The timing on this couldn’t be any better. Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday the Redeem Team put the clamps on the world, and brought back the Gold Medal in a classic final game against Spain? Well with the turn of the calendar to 2012, the Olympics feel like they’re right around the corner. Crazy, right? Reports have told us all along that the preliminary roster this summer would be 18 deep. From there, they would take 12 players – most of whom are already locks – to this summer’s Olympics to defend the gold medal. But now Chris Sheridan is reporting that they’re planning to make room for one more player during tryouts: Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge.
Sheridan went even further earlier today and revealed the entire 19-man roster for Team USA:
So who will make the official team for London? Pretty much everyone who played a role in 2008 will have the opportunity to come back if they want it. That’s Howard, ‘Melo, James, Bryant, Bosh, Paul, Williams and Wade who’ll have the inside track. Sheridan has written in the past that Durant and Griffin are very nearly “shoo-ins” for the final roster as well. That leaves two spots for everyone else to fight over.
Love and Rose have to be the favorites right? Love would be perfect, and Rose might actually beat out Williams for a spot. The fact that Jerry Colangelo recently acknowledged the reigning MVP in an interview about the team with Fox Sports Florida should tell you all you need to know:
“You’re hearing Kobe (Bryant) right up there with the greatest of all time. Dwyane Wade and LeBron (James) are right up there. You’ve got to add up the names, and you look at the young guys like (Kevin) Durant as an example and (Derrick) Rose as an example. There’s so many. There’s only been one Dream Team, and that’s the way I think it should be. But there’s no question our team will be much stronger than we had in 2008. They’re more mature, more experienced and we’ve got more talent.”
There’s also the question of Amar’e Stoudemire, who says he hopes to play, but with his injury history, the Knicks may once again tell him to sit it out.
As for Aldridge, while I would love to see him on the team – he’d fit in perfectly in international play – I’m assuming he’ll get cut out again. For the Blazer forward, he can at least plan on a trip to the All-Star Game this year because with the way this season is shaping up – Portland dominating, Aldridge playing even better than last year – no way he misses out again.
With training camp beginning on July 5, the final 12-man roster must be submitted by June 20 in addition to six alternates for the Olympics (July 27 – Aug. 12).
Who do you want on the team this summer?
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