Announcement made just hours after exhibition win over Puerto Rico…
USA Basketball have made the final cuts to their roster for the FIBA World Cup 2014, with Damian Lillard and Chandler Parsons amongst those to miss out.
Kyle Korver and Gordon Hayward were also released from the USA camp on Friday, leaving DeAndre DeRozan and Andre Drummond to stay with the team ahead of travelling to Spain after being widely regarded as prime candidates to be left behind.
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski conceded that it was important to have options in terms of big men, particularly through a tournament that will see the team play nine games between August 30 and September 14, including a potentially huge clash with hosts Spain at the conclusion of the competition.
“Since taking over the USA Basketball men’s national team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve gone through,” USAB chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement.
“I can’t stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent; each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing.”
Krzyzewski added that he was excited about the versatility that he has at his disposal and the strength in depth he has defensively to compliment the offensive threats that he will have available.
Nevertheless, it has been a difficult process for USA Basketball, particularly given the number of withdrawals over the past month which has ensured the selection process has been more difficult in many aspects.
Paul George suffered an unfortunate compound leg fracture during an exhibition game earlier this month while the likes of Kevin Love and Kevin Durant have left camp due to trade talks and fatigue respectively.
However, Team USA are still considered the favourites to prevail in Spain and will be confident that they have enough in their 12-man roster to go all the way.
Team USA FIBA World Cup roster:
Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kenneth Faried, Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson, Rudy Gay, Mason Plumlee, DeMar DeRozan and Andre Drummond.