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No Kobe Bryant, no LeBron James. No Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, or Deron Williams. In fact, not one player from the 2008 Olympic team will be present for this year’s Championships as they all turned down invitations to compete this summer.
Carmelo recently got married. Kobe cited injuries and a long NBA season as his reason for skipping the Championships. LeBron, Wade, and Chris Bosh, who will team up in Miami, used the looming free-agency as their rationale. As did Carlos Boozer.
American players that have accepted an invitation and hoping to make the roster are 21-year old Kevin Durant, 21-year old Russell Westbrook and the 23-year old Jeff Green; teammates on the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder.
The three could form the core of the team with Durant as one of the most, if not the most dangerous offensive player to take the court during the tournament.
Some other U.S. players vying for spots are veterans Amare Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups, David Lee, Lamar Odom and Derrick Rose.
2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, and runner-up, Stephen Curry will also participate in the camp.
The selection process begins with a minicamp in Las Vegas next week and could take up to six weeks to determine the final roster. The deadline for managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski to to trim the roster down to twelve is August 26.
For more about the Basketball World Championships, go to our World Championships Basketball forum.