USA names its Olympic basketball line-up
BASKETBALL: The United States has unveiled its basketball line-up to compete in Rio, and as expected LeBron James and Steph Curry were the notable absentees.
Both players, who have six NBA MVP awards between them, feel they need to rest after contesting the recent NBA playoffs.
The US will instead be led by Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), backed by Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), DeAndre Jordan (LA Clippers), DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), and Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
“I’m anxious to get on the court and, along with my great coaching staff, get to work,” said US head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who will be heading to his third Olympics in charge.
“Since 2006 and including the last two Olympics, our players have represented themselves, the game and our country in an exemplary manner. I know this team will continue that standard.
“Looking at this team, our overall balance is what strikes me. We have lightning-quick guards who can score as well as distribute the basketball. We have great shooters and explosive scorers, we’re big and athletic, and I think we’ll really be able to defend.”
Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, John Wall and LaMarcus Aldridge were among the other NBA stars not selected.
The US men’s basketball team has collected a medal in all 17 Olympics in which it has competed, including 14 gold, one silver and two bronze.
The Americans have a 130-5 win-loss record – an all-time high in Olympic action – and since NBA players began representing the country in 1992, the US is 45-3 in six Olympics, capturing five gold medals and one bronze medal.
Currently, USA national teams enjoy a 63-game winning streak (45 straight wins in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions and 18 consecutive wins in exhibition games). The streaks date back to the bronze medal game (September 2006) of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
The USA also currently enjoys a 17-game Olympic winning streak that dates back to the bronze medal game of the 2004 Athens Olympics.