LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are in pursuit of their third gold medal. Reigning MVP Stephen Curry is eyeing his first in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Twelve men will make the trip, and whichever squad features in the tournament, the U.S. remains the hot favorites to win the gold medal.
Different rules in the international stage doesn’t put much pressure on the U.S. team. Well, the team has the best starting point guards. It’s hard to pick one from the likes of Stephen Curry, Chris Paul or Russell Westbrook. This gives more strategic flexibility to the team. Then they also have James Harden.
The forwards in the roster are all elite playmakers. Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin or LeBron James. A description of their versatility isn’t required. Green is at the zenith of form this season with his special defensive skills, and could well be a trump card for the U.S. side in Rio.
Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond is expected to feature as center. With the kind of guards and forwards the U.S. roster comprises of, they can afford to keep the center position dry. Anthony Davis will be there with his experience, but his current form with the New Orleans Pelicans rules him out as a starter.
And those left out are by no means achievers, glittering stars, rather. Dwight Howard and DeMarcus Cousins are deserving guys, too. Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler… the list of stars is endless. Some may pull out due to injury or fatigue.
But only 12 men will be on the mission. And picking up the elite 12 is a tough job indeed.