The U.S. men’s national basketball team began to take shape on Wednesday as 19 players were named to the squad.
This list of players includes notable names such as last season’s league MVP Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, James Harden, and Paul George. It is a team that has a solid mixture of seasoned veterans and young talented players such as Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, DeMarcus Cousins, and Chandler Parsons.
One interesting name from the list of players is Rose, who missed most of last year and all of the season prior due to two separate knee injuries. His addition to the team all but assures that his progression in his recovery is on the right track and a definite positive sign for the Chicago Bulls this upcoming season, as they have championship aspirations in a now-wide open Eastern Conference.
Another player to watch closely is Griffin, as he was forced to miss the 2012 Olympics due to a left knee injury that required surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The 25-year-old is coming off his most productive season in the NBA as he finished third in MVP voting as he averaged a career-best 24.1 points to go along with 9.5 rebounds per game, and played a huge part in the Los Angeles Clippers’ success with a franchise-best 57 regular season wins.
There are also some big names that have chosen to sit out this summer’s World Cup in Chris Paul, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook, but all are expected to be in the mix come the 2016 Olympics. One player that may be off the list in 2016 could be LaMarcus Aldridge, as he withdrew from this year’s team because he appears to want to avoid injury as he enters the final year of his contract in the 2014-15 season.
Despite a few superstars electing to skip out on this year’s World Cup, the team is still filled with plenty of talent and will remain the favorite to win the championship in Spain later this month. Training camp is set to begin on July 28 in Las Vegas, and several tune-up games will be played prior to the start of the tournament.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Bob Garcia IV
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