Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Sports

Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant headline U.S. Olympic basketball roster

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LeBron James won't be there. Neither will Steph Curry, Chris Paul or James Harden.

But Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Golden State's Klay Thompson are on the U.S. men's basketball roster for the 2016 Summer Olympics, and that should be good enough to make the Americans a gold-medal favorite.

With a spate of NBA stars withdrawing because of fatigue and injury, USA Basketball announced its team Monday.

"We should be heavily favored," Thompson said. "I mean, 12 NBA stars, very unselfish guys, very versatile team, we definitely should be favored. It's a disappointment if we don't win gold."

"We have lightning-quick guards who can score as well as distribute the basketball," coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement.

The squad has nine 2016 NBA All-Stars and a veteran — Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks — who becomes the first U.S. player selected to four Olympic teams. The roster also includes DeAndre Jordan (Clippers), Harrison Barnes (Warriors), Jimmy Butler (Bulls), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), Paul George (Pacers), Draymond Green (Warriors) and Kyle Lowry (Raptors).

The team is to begin training in Las Vegas next month, then play several exhibition games.

Ledecky in Rio: Katie Ledecky has set the bar so high, it's a bit disappointing when she doesn't set a world record. The 19-year-old has no complaints. She's heading back to the Olympics.

Getting that formality out of the way in her first event of the U.S. swimming trials, Ledecky held off a persistent challenge from Leah Smith to win the 400-meter freestyle on Monday night in Omaha, Neb.

"The last 150, I just kept telling myself, 'Rio! Rio! Rio!'" said Ledecky, also a big favorite in two other freestyle races to come. "I just tried to keep myself fired up and didn't really care what the time was."

Dana Vollmer, 28, locked up another trip to the Olympics less than 16 months after having her first child. She finished second in the 100 butterfly behind Olympic rookie Kelsi Worrell.

Injured Ryan Lochte battled pain to reach today's 200 free final. The former Gator was fifth in the semifinals despite a groin injury sustained in Sunday's 400 individual medley. He failed to make the team in that event, finishing third in the final four years after winning gold at the London Games. Only the top two earned a berth in Rio.

In the women's 100 backstroke, defending Olympic champ Missy Franklin got off to an even slower start than usual and barely qualified for today's final.

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