USA Basketball has released the names of the 28 NBA players who will vie for spots on the American side in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain this summer.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, here's the pool of players:
In tweets of seven: LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony, Bradley Beal, Tyson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins, Steph Curry and Anthony Davis— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 23, 2014
Another seven: Andre Drummond, Kevin Durant, Kenneth Faried, Paul George, Blake Griffin, James Harden and Gordon Hayward— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 23, 2014
Seven more: Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kyle Korver, David Lee and Kawhi Leonard— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 23, 2014
Last seven: Damian Lillard, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 23, 2014
Team USA later confirmed the 28-man roster:
LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony aren't likely to compete in August's World Cup, but plenty of NBA stars with previous experience on Team USA will be in the mix. That list includes Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, James Harden, Dwight Howard, Stephen Curry, Deron Williams, Tyson Chandler, Andre Iguodala and Anthony Davis.
Newcomers to international competition will also be in the running for a roster spot ultimately selected by coach Mike Krzyzewski. The potential first-timers include Paul George, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal, Gordon Hayward, Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver, Kenneth Faried, Kawhi Leonard and David Lee.
For Cousins, inclusion on this estimable list signals that sentiments about him—at least among peers—have changed significantly, according to Stein:
Remains to be seen how West coaches handle his All-Star candidacy but making Team USA player pool is an undeniable win for DeMarcus Cousins— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 22, 2014
Remember, there was a time not so long ago when it seemed like his immaturity and on-court demeanor would keep him far, far away from USA Basketball.
Kobe Bryant, who has essentially retired from international play, won't be among the 28 players in the pool. Per ESPN's Dave McMenamin, he didn't rule out attending the 2016 Olympics for more personal reasons, though:
Kobe says he won't play in the 2016 Olympics, but he might attend as a spectator to "see Pau win another silver medal"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 21, 2014
No NBA team had more players selected than the Golden State Warriors, who had four nominated.
There's no way to know if he heard the news before or after dropping a triple-double on the Boston Celtics, but John Wall was among the most notable exclusions from the pool. Apparently, USA Basketball is comfortable entrusting the point-guard spot to some combination of Rose, Westbrook, Curry, Williams, Lillard and Irving.
And when you read all those names in succession, who can blame them?
The World Cup will run for two weeks starting Aug. 30.