Cleveland Cavaliers star players LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are joining 31 others to complete a 34-man roster who will attend the USA Basketball Men's National Team minicamp in Las Vegas next week in a bid to solidify the U.S.' bid to capture its third consecutive Olympic basketball championship in Rio de Janeiro next year.
USA Basketball Chairman and National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo made the announcement on Thursday. The roster of attendees includes all 11 of the 12 members of the gold medalist 2014 USA World Cup Team, and nine Olympic gold medalists, including eight members of the 2012 London Olympic team.
"With this being a summer where we do not have an official competition that we need to prepare for, this year's minicamp is an opportunity to continue and expand the brotherhood and camaraderie that has been built," said Colangelo, who has served as managing director of the USA National Team since 2005. "It will be a celebration of all that we've accomplished with USA Basketball since the National Team program was formed in 2006 while also looking ahead to 2016. The minicamp is going to be low key with light workouts, no contact, and the USA Basketball Showcase on Aug. 13 will be a fun all-star type game, said Colangelo.
The minicamp will officially begin on August 11, featuring light workouts and will be concluded with the customary USA Basketball Showcase on Aug. 13, a USA Blue versus USA White exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Colangelo explained that no cuts will be announced during the minicamp but attendance is mandatory for everybody invited, including James, Love and Irving if they want to be included in the 2016 U.S. Men's Basketball National Olympic team. However, James is expected to attend only the planned team meeting as he is scheduled to fly to Ohio for a LeBron James Family Foundation event.
Added to the 2014-16 USA National Team roster and participating in the Aug. 11-13 USA National Team training camp are eight NBA standouts, including Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Michael Carter-Williams (Milwaukee Bucks); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Tobias Harris (Orlando Magic); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); and Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic).
USA National Team members confirmed for the 2015 Las Vegas minicamp include: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Mason Plumlee (Portland Trail Blazers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
The 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team coaching staff features USA head coach and Duke University's Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Serving as assistant coaches are Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Josh Smith Still Unsigned, Wants to Make a Difference With The Cavs
Meanwhile, free agent J.R. Smith remains unsigned and wants to make a difference with the team by aiming to become one of the Cavs starting five. After being traded to the Cavs, Smith has become an important secondary scoring option for the team, reported Sports World News.
"I just want to be somewhere I can make a difference. I don't want to be somewhere I can't have an effect on the team," Smith said.
"I would love to be a starter, but it depends on the situation and what team I'm on. Cleveland is in a situation where they don't really need me to start. I can come off the bench and bring the energy and stuff like that. I definitely want to come back to Cleveland. The coaches, the team, everything about the situation, it's perfect for me."