Whether John Wall or Bradley Beal makes Team USA's roster for the 2014 FIBA basketball World Cup or the 2016 Olympics, D.C. will be represented.
Though not participating in this week's mini-camp, Kevin Durant showed in Las Vegas to announce he will remain with the program even as LeBron James apparently is moving on from the international stage. Combined with the aging Kobe Bryant unlikely for Rio, that means Durant, who lead the gold medal-winning Team USA with 19.5 points during the 2012 Olympics, will be the front and center star.
“To represent your country, you can't really take that for granted, so I knew last summer I was going to commit and play this next World Cup,” the Oklahoma City Thunder forward said in a statement released by Team USA. “I'm looking forward to the opportunity, man, playing against the best in the world with the best in the world, so it should be fun.”
Durant also won gold during the 2010 World Championships and was named MVP after posting 22.8 points a game.
Along with Durant, Team USA announced Kevin Love will participate with the national team through 2016. The Minnesota Timberwolves big man averaged 11.6 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game during the 2012 Olympics.
As for James, even the haters must admit the three-time Olympian has put in his time. Part of the 2004 bronze medal team, James won gold in 2008 and 2012.
Bryant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Deron Williams and Andre Iguodala, all on the 2012 team, will be over by the summer of 2016. Some could return, particularly Paul (and perhaps Bryant based on sheer will and chutzpah), but there should be some interesting roster battles, especially with Wall.
No matter who shows in Brazil or in Spain next year, it's Durant's show now.