The Americans announced the 20 players who will be candidates for the London Games, adding Blake Griffin of the Clippers and LaMarcus Aldridge of Portland to the 18 holdovers from either the 2008 Olympics or 2010 world championship who have said they wish to be considered again. The 12-man roster and alternates for the Olympics will be chosen from the new player pool in June.

Returning from the team that won gold in Beijing are: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Back from the reigning world champions are: Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Tyson Chandler, Eric Gordon, Rudy Gay, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups, Russell Westbrook and Andre Iguodala.

Our question today is; who is your starting 5 for the 2012 London Olympics. It would be hard to go wrong with this group of players, but if you had to pick 5 who would you pick.. Here is Unathletic’s starting 5….

Center – Dwight Howard – Orlando Magic

I think this one will be the most clear-cut choice of all the positions. Dwight Howard is the most dominant big man in the NBA today, and he should be no different on the world stage. He possesses a rare combination of size and athleticism that can’t be matched.

Backup – Tyson Chandler: I love the thought of Chandler who is a defensive-minded player (and a beast defensively) backing up Howard.

Power Forward – Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder

What a beautiful thing to have a versatile, long, athletic PF to play on the front line along side Dwight Howard. I don’t think I need to support the fact I’m putting the best player in the NBA in the starting 5 do it? Durant can stretch a team like none other.

Backup – Kevin Love: Speaking of best players in the NBA, is Kevin Love not top5? Absolutely. The guy is an offensively-skilled beast. Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Small Forward – Lebron James – Miami Heat

Hate him or love him, he’s the perfect fit here. Let’s just act like he’s not one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball. This is a role where Lebron excels in. He’s willing to do the dirty work, but he’s also willing to take over. Look no one really loves the guy, but I want him starting for Team USA without a shred of doubt.

Backup – Carmelo Anthony: I was awfully tempted to give Rudy Gay a shot here, but I said to myself, I want a guy who can just fill it up here and not worry about anything else. Carmelo is the guy. The good news is; if he wants to he can fill it up, rebound and defend (when he feels like it)

Shooting Guard – Kobe Bryant – LA Lakers:

Well, DUH! Another fact we’re going to have to begin to accept is Kobe is the closest thing to Michael Jordan we’re going to see in our generation. He’s also, maybe, possibly the second best player in the history of the NBA. Age? Oh, he’s only leading the NBA in scoring right now at 32 ppg. Lock this up.

Backup – Dwyane Wade: Not a bad backup if you ask me.

Point Guard – Chris Paul – LA Clippers

Aye! This is a tough one. Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Derrick Rose… Yikes. I’m going with Paul just because he fits in the starting 5, in my eyes, better. You can’t go wrong on this one. You really can’t.

Backup – Derrick Rose: I’m not going to snub the MVP of the league for crying out loud. With that said, I like Williams vs. bigger guards.


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