2016 Olympic Games: Kyrie Irving Completes USA’s Final Roster
Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar point guard, has accepted the final invitation for the United States’ 12-man roster for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Advertisement
On Saturday, ESPN’s Mark Stein confirmed that Irving, the MVP of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, will represent the U.S. in August. “Sources told ESPN that Irving, after deliberating all week following the Cavaliers’ championship run, has informed USA Basketball that he will be on the plane for Rio, completing the team’s roster.”
Kyrie Irving completes the roster…
Stein added: “The Americans will be heavy favorites in Rio in a 12-team field to win their third successive gold medal under coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is ceding his post to Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs following these Games after a decade in charge.”
Here is the final 12-man roster:
LeBron, Kawhi, Westbrook pull out
In recent weeks, the likes of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Chris Paul have declined the invitations due to growing fears of the Zika Virus, besides other personal reasons.
Leonard, the back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year, recently said: “This was a very difficult decision. It’s an honor to have been considered for the team, and I hope that in the future I will have the chance to represent my country by playing for USA Basketball.”
Westbrook cited personal reasons for pulling out: “”After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics. This was not an easy decision, as representing my country at the World Championships in 2010 and the Olympics in 2012 were career highlights for me. I look forward to future opportunities as a member of USA Basketball.”
Meanwhile, reigning league MVP Stephen Curry pulled out due to recurring injury woes. Jerry Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball, was aware of Curry’s injuries. “Since Steph’s recent injuries, I’ve been in contact with him and I was aware that this decision was a strong possibility. We appreciate Steph and his agent, Jeff Austin, keeping USA Basketball updated on his decision process.”
The Summer Olympics will be staged in Rio starting August 5. In the absence of Chris Paul and Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving is expected to be the starting point guard for the U.S. national team.