Menu
Home

Basketball

Kevin Durant likely to lead U.S. squad at world championships

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh focused on building their own NBA Dream Team in Miami, USA Basketball unveiled a Plan B line-up on Wednesday for next month's world championships.

While James, Wade and Bosh were all key members of the United States' gold medal-winning team at the Beijing Olympics they will not be part of the American effort in Istanbul.

Instead, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo revealed a young squad that is likely to be led by the NBA's leading scorer last season, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma Thunder.

"We had some difficult decisions," Colangelo said during a conference call. "The identity of the team is still evolving but it is pretty obvious we're going to be very athletic.

"We're going to be very strong in the back court. We think we've got a number of people who can shoot the ball and so we're pleased with our progress to date."

While the U.S. line-up lacks big-name pizazz, there will still be plenty of talent on the court, with players putting down their marker for a spot on the 2012 London Olympic squad.

Certainly Krzyzewski will not lack for choice at point guard with Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics.

What the U.S. will not have in Istanbul is size with the Dallas Mavericks' Tyson Chandler and the New Jersey Nets' Brook Lopez the only true centers.

"We are concerned about size but we are going to use the three-point shot a lot. It's much closer than the NBA three and we have some very good shooters," explained Krzyzewski.

"We don't know how many bigs we're going to have... We're looking at developing a system."

Krzyzewski said several spots on the team remain up for grabs with "a solid eight or nine" places spoken for and the rest to be settled in New York.

"That's why New York is so important to us before we make our final decisions," said Krzyzewski. "There's a probability, a possibility, we will take more than 12 with us (to Turkey)."

At the 2006 world championships in Japan, the United States beat 2004 Olympic champions Argentina in the bronze medal game.

U.S. Squad:

Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Jeff Green (Oklahoma); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma).

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Steve Ginsburg)