Anthony in squad but Day to skip Olympics

NEW YORK • USA Basketball named a 12-man squad for the Rio de Janeiro Games on Monday that did not include LeBron James, confirming last week's reports that he would not be available.

Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving, who played a key role alongside James to bring the Cavaliers their first-ever National Basketball Association (NBA) title, is in the squad that will try to secure a third straight Olympic gold medal for the United States.

The New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony becomes the first man to represent the US at four Olympics and will try to become the first American man with three gold medals after playing on victorious US teams in 2008 and 2012.

And Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant will go for another gold four years after setting a US Olympic record with an average of 19.5 points per game in London.

"I think I can speak for the entire coaching staff and say we're extremely excited about the team we will field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro," said Jerry Colangelo, managing director of the US men's national team.

"We've got a great mix of talent, scorers, past gold medal winners and outstanding youth."

The squad also includes Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes of Golden State.

Nine players - Anthony, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Durant, Paul George, Green, Kyle Lowry and Thompson - were 2016 NBA All-Stars.

The US team have won 14 of the 17 Olympic tournaments they have played in.

But the talent pool has been reduced with James' withdrawal.

NBA Most Valuable Player and scoring leader Stephen Curry of Golden State also said during the Finals that he would not play in Rio.

Another star who will not be in Rio is world No. 1 golfer Jason Day, who pulled out over Zika virus fears. He joins fellow golfer and world No. 4 Rory McIlroy, who has also confirmed his absence from the Games.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2016, with the headline 'Anthony in squad but Day to skip Olympics'. Print Edition | Subscribe