US assembles a team that eyes return to basketball glory

The days when the US could be penciled in to win the world championship of hoops even before play began are long gone. Over the past two decades, the American men have triumphed only once in the quadrennial competition, and that was way back in 1994. They were sixth in 2002, and were only bronze medalists at the 2004 Summer Olympics (won by Serbia & Montenegro and Argentina, respectively). As a result, USA Basketball, the national governing body, has renewed its efforts for a return to the glory days. This, in preparation for the world championships, which open Saturday in Sapporo, Japan. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University's legendary head coach, will guide the Americans. And even though such superstars as Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant aren't suiting up – for various reasons – the roster is laden with talent. Here are the players and the National Basketball Association teams each represents:

Carmelo Anthony Denver

Shane Battier Houston

Chris Bosh Toronto

Bruce Bowen San Antonio

Elton Brand Los Angeles Clippers

Kirk Hinrich Chicago

Dwight Howard Orlando

LeBron James Cleveland

Antawn Jamison Washington

Joe Johnson Atlanta

Brad Miller Sacramento

Chris Paul New Orleans

Dwayne Wade Miami

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