Harrison Barnes Among 12 Named to U.S. Olympic Roster
Harrison Barnes will finally get a chance to play for Mike Krzyzewski after all.
Monday morning it became official that the former UNC standout–who in 2010 chose the Tar Heels over Coach K’s Blue Devils via Skype–was selected to play for Team USA in this summer’s Olympics.
Entering an offseason where he is set to earn his first big contract in free agency, Barnes will have plenty to prove in Rio de Janeiro after a subpar performance in this year’s NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors.
Krzyzewski has led the U.S. to a 75-1 record since taking over as head coach in 2006–including a 63-game winning streak that spans across two Olympic gold medals and two World Championship titles.
With his selection, Barnes earns the unique distinction of being the only UNC player to ever play for teams led by both Krzyzewski and Roy Williams.
He’ll also be the 13th former Tar Heel to play in the Olympics for Team USA, and first since Vince Carter back in 2000.
In four seasons with the Warriors, Barnes has averaged 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game–all while shooting close to 38 percent from behind the three-point line. This after two years at UNC where he scored 16.3 points per game, and had a huge role in the Tar Heels’ back-to-back Elite Eight appearances.
His versatility has helped him fit in with a Golden State squad that’s helped change the way the game is played. No longer are teams worried about 7-foot behemoths plodding across the floor taking up space.
Instead, coaches are moving toward players like Barnes and his teammate Draymond Green–guys between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8 who can spread the floor on offense with their shooting, while also defending multiple positions on the other end.
For proof, look no further than the fact that three of Team USA’s 12 players–Barnes, Green and 6-foot-7 shooting guard Klay Thompson–each have spent the last few seasons together with the Warriors.
On top of that, only two traditional centers–DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings–were selected to the roster.
Golden State’s back-to-back NBA MVP, Stephen Curry, was also invited to be on the squad but declined to accept. Curry joined a long list of big names–including Finals MVP LeBron James–that are skipping out on the festivities for fear of contracting the Zika virus or getting injured.
Due to some of those higher-profile rejections, spots were opened up for less-heralded players like Barnes and the Toronto Raptors backcourt tandem of Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan.
Training for the event will last from July 18-21 in Las Vegas.
The team will then play four exhibition games prior to traveling to Rio–two against China (July 24 in Los Angeles, July 26 in Oakland), one against Venezuela (July 29 in Chicago) and another versus Nigeria (August 1 in Houston).
FULL TEAM USA ROSTER:
PG Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers/Duke)
PG Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors/Villanova)
SG Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors/Washington State)
SG Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls/Marquette)
SG DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors/USC)
SF Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder/Texas)
SF Paul George (Indiana Pacers/Fresno State)
SF Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors/North Carolina)
SF/PF Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks/Syracuse)
PF/C Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors/Michigan State)
C DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings/Kentucky)
C DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers/Texas A&M)
Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)
Assistant Coaches: Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Tom Thibodeau (Minnesota Timberwolves), Monty Williams (former New Orleans Pelicans head coach)