Get all of Ben Golliver’s columns as soon as they’re published. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers.
Although USA Basketball won’t set its final roster for the Rio Olympics until after the NBA Finals, the national team’s summer schedule is coming together nicely. USAB announced Monday an extended exhibition and training schedule that will crisscross the country in advance of the 2016 Olympics, which are set for Aug. 6 to 21 in Brazil.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski and company will open a four-day training camp on the campus of UNLV on July 18 before kicking off the USA Basketball Showcase, a series of five exhibition games held against opposing national teams in various cities. Here is the training camp and five-game exhibition tour schedule:
- July 18-21 — Training Camp in Las Vegas (UNLV)
- July 22 — USA vs. Argentina in Las Vegas (arena to be determined)
- July 24 — USA vs. China in Los Angeles (Staples Center)
- July 26 — USA vs. China in Oakland, Calif. (Oracle Arena)
- July 29 — USA vs. Venezuela in Chicago (United Center)
- Aug. 1 — USA vs. Nigeria in Houston (Toyota Center)
USAB, ranked No. 1 in the world, will go to Brazil defending gold medals won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey, 2012 London Olympics and 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
“Building our team chemistry quickly is vital, and the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase will offer our players and coaches the opportunity to become familiar with each other, to develop chemistry and to gain critical international experience against a variety of differing styles,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “We’ll face some excellent and experienced international teams, which will be important in our preparations.”
While SI’s Lee Jenkins reported recently that Chris Paul has withdrawn from the Olympic team, Krzyzewski and USAB chairman Jerry Colangelo have an embarrassment of riches available to them when selecting a 12-man roster from a pool of 31 finalists. Top candidates include Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Love, Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook, among others.
At a USAB media event in Los Angeles last month, Colangelo touted the importance of analytics in making the final roster cuts.
Krzyzewski’s coaching staff includes Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, new Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau and Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams.
Tickets for the exhibition games will go on sale April 29.