Team USA is gearing up for the 2012 London Olympics and, after taking off this past summer as the lockout dragged on, the men's basketball team is set to return to full force for this year's international tournament. This year's finalist roster, which will be pared down from 20, was released on Monday morning.
Among the 20 players included on the list are Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Deron Williams as all return from the gold medal winning team at the 2008 Olympics. Carlos Boozer, Jason Kidd, Tayshaun Prince and Michael Redd were all replaced on this year's roster after competing in the last Olympics for Team USA.
"I feel like we have an outstanding blend of talents from the 2008 Olympic and 2010 World Championship teams that won gold," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a press release. "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 and as we've done with our teams in the past, we'll attempt to select the very best team we can."
Along with Bryant, James, Howard and Paul, Team USA will include Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tyson Chandler, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Chauncey Billups and Derrick Rose.
The 20 players selected on Monday will go through a pair of training camps before final cuts are made prior to the team heading to London for this year's Olympics.