The USA National Basketball Team announced 16 finalists for the FIBA World Cup roster today. Former Duke guard Kyrie Irving and center Mason Plumlee both will be vying for a spot when training resumes Aug. 14 in Chicago.
A full rundown of the selections:
- Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets)
- Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
- Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
- James Harden (Houston Rockets)
- Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)
- DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
- Demar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
- Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
- Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
- Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
- Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks)
- Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks)
- Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo and USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski covered the roster decisions in a teleconference earlier today. Colangelo said there is reason for optimism despite a devastating leg injury suffered by Paul George (Indiana Pacers) in the Las Vegas scrimmage.
“Until the injury to Paul George, we had a great week,” Colangelo said. “Maybe one of the best weeks we’ve ever had.
“We needed a few days to just sit back and let some time go by… players are all on board. They recognize injuries and sports go together unfortunately.”
Krzyzewski echoed Colangelo and said he felt the team practiced harder than any of the previous camps.
“I don’t think they’ll need motivation,” Krzyzewski said. “They’ll want to do something to honor Paul.”
Washington Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal as well as Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap were released from the team. Despite Wall and Beal being left off the roster, Irving will still be competing for playing time.
“Certainly we’re heavy in outstanding talent at the guard spot, one and the two,” Krzyzewski said. “Guys have to be ready to play both.”
Krzyzewski noted the team could use Irving’s offensive and shooting skills in international play, something he has displayed in his first three years with the Cavs.
Plumlee comes as a bit of a surprise. He started the Las Vegas training camp as a member of the USA Select Team, but his performance impressed the coaching staff enough to add him.
“We needed to bring all our big guys forward and take a better look at the big guys,” Krzyzewski said. “He (Plumlee) made a mark during the week and the second half of the scrimmage. He did very well. He’s in consideration. No question.”
Team USA finalists will practice Aug. 14-15 in Chicago and play an exhibition game against Brazil at the United Center Aug. 16.