Highlighted by LeBron James and Kevin Durant, USA Basketball announced this morning the 28-player pool for the next few summers. The pool was selected by Jerry Colangelo and Coach Mike K and features 14 veterans and 14 newcomers including Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond.
Durant and Love committed last summer to playing in this year’s tournament in Spain — which runs from Aug. 30-Sept. 14 — with Harden also expected to join them. Davis is considered another young cornerstone within USAB and is widely seen as another lock to be on the 12-man squad bound for Spain after going to the 2012 Olympics as a 12th man before he had even played an NBA game. Yahoo! Sports, meanwhile, reported Wednesday that Howard has also registered “an intent” to play in the World Cup later this summer after back surgery forced him to pull out of the London Games.
To go with those 14 players who have all already played for Krzyzewski at either the 2010 World Championships in Turkey or the Olympics — or both — USAB also named 14 players Thursday that have yet to appear in a game at the senior national team level.
Paul George, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard are the standouts from that group, but USAB has thrown in a few surprises by naming Cousins and Detroit’s blossoming big man Andre Drummondto the pool along with perimeter specialists Bradley Beal, Gordon Hayward, Klay Thompson and Korver, high-flying forward Kenneth Faried, versatile swingman Kawhi Leonard and the experienced David Lee. Griffin, though, would have been on the 2012 Olympic squad if not for an injury in practice that summer that opened the door for Davis.
The only member of Krzyzewski’s 2012 Olympic roster who will not continue in the program is Kobe Bryant, who reiterated earlier this week what he’s been saying for two years now: London was always earmarked to be his Team USA swansong.