New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and center Tyson Chandler are among the 20 finalists to represent the U.S. when it defends its 2008 basketball gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London this year.
The 20 National Basketball Association players include eight members of the team that won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and 10 members of the squad that won the 2010 World Championships, USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced yesterday on the team’s website. The final 12-man roster will be selected later this year.
“The depth of talent is extraordinary,” said Colangelo, who has been the team’s managing director since 2005. “Reducing to the official roster limit of 12 players will be an even tougher decision, but we’ll evaluate how guys play during the 2011-12 NBA season.”
The 2012 Summer Games will take place from July 27-Aug. 12. The men’s basketball tournament will consist of 12 teams, with the finals held on the last day of the Olympics, according to the website.
The Miami Heat (Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James) and Los Angeles Clippers (Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Blake Griffin) lead NBA teams with three finalists each. Griffin, at 22 the youngest on the list, and Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge are the only finalists yet to play an international game.
Team USA will be coached by Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski, who is 48-1 since taking over the team in 2006. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan and Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim will be Krzyzewski’s assistants.
Beijing Gold Medal
In 2008, Team USA went 5-0 in group play, and won all three games in the final tournament, including a 118-107 victory against Spain in the gold medal game. Carlos Boozer, Jason Kidd, Tayshaun Prince and Michael Redd were the only players on that roster not named as finalists this year.
Four finalists, James, Anthony, Wade and Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom, also played in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, where the team won a bronze medal.
Team USA has collected a medal in all 16 Olympics in which it has participated, with 13 gold, one silver and two bronze medals, according to the website. The team is 122-5 in Olympic action.
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