USA Basketball’s Changing Faces




VIDEO: Kevin Durant is the present and future face of USA Basketball

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Roster turnover has been the hallmark of USA Basketball’s program under the leadership of managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski. From one group of stars to the next, the brain trust of the organization has found ways to integrate the next generation of stars into the perfect mix with the already existing core group of stars that helped revitalize the program into the world’s most dominant group.

And this latest incarnation, the 28-man 2014-16 Men’s National Team roster announced this morning, includes a whopping 12 Olympic  gold medalists and a perfect blend of next generation stars (Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Paul GeorgeDeMarcus Cousins, etc.), current NBA superstars with extensive USA Basketball experience (Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Stephen Curry and LaMarcus Aldridge, etc.) and program stalwarts (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard).

As my colleague John Schuhmann points out, continuity is the greatest strength for USA Basketball now. The blend of 14 veterans and 14 newcomers on the National Team roster reflects that continuing effort from Colangelo and Coach K to build a program capable of functioning for years to come, as the names and faces of the stars in the player pool change.

Veterans Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are no longer a part of the player pool but that opens the door for up and coming stars like Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond to see if and where they fit.

“This roster is the strongest roster we’ve ever had,” Colangelo said during a Thursday morning teleconference.

It should be when you consider all of the talent they had to choose from. A 12-man roster for this summer’s World Cup, which starts in late August in Spain, and the 2016 Olympics in Rio will need come from this 28-man group, though Colangelo and Coach K were quick to mention that the mix remains fluid and that things could change.

“The pool is fluid,” Krzyzewski said. “Nothing is concrete. Life is fluid and especially life in the NBA.”

Veteran stars Durant, Love and James Harden have already committed to playing in Spain. Indiana’s George and London gold medalist Davis is also believed to be one of the frontrunner’s for one of those 12-spots on the World Cup roster.

But there are no guarantees.

“We don’t talk about locks because its unfair to all of the great players we have on our roster,” Colangelo said when asked specifically about George, who is expected to be announced later today as an Eastern Conference All-Star starter. “But suffice it to say we fell in love with [George] when we brought him into one of our camps and few years back. He’s become one of the outstanding young players in the NBA. His versatility makes him a very valuable asset on any team. If you’re talking odds, he’s probably a good bet. But again no one has a lock. All of our people know they have to earn it.”

The most interesting part of the selection process will involve the big men, where the numbers have filled out considerably since the last time the National Team was headed to a competition.

“We’re excited about the post because we have more guys than we’ve had before,” Krzyzewski said. “Aldridge, Cousins … for Dwight Howard to be back with the group, he was such an integral part of the Beijing Olympics. And one of the merging stars in the NBA in Anthony Davis. It’s more big guys than we’ve had before. In London, at the end of the gold medal game, my four and five were Carmelo and LeBron James, and that’s not bad. But hopefully, all of these guys are healthy and don’t have any contract or health issues … that would be utopia.”

As the rest of the international competition will attest, having a fluid 28-player pool like the one Colangelo and Coach K will choose from certainly qualifies as a basketball utopia. Changing faces while maintaining continuity in the program at the same time.



VIDEO: Anthony Davis is one of the new faces of USA Basketball

10 Comments

  1. jake s. says:

    its not the all-star game. its not just flair it is proving you are the best. cut harden Insert westbrook.

  2. bibbokoyan26 says:

    STARTERS:

    CP3
    JAMES
    DURANT
    LOVE
    HOWARD

    BENCH:

    CURRY
    HARDEN
    ANTHONY
    DAVIS
    ALDRIDGE

    RESERVES:

    LILLARD
    PARSONS
    COUSINS

    ….balanced line-up

  3. Saggy B says:

    Who cares… Give ‘em helmets and let them play on turf

  4. IDOL says:

    Please forgive me….

    I would put KEVIN LOVE instead of Anthony Davis^^^

  5. IDOL says:

    Starters
    Chris Paul
    James Harden
    Lebron James
    Kevin Durant
    Dwight Howard

    Bench
    Steph Curry
    Paul George
    Chandler Parsons (a poor man’s Paul George, all around type of player which is perfect for a team of all stars)
    Carmelo Anthony
    Lamarcus Aldridge
    Anthony Davis
    Kyrie Irving

    This team will definitely destroy competition even more than they did in both Beijing and London.

  6. emevipeelad234 says:

    w, you don’t know nothing about basketball. almost every team has a chance against them especially on 1 game.

  7. w says:

    These national championships shouldnt even be a competetion for US to win, look at that roster, no other country in the world stands a chance.

    Spain and france got good teams, but are far from good enough to beat US.

  8. J4CK Nicholson says:

    Starting 5:

    PG – Chris Paul
    SG – Paul George
    SF – LeBron James
    PF – Kevin Durant
    C – Dwight Howard

    Bench:

    PG – Kyrie Irving
    SG – James Harden
    SF – Carmelo Anthony
    PF – DeMarcus Cousins
    C – Tyson Chandler

    Reserves:

    PG/SG – Russell Westbrook
    PF/C – LaMarcus Aldridge

    I believe this lineup has players that can play multiple positions, enough PG’s and bigs, can still run and gun and most importantly will mesh together. What do you think guys?

  9. Dan says:

    ehhh about the centre…sure D.Howard is on..though Anthony Davis is a bggest guy….what about Hibbert? or is he aint USA citizen? If so I rather having Hibbert over Anthony Davis. A.Davis sure a great big center players but Hibbert got more deepers experiences than A,Davis.

    CP3, L.James, K.Durant, D.Howard, L.Aldrige/K.Loves (hard to decide between them two one great 3 pointers and rebounder and one great post offensives and big guy)

    K.Irving, D.Lillard, D.Rose, C.Anthony, R.Hibbert, P.George, S.Curry, A,Drummond, A.Davis, J.Harden, C,Parson

    R.Westbrook (i’m not really a big fan of him really…I just dont want him and rather someone else replace him)

    Well thats for now i can think of at the moment..for the lock