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Team USA’s World Cup roster still has unprecedented star power

Aug 2, 2014, 11:00 PM EST

Team USA Practice Session Getty Images

No Blake Griffin.

No Kevin Love.

And now no Paul George.

Team USA has definitely lost significant talent since releasing its initial World Cup player pool.

Still, the team’s star power remains unprecedented.

There’s no perfect measurement for star power, but All-NBA selection is as good as any. Team USA still has two All-NBA first teamers (Kevin Durant and James Harden), a second teamer (Stephen Curry) and a third teamer (Damian Lillard).

Sure, Griffin and Love, both second teamers, and George, a third teamer, will be missed. But a lot of talent remains.

Remember, this is not an Olympic year, when Team USA draws its biggest stars. The American World Cup roster compares very favorably to past editions for the event (nee the World Championships).

Here’s how many All-NBA players from the year prior made the Team USA World Cup/World Championships roster since NBA players began competing in 1994. First teamers are red, second teamers blue and third teamers white.

image

2014

  • Kevin Durant (first)
  • James Harden (first)
  • Stephen Curry (second)
  • Damian Lillard (third)

2010

  • Kevin Durant (first)

2006

2002

  • Jermaine O’Neal (third)
  • Paul Pierce (third)
  • Ben Wallace (third)

1998

None (NBA players, anticipating a lockout, elected not to participate.)

1994

  • Kevin Johnson (second)
  • Shawn Kemp (second)
  • Derrick Coleman (third)
  • Shaquille O’Neal (third)
  • Mark Price (third)
  • Dominique Wilkins (third)

So how should we compare seasons? I use a simple scoring system that follows All-NBA voting – five points for first team, three points for second team and one point for third team.

With 14 points, the 2014 class leads.

image

Of course, Jerry Colangelo hasn’t made his final cuts. I’m counting Lillard, and he might not even make the team. After all, with Curry, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and John Wall, the Americans are absolutely stacked.

Which is the point.

  1. innovativethinking87 - Aug 2, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    Lillard is the only all nba player on there except the two 1st teamers and Curry. He’s that for a reason, so he should make it no doubt..

    • chicagosports2014 - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:23 AM

      Drose ready to lead USA again, but I think we gonna take 3 pg anyway.

      rose,curry,lilliard

  2. antistratfordian - Aug 3, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    Yeah but James Harden as a first teamer doesn’t feel right at all, not compared to something like Dwyane Wade as a second teamer in 2006, who was a step better than Harden. Lillard as a third teamer is also questionable. In fact, most of the 2013-14 All-NBA guards probably need be be shifted down one team. This is probably the weakest set of 3rd team guards since, shoot… 2000?

  3. thekiller678 - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:07 AM

    Harden being on 1st team is a complete joke.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      I agree.

      All offense and no defense. But the league and fans support this.

      Harden is definitely a first team offensive player but he’s as bad on D as he is good on offense so to me he shouldn’t be a first team player because he only plays half the game (offense).

      He’s like the designated hitter in baseball, he doesn’t play D and others have to do that for him.

      • thekiller678 - Aug 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        Take away the officials he’s not an elite offensive player either. I’ve never seena player flop and embellish calls on offensive as much as Harden. Nobody comes close, when he shoots less than 8 FT in a game he averages 19 ppg on 41 % shooting.

  4. antistratfordian - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:30 AM

    In this case All-NBA status does not indicate star power because the guards with the most star power didn’t make any All-NBA teams this year (Kobe, Wade, Rose).

  5. pdub923 - Aug 4, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    ’94 would DESTROY this year’s team!

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