In lieu of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, America's Mens Basketball roster has been finalized.
Led by the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder's Kevin Durant, the twelve-man roster features Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers; Klay Thompson,Draymond Green, and Harrison Barnes from the Golden State Warriors; Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan from the Toronto Raptors; Paul George from the Indiana Pacers; Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls; DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings; and DeAndre Jordan from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Notable absences from the team include LeBron James, who withdrew after his Cavaliers won the NBA championship; Russell Westbrook; Stephen Curry, who is taking the summer off to rest his knee and ankle injuries; Chris Paul; and James Harden.
With those withdrawals in mind, a serious case can be made that this year's team is leaving home more talent than they are bringing to Rio. Despite the missing names, though, the Mike Krzyzewski-coached Team USA has a straight path to winning gold for the third straight Olympic Games.
“We should be heavily favored,” Golden State’s Klay Thompson said. “I mean, 12 NBA stars, very unselfish guys, very versatile team, we definitely should be favored. It’s a disappointment if we don’t win gold.”
Anthony will likely take lead of the roster, as the Knicks star is now the first USA Mens Basketball player to appear in four Olympics -- a count that would have been matched by James had he opted-in to the team this summer. Anthony echoed Thompson's words.
"As far as the talent goes and the level of play, I'm pretty sure that that's still going to be the same," Anthony said. "We don't have as many of the big-name guys that we've had before, but I think so far this is a great group of guys and they're hungry. They want to play."