Eight 2008 Olympic gold medalists, 10 members of the 2010 USA World Championship gold medal winning team, one national team player and one newcomer to the USA Basketball National Team were among the 20 finalists named today for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. The official 12-man U.S. Olympic team roster will be announced later this year.
Named as a finalist for the 2012 USA team were: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets).
When asked about the 20 players revealed today, Managing Director of USA men’s basketball, Jerry Colangelo said:
The selected finalists are a very, very talented group; the depth of the talent is extraordinary. This selection decision was as difficult of a challenge as I’ve faced since I took on the USA National Team program in 2005…I feel like we have an outstanding blend of talents from the 2008 Olympic and 2010 World Championship teams that won gold. Reducing to the official roster limit of 12 players will be an even tougher decision, but we’ll evaluate how guys play during the 2011-12 NBA season and as we’ve done with our teams in the past, we’ll attempt to select the very best team we can.
It is unclear if all of those selected will still be interested come the summer but for the core of Bryant, Durant, Wade, Howard, Anthony, and James this is likely their last tour of duty. Paul, Rose, Love and Griffin are very likely to make the final 12 for reasons that should be obvious leaving the team with two potential roster spots.
The team would be best served with another big (Aldridge, Bosh, or Chandler) and one more wing player (Gay or Iguodala). With this thinking two very deserving guards (Williams and Westbrook) would be left off the roster.
Colangelo has a very difficult decision to make, lets see if any of the selected 20 make it easy for him this summer.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com