Big names missing in final U.S. roster for Spain

Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:37pm EDT
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(Reuters) - The United States team will travel to Spain without some of the sport's biggest names to defend their title at the Basketball World Cup after a selection process described as one of the "most difficult" in recent years.

With marquee players LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love opting out of selection and All-Star Paul George hurt, the U.S. will be led by the emerging talents such as Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving at the Aug. 30-Sept. 14 tournament.

"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," USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo said after the 12-man team was finalized.

"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."

In recent weeks, Durant, Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard removed themselves from the selection process for various reasons and All Star forward George was ruled out after suffering a horror leg injury while playing in a Team USA practice game in Las Vegas.

The 12-man roster for the Basketball World Cup was announced after the U.S. beat Puerto Rico 112-86 in an exhibition game played at Madison Square Garden in New York.

"We are very pleased with the overall effort of every player who was a part of the process," USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement.

"To select 12 was difficult, because our pool is so good. As we go forward, we not only go forward as 12, we go forward as a pool for USA Basketball. As a staff we want to thank the players who are not going forward.

"I'm excited about the 12 players selected and feel we have excellent versatility and the makings of a really good defensive team."   Continued...

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is guarded by Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3IQZY