With the cuts, USA Basketball trimmed its roster to the needed 12-man team ahead of the Aug. 30 start of the FIBA tournament in Spain. The final squad includes Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, Golden State Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Houston Rockets guard James Harden, Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis, Kings forward Rudy Gay, Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond and Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee. USA Basketball announced the roster after its 112-86 exhibition victory over Puerto Rico on Friday evening in New York.
Lillard was the only NBA All-Star of the four players cut. Friday The Portland Trail Blazers point guard took the decision in stride.
"It's nothing I did or didn't do. No hard feelings. Wish them the best," Lillard told Yahoo Sports via text message.
USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo called the decision process on this World Cup roster "the most difficult" he has gone through.
"I can't stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist," Colangelo said. "I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent. Each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing."
The team departs for Spain on Saturday and opens up tournament play against Finland on Aug. 30. The U.S. closes out its exhibition tour on Aug. 26 against Slovenia. The team will complete its training in Bilbao, Spain, the site of its World Cup preliminary round games.
"To select 12 was difficult, because our pool is so good," USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. "As we go forward, we not only go forward as 12, we go forward as a pool for USA Basketball. As a staff we want to thank the players who are not going forward.
"I'm excited about the 12 players selected and feel we have excellent versatility and the makings of a really good defensive team."
- Sports & Recreation
- USA Basketball
- Damian Lillard
- Golden State Warriors
- Derrick Rose
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Kyrie Irving
- Klay Thompson