words // Brandon Richard
Just like 20 years ago, the NBA’s best players came together in Las Vegas yesterday to begin USA Basketball’s latest run toward Olympic Gold. A field of 15 finalists, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, will be trimmed down to the max roster size of 12 before the team’s first exhibition against the Dominican Republic on Thursday. Though Rose, Howard, Wade and Bosh are all sitting out with injuries, it’s safe to assume Coach K and crew will select a formidable group worthy of repeating.
While we wait to see who makes the cut, photos from the team’s first practice gives us the perfect opportunity to check out the kicks we can expect to see hit the hardwood in London. The Nike-dominated group is headlined by the newly released Lunar Hyperdunk, which was even spotted on the feet of Finals MVP LeBron James. Kobe, Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul each rocked “USA” colorways of their most recent signature models, while “Mr. Why Not?” Russell Westbrook debuted the “USA” colorway of the upcoming Hyperfuse 2012. The lone adidas wolf in the pack was sharpshooter Eric Gordon, who laced up the “USA” adiZero Crazy Light 2.
We’ll find out who will wear the red, white and blue when the selection show airs tonight at 7:00 p.m. on NBA TV. While you wait, take a look at the kicks worn in yesterday’s practice.
images via ESPN
Chris Paul changes from the “Olympic” Air Jordan Retro 7 to the “USA” Jordan CP3.V.
What does Kevin Durant have in his USA Basketball Nike backpack?
Rookie Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony participate in warm-ups wearing the “USA” Nike Lunar Hyperdunk and “USA” Jordan Melo M8, respectively.
LeBron takes it to the cup in the “USA” Nike Lunar Hyperdunk.
Elder statesman Kobe Bryant rocks the ’92 Jordan goatee and “USA” Nike Zoom Kobe VII.
Kevin Durant dials up from long distance in the “USA” Nike Zoom KD IV.
Blake Griffin runs some drills in the “USA” Nike Lunar Hyperdunk.
Russell Westbrook drives in the “USA” Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2012.
Kyrie Irving checks Kobe in a PE colorway of the Nike Hyperdunk 2011. Apparently he didn’t get the red, white and blue memo.
Defensive anchor Tyson Chandler sets his feet in the “USA” Nike Lunar Hyperdunk.
Klay Thompson squares off against the Mamba in the Nike Zoom Hyperenforcer.
USA Basketball’s three-headed monster ready to pounce on London.