Apr 27, 2014; Portland, OR; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives past Portland Trail Blazers forward Dorell Wright (1) during the fourth quarter in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer -USA TODAY Sports
This July, all the hoopla surrounding free agency has taken center stage throughout the NBA. As a result, the fact the USA Men’s National Basketball Team will take part in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain has slipped the minds of many a fan and writer alike.
Well, for those of you who have either forgotten or failed to recognize this reality in the first place, allow this to serve as your reminder: the U.S. will attempt to compete for the gold in this year’s FIBA World Cup, and as of today, the players who will participate in Team USA’s training camp have officially been revealed.
Among the participants: Space City’s very own James Harden, who won gold with USA Basketball two years ago in the 2012 Olympics.
Harden is the only Rocket included on the training camp squad. Here is the full 19-man roster (via usab.com):
CURRENT TEAM / COLLEGE
Washington Wizards / Florida
Sacramento Kings / Kentucky
Golden State Warriors / Davidson
New Orleans Pelicans / Kentucky
Toronto Raptors / USC
Detroit Pistons / Connecticut
Oklahoma City Thunder / Texas
Denver Nuggets / Morehead State
Indiana Pacers / Fresno State
Los Angeles Clippers / Oklahoma
Houston Rockets / Arizona State
Utah Jazz / Butler
Cleveland Cavaliers / Duke
Atlanta Hawks / Creighton
Portland Trail Blazers / Weber State
Minnesota Timberwolves / UCLA
Chicago Bulls / Memphis
Golden State Warriors / Washington State
As you can see, former Rocket Chandler Parsons is listed on the preliminary roster as well. Former Rocket. You know, because of this past weekend, which I’m sure we’d all love to erase from our memories.
In addition to Rockets past and present, there is an interesting mix of different players who will compete against each other in order to qualify for the final roster and, subsequently, travel to Spain. This ranges from other 2012 Olympic team members — Durant, Love, Rose and Davis, in addition to Harden — to athletes who have never formally participated with USA Basketball, including Parsons and DeRozan.
As far as the Houston homie James Harden goes, expect him to make the final cut and play a significant role in this year’s FIBA World Cup. With his exceptional gift for both scoring and playmaking, Harden should serve as a valuable offensive asset on an extremely talented USA squad.
Just don’t ask him to guard, help or generally pay attention on defense.
USA Basketball’s training camp will take place July 28th – August 1st, and the FIBA World Cup will occur in Spain from August 30th – September 14th.