NBA’s James, Curry set for Olympic camp

The China Post - - SPORTS -

LeBron James and Steph Curry, op­po­nents in this year’s NBA Fi­nals, were among 34 NBA play­ers named Thurs­day by USA Bas­ket­ball as par­tic­i­pants in this week­end’s Olympic mini-camp in Las Ve­gas.

Reign­ing NBA Most Valu­able Player Curry led the Golden State War­riors to the NBA ti­tle over James and the Cleve­land Cava­liers in June’s best-of-seven fi­nal.

Last year he helped the U.S. win the Bas­ket­ball World Cup to clinch a berth in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

USA Bas­ket­ball na­tional team man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jerry Colan­gelo said that play­ers who wanted con­sid­er­a­tion for the Rio squad needed to at­tend the work­outs next Tues­day through Thurs­day, when a public scrim­mage will be staged.

“This year’s mini­camp is an op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue and ex­pand the brother­hood and ca­ma­raderie that has been built,” said Colan­gelo, who has over­seen the squad since 2005.

“The mini­camp is go­ing to be low key with light work­outs, no con­tact and the USA Bas­ket­ball Show­case will be a fun all-star type game.”

The work­out ros­ter in­cludes eight new­com­ers, 11 play­ers from the World Cup cham­pi­ons and eight mem­bers of the 2012 Lon­don Olympic gold medal squad.

Four-time NBA Most Valu­able Player James, New York’s Carmelo An­thony and Chris Paul of the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers are back af­ter play­ing on the 2008 Bei­jing and 2012 Lon­don gold medal teams.

Also back from win­ning Lon­don gold are Kevin Du­rant and Rus­sell West­brook of Ok­la­homa City, Cleve­land’s Kevin Love, Hous­ton’s James Har­den and New Or­leans’ An­thony Davis while Hous­ton’s Dwight How- ard is back from the Bei­jing gold medal­ists.

Among the World Cup cham­pi­onship team mem­bers in the camp are Sacra­mento’s Rudy Gay and DeMar­cus Cousins, Detroit’s An­dre Drum­mond, Den­ver’s Ken­neth Faried, Cleve­land’s Kyrie Irv­ing, Port­land’s Ma­son Plum­lee and Golden State’s Klay Thompson.

Other pro­gram vet­er­ans in­clude Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Clip­pers’ Blake Grif­fin, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Utah’s Gor­don Hayward, Dal­las’ Chan­dler Par­sons and San An­to­nio’s LaMar­cus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard.

Also back is In­di­ana’s Paul Ge­orge, who suf­fered a bro­ken leg at a train­ing camp for last year’s World Cup that wiped out his 2014-15 NBA sea­son.

New­com­ers to the camp join­ing the U.S. pro­gram for the first time next week are NBA cham­pion Golden State’s Har­ri­son Barnes and Dray­mond Green, Chicago’s Jimmy Walker, Mem­phis’ Mike Con­ley, Mil­wau­kee’s Michael Carter-Wil­liams, Or­lando’s To­bias Harris and Vic­tor Oladipo plus DeAn­dre Jor­dan of the Clip­pers.

“All of them en­joyed out­stand­ing NBA sea­sons in 2014-15 and have been on our radar for a while,” Colan­gelo said.

The over­all camp lineup in­cludes the NBA’s top 10 scor­ers, six of its top 12 re­bound­ers and seven of the top 11 play­ers in as­sists from last sea­son.

Duke Univer­sity coach Mike Krzyzewski is set to re­turn as coach for a third con­sec­u­tive Olympics.

Since the re­vamped U.S. pro­gram be­gan in 2005 fol­low a 2004 Athens bronze medal, the Amer­i­cans are 75-1, the lone loss to Greece in a 2006 World Cham­pi­onships semi­fi­nal in Ja­pan.

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