Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors as well as DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings have made the final roster for Team USA, the NBA announced Saturday. They will both be on the plane as the team goes to Spain to compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
NBA.com released an official statement at 12:37 A.M/CST:
“Named as members of the official 2014 USA Basketball World Cup Team were: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).”
Following a strong performance from the Splash Brothers against Puerto Rico last Friday, there was little doubt both would make the final 12-man roster.
Curry, arguably the best shooter in the NBA capable of making the most incredible shots, led Team USA to a 112-86 victory. He tallied 20 points and 4 assists on 6-for-7 shooting. He currently averages 12.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists for Team USA.
Part of Team USA in 2010, Curry is excited to have another chance to represent his country in the FIBA World Cup.
“This is an awesome experience for me. In 2010, after my rookie year, I had high expectations to make the team when I came, but didn’t really know what my role was, especially with that brand new group that was assembled then, so I learned a lot. Exposing me to the international game was definitely good for my game going into the next NBA season. But now, I’m during an important part of my career, and just excited to have more of an impact on the team as a leader and on the court.”
Thompson, a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the court, contributed 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks in last night’s game. He’s averaging 11 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists after three exhibition games for USA Basketball. He was one of coach Mike Krzyzewski’s favorites to make the squad.
The biggest surprise was that along with sophomore center Plumlee, Team USA has opted to bring centers Drummond and Cousins. All three are traditional centers that mainly score inside and clog the middle.
Against Puerto Rico Cousins was the jack of all trades with eight points along with four rebounds, two assist and two steals. Rudy Gay went 5-9 from the floor and tallied 13 points in 16 minutes off the bench.
USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo had some words following the Team USA announcement.
“Since taking over the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve gone through,” said Colangelo. “I can’t stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. 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.”
Coach K also had something to say about how difficult the cutting process was.
“The first thing is we are very pleased with the overall effort of every player who was a part of the process,” said Mike Krzyzewski, USA head coach and Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame mentor. “To select twelve was difficult, because our pool is so good. As we go forward, we not only go forward as twelve, 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.”
Team USA will now make their way to Spain for the final exhibition game, which will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 26 against Slovenia.
The FIBA World Cup officially begins Aug. 30.