USA Basketball 2012: Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul Among Finalists For Men's Olympic Team

The final USA Men's Basketball roster will be trimmed to 12 players by June 18.

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2012 Olympics, USA Basketball: Former UCLA Stars Russell Westbrook And Kevin Love Among 20 Finalists For 2012 Team

The UCLA Bruins may be struggling this basketball season, but at least they can live off the memories of the past and the exploits of their former players on the NBA stage.

Well, let's add international to the mix as well - again.

The Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love, two former UCLA stars even in their short times there, were both named among the 20 finalists to compete for the final 12-man roster for the 2012 Olympics.

Westbrook and Love both won gold medals as members of the 2010 World Championships team. They will now compete against a talent-laden pool for those 12 spots. As of now, it would seem like Love would have a stronger chance between the two because he rebounds and can stretch the floor as a big man, which bodes well for international play. Westbrook is in a dogfight due to the likes of Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Deron Williams in play to man the point.

Either way, UCLA is well-represented once again.


2012 Olympics, USA Basketball: Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Blake Griffin Among 20 Finalists

USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo has announced the 20 players who are finalists to make the 2012 Olympic team and it has plenty of Los Angeles flavor.

The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Blake Griffin were all selected among the 20 finalists.

Bryant and Paul were shoo-ins after having such major impacts on the 2008 Gold medal winning team. Billups was on the 2010 World Championships team but due to his age and the amount of depth at point guard, it was thought he might not make it.

Griffin is the big news. He wasn't on either of the 2008 or 2010 teams and is the only addition to not be involved with either of the two previous squads. For a 22-year-old, that's a big deal.

All 20 finalists are as follows:

Forwards - Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love (Minnesota T'Wolves), LaMarcus Aldridge and Lamar Odom.

Guards - Billups, Paul, Bryant, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, Dwayne Wade, Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Deron Williams.

Centers - Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler.


USA Basketball: Blake Griffin Could Be Considered For 2012 Olympic Team, According To Reports

Griffin will be the only player not affiliated with the last two teams to be considered for a roster spot.

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