USA Basketball released its list of members of the men's basketball team today and to no one's surprise, LeBron James and eight other gold medalists were among those on the list.
But that list shouldn't be etched in stone, primarily because of business reasons. Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and, of course, James can all be free agents this summer and they have priorities.
"Special recognition and acknowledgement needs to go to the nine players returning from our 2008 Olympic Team. They have demonstrated that they are the heart and soul of our program and their commitment to continue to represent their country should not be overlooked,'' team director Jerry Colangelo said.
Ahhh yes, but there is that reality thing that USA Basketball must face. What NBA player is going to go into those games playing for his country and risk injury without a contract? No sane one. Business before pleasure.
"Just as was the case in 2006-08, the composition of the USA National Team will be fluid and by that I mean there could be additions to this group. We've learned to expect that you may have injuries; there may be special circumstances where players can't perform, so you need flexibility with regards to the addition and deletion of players in the program."
James alluded to the fact that he doesn't expect his free agency period to last very long so he can play for Team USA. We'll see what happens.
The entire team:
Returning to the USA National Team for 2010-12 are 2008 Olympic gold medalists Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets); Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz); Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); and Deron Williams (Utah Jazz). Rounding out the list of Olympians on the national squad roster are 2004 Olympic bronze medalists Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers) and Amar'e Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns). Completing the list of National Team players are LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Al Jefferson (Minnesota Timberwolves); David Lee (New York Knicks); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies); Kendrick Perkins (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Gerald Wallace (Charlotte Bobcats) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).