Finalists for USA men’s Olympic basketball team named
Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge made it very hard for Team USA officials.
It was deemed too difficult to select only 18 finalists for the U.S. Olympic team, so 20 were unveiled Monday.
Griffin and Aldridge jumped onto a short list of players trying to represent the U.S. in London this year. They had not been included in Team USA’s plans until this month.
The addition of Griffin symbolizes his growing acclaim as a player and personality for the Clippers. At age 22, he is the youngest finalist. Aldridge has made significant strides this season with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was a shoo-in as a finalist. Clippers guards Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups were also selected, along with former Lakers forward Lamar Odom, now with the Dallas Mavericks.
Other finalists were former Clippers guard Eric Gordon; former UCLA players Kevin Love (Minnesota) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City); New York forward Carmelo Anthony, Miami forward Chris Bosh, New York center Tyson Chandler, Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant, Memphis forward Rudy Gay, Orlando center Dwight Howard, Philadelphia forward Andre Iguodala, Miami forward LeBron James, Chicago guard Derrick Rose, Miami guard Dwyane Wade and New Jersey guard Deron Williams.
It’s a pretty stacked selection, even though it will be pared to a final roster of 12 players on June 18.
Team USA Coach Mike Krzyzewski said it would be “the most talented of the three teams that I’ve had the opportunity to coach.”
Added USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo: “We are loaded in terms of our pipeline.”
Most of the roster cuts will be at point guard, the most-staffed position on Monday’s list.
The team will begin a weeklong training camp in Las Vegas on July 5 and begin Olympic play in late July.
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