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'An iconic roster': LeBron, Steph, KD headline all-star cast for Team USA's shot at Olympic glory

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17th April, 2024
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LeBron James is going back to the Olympics for the first time in 12 years. Steph Curry is headed to the games for the first time. Kevin Durant will go there with his eyes on history.

And they’re just part of the star-studded roster the Americans have assembled for the Paris Games as the latest “Dream Team” was unveiled.

USA Basketball announced its men’s Olympic team for Paris on Wednesday — James, Curry, Durant, Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards and Kawhi Leonard the 12 names on the roster. 

“We’re giving ourselves a chance to win with the talent we have,” USA Basketball managing director Grant Hill said on NBC’s “Today” show. 

“It’ll be exciting. It’ll be tough. It won’t be easy. We have great respect for all the other teams. But certainly, this is going to be an iconic roster.”

The group has seven players with 10 combined Olympic gold medals between them; Durant has three, James has two, while Adebayo, Booker, Holiday, Tatum and Booker each have one. 

Combined, the 12 players had averages of 24.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists this season, shooting 39 per cent from 3-point range.

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“Obviously, it’s a great honour to represent your country,” Adebayo said. “But for me, to be in that room as part of those 12 players, part of who they think are the 12 best players to represent the United States, it takes it to a different level.”

The amount of talent on the US roster is staggering. Of the 12 commits, seven finished the season ranked among the NBA’s top 15 scorers per game. James is the league’s all-time scoring leader, Curry the all-time leader in 3-pointers, Haliburton won the assist-per-game title this season and 10 were All-Stars this season as well.

“The goal is to win the gold,” Hill said. “They know that.”

The Americans have won the last four Olympic gold medals and remain ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA even after failing to medal in the two most recent World Cups — finishing seventh at China in 2019 and fourth at Manila last summer.

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Durant hopes to become the first men’s player in Olympic history with four basketball gold medals. 

James will seek a fourth medal, after winning bronze in 2004 and golds in 2008 and 2012. The other past gold medalists on the roster are Davis (2012), Adebayo (2020), Booker (2020), Tatum (2020) and Holiday (2020). 

“I think everybody understands that these Olympics are going to be maybe the most anticipated, given that it’s Paris, in terms of players wanting to go, players’ wives wanting to go, everybody wanting to go,” US coach Steve Kerr said. “It made for some really difficult decisions for us, for sure.”

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