USA hoops reveals 28-player pool
USA Basketball announced Thursday its 28-player pool for the next three summers that features a wide variety of American standouts, stretching from Miami's reigning MVP LeBron James to mercurial Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins to Atlanta Hawks shooting specialist Kyle Korver.
USA Basketball player pool
The 28-player pool for USA Basketball is evenly split between 14 Team USA vets and 14 newcomers.
The pool, chosen by USAB chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski, is headlined by well-known stars such as James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony -- none of whom are expected to compete at the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain. It also includes a number of the game's rising talents while also keeping injured Team USA vets Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook in the fold.
Colangelo and Krzyzewski will choose 12-man rosters for both the World Cup, which starts in late August, and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
"This roster is extremely talented, deep and versatile," Colangelo said in a statement.
"Continuity and familiarity with international basketball are critical parts in our success, and between our coaching staff and these 28 players we certainly have that. Every one of the selected players has been involved in USA Basketball previously and that speaks to how well our pipeline is working."
ESPN.com had obtained a copy of the complete 28-man list Wednesday night.
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Although it was repeatedly stressed that the names are fluid, chances are strong that the 12-man roster for the World Cup will come from the 28 players presently in the pool, Marc Stein writes. Blog
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 Drummond to 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.
Team USA player pool
USA hoops revealed its 28-player pool for the next three years. Who are the best players on the list of 28? Rank »
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.
The Miami duo of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who helped the United States win gold as far back as the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, are both headed for free agency this summer and were likewise not expected to be part of the national team pool.
Team USA will get the summer of 2015 off only if it wins the World Cup in Spain. If the Americans finish second or worse, they will have to participate in 2015 qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics