Kobe, LeBron & D-Wade headline selections for Team USA

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and six other members of Team USA's 2008 Olympic gold medal winning team, have been invited to compete for a spot in the 2012 summer games.   The 2012 Olympics will commence on July 27, 2012 in London.

A total of 27 players were added to the pool of talent eligible for the games.  In the wake of Team USA's horrific showings in international play, including a bronze medal performance in 2004, USA Basketball mandated that every participating player must commit three years of service to the team.  A lack of cohesion was blamed for the team's unacceptable level of performance.

The remaining list of re-joining players includes: Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams. The players not asked back on the team are Jason Kidd, Michael Redd and Tayshaun Prince.  Kidd has retired from international play, while both Redd and Prince are currently battling injuries.

As in 2008, the 2012 team will be coached by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.  Coach K will be joined by the same group of assistant coaches; Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, the Knicks' Mike D'Antoni and the Trailblazers' Nate McMillan. 

In all likelihood, the nine invited players from 2008 will remain on the 2012 team.  The three remaining spots are expected to be given to the NBA's second leading scorer Kevin Durant, last season's Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose and either Chauncey Billups, Lamar Odom or Amare Stoudemire.

The team will convene this summer in Las Vegas, before heading to Turkey for the 2010 FIBA World Championships.  The FIBA and Olympic final rosters will be made up of 12 players.  A player can miss the 2010 event, but still compete in the 2012 Olympics.

The remaining list of invitees, who are most likely competing for future Team USA spots, include : O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, Andre Iguodala, Gerald Wallace, David Lee, Kendrick Perkins, Brook Lopez, Danny Granger, Russell Westbrook and LaMarcus Aldridge.