NBA’s James, Curry set for Olympic camp
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.