James, Durant headline Team USA pool

Gold medal winners highlight list of 28

Author: By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jan 23 2014 09:58:07 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 23 2014 11:25:12 AM EST
LeBron James, Miami Heat 2013 opener

LeBron James and Kevin Durant headline the 28-man Team USA player pool announced by chairman Jerry Colangelo.

James and Durant, Olympic gold medalists at the London games in 2012, return to the Team USA pool for 2014-16.

James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, guided the Heat to the past two league championships. He earned gold medals with Team USA in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Durant was James' Olympic teammate in 2012. He is a four-time All-Star and three-time scoring champ. Durant leads the NBA in scoring and is a front-runner for MVP this season.

Both will be eligible for upcoming international competitions. Even if they don't appear in the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain, they could rejoin Team USA for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Additional Team USA veterans on the 28-man list are New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Knicks center Tyson Chandler, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, Houston Rockets guard James Harden, Rockets center Dwight Howard, Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, currently sidelined due to a fractured tibia, announced earlier this week that he would not play in the 2016 Olympics.

That opens the door for newcomers to participate, including Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver, Golden State Warriors forward David Lee, San Antonio Spurs swingman Kawhi Leonard, Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Warriors guard Klay Thompson.