Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are among the star-studded names highlighting the Team USA training camp roster, announced Monday by USA Basketball.
Team USA will again be coached by Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University. Camp begins July 28 in Las Vegas, with the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup set for Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. The Team USA roster will be trimmed to 12 players prior to the World Cup.
Krzyzewski and Team USA won gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, as well as the 2010 World Cup. The winner of this year’s World Cup receives an automatic bid to the 2016 Olympics.
The World Cup comes at the end of a busy summer of NBA free agency, which saw star LeBron James leave the Miami Heat to join Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Love has also been at the center of trade talks for most of the off-season, as he has indicated he will not sign a contract extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015.
Meanwhile, Durant has had a quiet summer after the Oklahoma City Thunder star was named league MVP.
Either way, the international competition provides a break from all the rumor-mill buzz, as everyone in uniform represents the USA and USA only.
Some camp roster notes:
— Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who missed all but 10 games last season with a knee injury, is perhaps the most inspirational story at the camp. Rose is a former league MVP who just landed a new teammate in ex-Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol.
— James is among the notable absentees. Also not taking part are Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge and San Antonio Spurs forward and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
— Colangelo noted via written release: "I am also pleased about the addition of DeMar DeRozan and Chandler Parsons to the USA National Team and to the 2014 training camp. Both played well in last summer’s USA Basketball National Team mini-camp and went on to record outstanding NBA seasons."
— The 19 players in camp represent 18 NBA teams. Only the Golden State Warriors, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, placed more than one player in the camp.
— Krzyzewski will again be assisted by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams and Syracuse University’s Jim Boeheim.
— All 19 players in camp attended at least one year of college before entering the NBA. That may not sound like news, but given Team USA’s recent history of the likes of James, Kobe Bryant, etc., it is a somewhat interesting fact.
— Following training camp, a Blue-White exhibition game will be held Aug. 1 in Las Vegas. The selected team will then get a 12-day break before reconvening in Chicago for a mini-camp Aug. 14-15. Team USA will then play an exhibition vs. Brazil in Chicago (Aug. 16), followed by exhibitions vs. the Dominican Republic (Aug. 20) and Puerto Rico (Aug. 22). Both of the latter games will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York.
USA TRAINING CAMP ROSTER
Point guards: Stephen Curry (Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers); Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers); Derrick Rose (Bulls).