Team USA trims its roster to 15
AP Basketball Writer
The United States is down to just two centers, and one of them better pick it up if he wants to make it to Turkey.
USA Basketball trimmed its roster of candidates for the world championships Wednesday to 15, a guard-heavy group that features Brook Lopez and Tyson Chandler as its only centers.
Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, O.J. Mayo and Gerald Wallace were cut – and Lopez might have joined them if not for his 7-foot frame on a team that badly needs height.
The New Jersey Nets center struggled last week during training in Las Vegas as he recovers from mono, an illness that team leadership wasn’t aware of before camp.
“Giving him the benefit of the doubt, he knows he has an awful lot to show in New York to be under consideration to make this team, but wanted very much to have that shot and opportunity and we’re willing to do that for him,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said during a conference call.
Kevin Durant leads three Oklahoma City players on the list that included the Clippers’ Eric Gordon, who was thought to be on the bubble, plus talented point guards such as Chauncey Billups, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook.
The Thunder’s Jeff Green will join Durant and Westbrook in New York when the team reconvenes Aug. 9. The roster has to be reduced to 12 before the world championships begin on Aug. 28 in Turkey.
The remainder of the finalists are: Lamar Odom, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Danny Granger and Kevin Love.