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Jerry Colangelo says Team USA roster to be selected in June

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo confirmed Wednesday that he's sticking to his plan to unveil the 12-man roster that will represent the United States at the Rio Olympics in late June.

Appearing as USAB's representative at the U.S. Olympic Committee's quadrennial media summit in advance of the Summer Games, Colangelo reiterated what he's been saying since August about choosing a final roster without holding tryouts in July, telling ESPN that "I never wanted to put a player in a position where he was so-called 'cut.'"

"It is the deepest," Colangelo said in a sitdown with ESPN after his news conference, referring to the 31 players currently in the national team player pool and his decade-plus in charge of the program alongside Duke and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"Let's put it this way: If we brought 'em all to camp and then we decided which 12, that would be really difficult, because we'd have to deal with them one-on-one. We said we would do the following: We would look at this season and the outcome of their seasons, their health status, their state of mind, whatever, and come to a conclusion on the 12.

"No one gets cut; people are selected."

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and his New York Knicks counterpart Carmelo Anthony remain in the player pool and will have the shared opportunity this summer to become the first four-time U.S. Olympians in men's basketball as well as the first three-time gold medalists along with Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul.

Anthony told reporters this week that he indeed still wants to go to Brazil, despite being plagued by soreness in his surgically repaired left knee throughout the season. But Colangelo says he hasn't been contacting any players for updates on their willingness to make themselves available this summer.

"I'm not really talking to any of the players relative to where are they in terms of their thought process," said Colangelo, who in December joined the Philadelphia 76ers as chairman of basketball operations in addition to his duties with USAB and overseeing the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"When I see players it's more about relationships and being cordial and so on and so forth. ‎There will come a time and place when we will have conversations and then we'll know. At some point I need to know."

Asked how close he is to knowing the 12-man roster already, Colangelo said: "I play that game in my own mind almost every day. And it changes every other day in my mind. We've got so many great players and they all want to participate. We may be in for a surprise or two at the end of the day, where someone is not going to make themselves available, but because of the depth on this roster, we could take a few hits and still be in great shape.

"So I'm just keeping all my options open. And I'm interested always to hear other people's opinions, but you can trust me: I'll make the final decision based on what I think is right for us in conjunction with Coach K and our staff ... what's the best 12 to put us in the best position to be successful? And I'll go right back to something we said many years ago. It's not an All-Star team. It's: 'Let's put a group together that puts us in this best position to win.'"

Sporting a 75-1 record under Krzyzewski and coming off a strong performance at the 2014 FIBA World Cup despite sending a team weakened by multiple player withdrawals, Team USA ranks as a very heavy favorite in Rio to win its third successive gold medal since a humbling bronze-medal finish at the 2004 Athens Games in Greece.

As with 2004 in Athens, Team USA plans to house its players in Brazil from both the men's and women's basketball teams on a cruise ship docked in Rio to ensure maximum security.

"We have sent our people [to Rio] on four or five occasions," Colangelo said. "We have researched everything we could on accommodations. And we made our decision as to what we're going to do.

"Bear in mind that, since '92, [USAB's] basketball teams haven't stayed in the Olympic Village. Also bear in mind that basketball is one of only two sports that runs the entire length of the Olympic [Games].

"Because of the high visibility of our athletes, we're better served by [going] above and beyond what the Olympic people provide for us in the way of security and so forth. We do our own things to make sure we've protected our people. There's a big investment here that we'll have in Rio. ... We will not be in the Village, but our players will be in there a lot, like they have been in the last two Olympics."

Colangelo told ESPN that, to this point, he hasn't "heard one question from any of our players" raising concerns about the Zika virus or the widely reported water issues in the host country that have received increasing media coverage in recent months.

"First of all, we feel very confident that we're being taken care of, in the sense that the different organizations who are dealing with this health issue or problem are doing everything they possibly can," Colangelo said.

"If we felt we were putting our people in jeopardy, that would be one thing. There's never been any discussion about it being to that degree or extent. So, personally, I feel very comfortable about where we are, because we have everyone looking out for our best interests, for all the Olympic people representing the United States. There's a lot at stake there."

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who has played his way into contention for a spot on the Rio roster thanks to his rise to All-Star status this season, told ESPN Radio during All-Star Weekend: "I don't think it's much of a concern at all, because one thing we know [is] the NBA and USA Basketball will always do whatever it is in our best interests. If it means [playing in Rio would] put lives in danger, they would never do it. So I don't think many players are worried about it at all."

After the team is chosen, Krzyzewski is scheduled to gather the squad in Las Vegas in mid-July for a brief training camp, with exhibition games to follow in Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago and Houston before the Yanks head to Rio in early August.

As for Krzyzewski, who is making his coaching farewell with the national team in Rio before ceding the position to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and moving into an advisory role for the 2019 World Cup in China and 2020 Tokyo Games, Colangelo said: "Coach K is going to be my assistant in all that we do, so he stays involved."