With the 2011-12 NBA season officially in the books after the Miami Heat were crowned as NBA champions, the 2012 Olympics are the next big thing on the agenda for 12 of the NBA’s best and brightest. Out of 18 finalists for Team USA, only 12 players will make the trip to London, England to compete for a gold medal.
Most of these 12 players are basically a forgone conclusion for head coach Mike Krzyzewski, with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James leading the way, but with all the recent injuries to big-name players the team might undergo some drastic changes before the final 12-man roster is submitted on July 8.
Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard have all been eliminated as potential candidates for the 12-man roster after suffering season-ending injuries over the course of the NBA season. Two-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade might also miss the Olympics with a knee injury that needs some attention in the off-season.
With these five players eliminated from contention, Coach K has been put into a difficult position with the roster deadline a few weeks away. The consensus has been that Team USA’s biggest concern is in the frontcourt after losing Aldridge and Howard.
With that being said, forwards Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom after getting another opportunity to make the roster according to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports:
“USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Friday that late next week Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Lamar Odom of Dallas will head to Durham, NC, where they will have a workout under the watchful eyes of Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski.”
Despite reports of Odom no longer being considered by Coach K and company for a roster spot due to his struggles with the Dallas Mavericks last season, the versatile forward has been impressive in recent workouts. Both Griffin and Odom may still be longshots to make the final 12, but another opportunity may be all they need to lockup a roster spot and a chance to win a gold medal this summer.
Team USA Finalists
- Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
- Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
- Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
- Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets
- James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
- Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
- Lamar Odom, Dallas Mavericks
- Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
- Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Andre Igoudala, Philadelphia 76ers
- Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies
- LeBron James, Miami Heat
- Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
- Anthony Davis, Kentucky Wildcats
- Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks