The US Olympic basketball team will be without two of Miami Heat's 'big three' after Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh pulled out of the squad for London.
Wade, with a knee injury, and Bosh, with an abdominal complaint, played through injuries in the Heat's run to finals victory and both need time for their problems to heal.
Other candidates who have withdrawn due to injury include Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.
"We've taken four bullets with the injuries to Rose, Howard, Wade and Bosh and it will now be a testimony to the infrastructure we put in with the national team roster. I feel very confident about our roster going forward," USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said.
Wade, who won a bronze medal in Athens and a gold four years ago in Beijing, said his body would not allow him to play in a third games.
"As many people may know, throughout the season, I struggled with a recurring knee issue," Wade said.
"After the championship game, I visited with my doctors for a round of comprehensive medical tests, and the recent results dictate the need for surgery.
Bosh missed nine games during the playoffs but returned to help Miami defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to win his first title since moving to South Beach.
"I am extremely disappointed to say that due to injury I cannot represent my country in the 2012 Olympics in London," Bosh said.
"The abdominal injury I suffered in Game One of the Eastern Conference semi-finals is not fully healed."
With Wade and Bosh out of consideration, there are 16 players left for 12 spots on the US team, down from an initial pool of 20.
One member of the NBA champion Heat remains on the roster that will begin training next week in Las Vegas, three-times league Most Valuable Player and NBA Finals MVP LeBron James.
Finalists for the US team: Lebron James (Heat), Carmelo Anthony (Knicks), Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Tyson Chandler (Knicks), Anthony Davis (University of Kentucky), Kevin Durant (Thunder), Rudy Gay (Grizzlies), Eric Gordon (Hornets), Blake Griffin (Clippers), James Harden (Thunder), Andre Iguodala (76ers), Kevin Love (Timberwolves), Lamar Odom (Mavericks), Chris Paul (Clippers), Russell Westbrook (Thunder) and Deron Williams (Nets).
Reuters/ABCTags: sport, basketball, olympics-summer, united-states First posted June 30, 2012 09:58:18