As the United States Olympic basketball team opened a week-long training camp in Las Vegas, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul injured his thumb. ESPN reports that Paul has to get an X-ray after injuring it, and the injury does not appear to be serious.
With Chris Paul getting injured, it adds another player to a U.S. team that has been struggling with injuries. Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade have already all pulled out of the Olympics due to injury. No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Anthony Davis is also sitting out due to a sprained ankle that happened during his first Hornets practice.
That leaves USA chairman Jerry Colangelo and his coaching staff with only cut three players to cut, as 15 players are trying out for 12 roster spots. The roster is set to be announced Saturday night.
Only five of the 12 players from the 2008 gold medal team return, with none of the big men returning. Some believe the lack of quality big men is one of the biggest weaknesses heading into this summer's Olympics.
As we anticipate the final 12 players announced into the U.S. national team, the coaching staff consisting of Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan have a tough task ahead of them, as anything short of gold will surely disappoint the United States.
According to USA Basketball, the current finalists on the 2012 U.S. men's basketball team are:
- C Tyson Chandler (NYK)
- F LeBron James (MIA) (Returning from '08)
- F Carmelo Anthony (NYK) (Returning from '08)
- F Kevin Durant (OKC)
- F Blake Griffin (LAC)
- F Rudy Gay (MEM)
- F Kevin Love (MIN)
- F Anthony Davis (University of Kentucky)
- G Kobe Bryant (LAL) (Returning from '08)
- G Chris Paul (LAC) (Returning from '08)
- G Deron Williams (BKN) (Returning from '08)
- G Eric Gordon (NOH) [RFA]
- G/F Andre Iguodala (PHI)
- G James Harden (OKC)
- G Russell Westbrook (OKC)