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USA confirm Rio 'Dream Deam' line-up

2016-06-28 08:27
2016 Rio Olympics logo (File)

New York - LeBron James, who cemented his status as an NBA great in leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the championship this month, won't play for the USA at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

USA Basketball named a 12-man squad for the Games on Monday that didn't include James, confirming last week's reports that he had withdrawn from consideration for the team.

Cleveland star guard Kyrie Irving, who played a key role alongside James in bringing the first sports title to Cleveland since 1964 with the Cavs' seven-game NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors, is on the 12-man squad that will try to bring a third straight Olympic gold home to the United States.

Irving was the Most Valuable Player in the 2014 FIBA Cup.

The New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony becomes the first man to represent USA Basketball in four Olympics and will try to become the first American man with three gold medals after playing on victorious US teams in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

And Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant will go for another gold four years after setting a US Olympic record with an average of 19.5 points per game in London.

"I think I can speak for the entire coaching staff and say we're extremely excited about the team we will field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro," said Jerry Colangelo, managing director of the USA Men's national team.

"I love our depth, which is another indication of the depth of talent our national team program is blessed with. We've got a great mix of talent, scorers, past gold medal winners and outstanding youth."

The squad also includes Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors - who racked up a record 73 regular-season wins before falling to Cleveland in the title series.

Nine players - Anthony, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Durant, Paul George, Green, Kyle Lowry and Thompson - were 2016 NBA All-Stars.

"Looking at this team, our overall balance is what strikes me," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

"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."

But the talent pool has been reduced by a raft of defections by NBA stars, with James topping the list of those opting out.

"I could use the rest," James told Cleveland.com last week, citing the grind of having logged so much court time through six consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

NBA Most Valuable Player and scoring leader Stephen Curry of Golden State said during the finals that he would not play in Rio.

Star guards Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers and James Harden of Houston also backed out of consideration, as did San Antonio forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Washington forward John Wall, Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis of New Orleans and Portland's Damian Lillard.

USA Basketball 12-man squad for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics announced on Monday:

Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)

Read more on:    olympics 2016  |  basketball

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