for 2016 will be announced at a later date.