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USA Basketball names 30 finalists for U.S. Olympic men’s team

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USA Basketball announced 30 finalists for its 12-man Olympic basketball roster on Monday.

The list is led by LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, seeking to become the first men to make four U.S. Olympic basketball teams. They were gold medalists in 2012 and 2008 and bronze medalists in 2004.

James, though, is no guarantee to suit up in Rio, even if USA Basketball wants him to.

“I haven’t thought about it,” James said Monday. “The last thing I thought about Team USA was Kobe [Bryant] taking his name out of the pool. That’s the last thing I kind of really thought about, so I’m not any inch closer to playing or not any inch closer to not playing. I haven’t really thought about it much.”

Finalists include nine of the 12 players on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, missing Bryant, Tyson Chandler and Deron Williams.

Bryant, 37, announced Saturday that he would not seek a place on the Olympic team.

Other missing players include point guards Derrick Rose and Damian Lillard and 2004 and 2008 Olympian Dwyane Wade, who were not on a 34-man August camp roster. Bryant, Chandler and Williams were also not on that camp roster.

Potential first-time Olympians include NBA MVP Stephen CurryBlake Griffin (originally named to the 2012 team but later withdrew due to injury) and Paul George, whom Colangelo reportedly said had “a spot for him” waiting in 2016 six days after George broke his right leg in a U.S. camp scrimmage on Aug. 1, 2014.

USA Basketball did not say in the press release when the final 12-man Olympic team will be named. In 2012, it named its Olympic roster three weeks before the Games.

“Obviously selecting the official roster of 12 players for the Olympics in 2016 will be a very, very difficult process,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a press release. “As has been the case with past USA Basketball teams, the goal once again is to select the very best team possible to represent the United States.”

The finalists:

LaMarcus Aldridge
Carmelo Anthony — 2004, 2008, 2012 Olympian
Harrison Barnes
Bradley Beal
Jimmy Butler
Mike Conley
DeMarcus Cousins
Stephen Curry
Anthony Davis — 2012 Olympian
DeMar DeRozan
Andre Drummond
Kevin Durant — 2012 Olympian
Kenneth Faried
Rudy Gay
Paul George
Draymond Green
Blake Griffin — On original 2012 Olympic roster, then injured
James Harden — 2012 Olympian
Gordon Hayward
Dwight Howard — 2008 Olympian
Andre Iguodala — 2012 Olympian
Kyrie Irving
LeBron James — 2004, 2008, 2012 Olympian
DeAndre Jordan
Kawhi Leonard
Kevin Love — 2012 Olympian
Chris Paul — 2008, 2012 Olympian
Klay Thompson
John Wall
Russell Westbrook — 2012 Olympian

MORE BASKETBALL: Carmelo Anthony Olympic medal auctioned

Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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