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Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony lead U.S. Olympic men’s basketball

NBA players Carmelo Anthony, left, and Kevin Durant

NBA players Carmelo Anthony, left, and Kevin Durant attend Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2014 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 17, 2014 in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alberto E. Rodriguez

Team USA walked into the Dunlevy Milbank Center on Monday, parting a sea of kids on the Harlem gym floor for the unveiling of the Rio roster.

There was Kyrie Irving, fresh off helping Cleveland claim its first NBA crown. But the MVP of the Finals wasn’t among the dozen Olympians on hand. LeBron James chose rest over a fourth stint in the Olympics.

“Whatever his reasoning was, I respect it,” Irving said. “He was supportive of me playing. Obviously, I tried to recruit him to play. But hey, man, that guy has done unbelievable this season. I hope he’s watching at home, and I hope I can bring a gold medal back to Cleveland.”

Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team likes its chances for a third straight gold even without King James and fellow 2012 Olympians Kobe Bryant (who retired), Anthony Davis (who had knee surgery) and James Harden, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook (who all withdrew from consideration). Stephen Curry withdrew, too.

“I mean, 12 NBA stars, very unselfish guys, very versatile team — I think we definitely should be favored,” the Warriors’ Klay Thompson said. “It’s a disappointment if we don’t win gold. That’s how we all feel. That’s how we should feel.”

Carmelo Anthony, who contributed to the golden efforts in Beijing and London, and the Thunder’s Kevin Durant, the leading scorer from the 2012 team, are the only returnees.

Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Golden State’s Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, Indiana’s Paul George, the L.A. Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry join Irving and Thompson as the newcomers.

“We don’t have as many big-name guys [as] we’ve had before,” Anthony said, “but I think so far, this is a great group of guys, and they’re hungry.”

Team USA

Carmelo Anthony, F, Knicks

Harrison Barnes, F, Warriors

Jimmy Butler, G-F, Bulls

DeMarcus Cousins, C-F, Kings

DeMar DeRozan, G, Raptors

Kevin Durant, F, Thunder

Paul George, F, Pacers

Draymond Green, F, Warriors

Kyrie Irving, G, Cavaliers

DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers

Kyle Lowry, G, Raptors

Klay Thompson, G, Warriors

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