Bryant, Anthony, James headline USA FIBA roster

Aug 21, 2007 - 5:29 AM LAS VEGAS (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James head the 12-man USA Basketball roster announced on Monday for the upcoming FIBA Americas Championship.

The USA will face Venezuela when tournament play opens Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

James and Anthony led the team that was upset by Greece in the semifinals of the 2006 World Championships in Japan before beating Argentina in the bronze medal game.

Because of the loss to Greece, the United States is one of 10 teams competing for two spots in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski's team will compete against Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The USA is 26-0 in FIBA Americas qualifying, but if the team should fail to reach the finals, they can still earn a berth for the Olympics in another qualifier next summer.

Dwight Howard, who was on last year's team, is on the squad once again. Rounding out the team are Chauncey Billups, Jason Kidd, Amare Stoudamire, Tayshawn Prince, Mike Miller, Michael Redd, Deron Williams and Tyson Chandler.

Krzyzewski spoke of the tough decisions he had to make.

"This is an extremely difficult decision because you have 14 guys worthy of being on the team," Krzyzewski said.

This year's team has an average of 26.16 years compared to last year's, which averaged 24.50 years.

"The experience of the team helps us, there's no question," Krzyzewski said. "The good teams we play against are not only older individually, they're older collectively. They've grown old together so maybe we can make up for some of that with the selections that we made."

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