Gordon, Odom make final 15 for U.S.
They will travel to New York and be joined there by Westbrook, Love and Chandler
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles is the only city in the country with two NBA basketball teams and both the Lakers and the Clippers are one step closer to representing the United States at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey next month.
USA Basketball announced Wednesday that Lakers forward Lamar Odom and Clippers guard Eric Gordon are among the 15 players invited to New York for a training camp from Aug. 9-16 to compete to make the final 12-man roster that will try to win the first gold medal for the U.S. in the World Championship since 1994.
Odom and Gordon were in Las Vegas last week for USA Basketball's initial tryouts and beat out Tyreke Evans, former USC standout O.J. Mayo, JaVale McGee and Gerald Wallace to make it to the next stage in New York. Odom, one of the two elder statesmen on the team along with Chauncey Billups, is considered a lock to make the final roster.
"I'm probably closer to the end of my career than the start, so this is something that I just wanted to kind of have on my resume," Odom told ESPNLosAngeles.com last week. "The opportunity to represent your country doesn't come around a lot and this is something that I couldn't pass up."
Gordon, who improved his stock dramatically with 16 points on 4-for-7 shooting on 3-pointers to go along with two steals in the teams annual Blue-White scrimmage to culminate the Vegas camp, is considered on the bubble and will likely vie with former UCLA standout Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo and Stephen Curry for three guard spots on the final team.
"I'm really excited to be named as a finalist and I'm looking forward to continuing our training in New York in August," Gordon said in a statement released by the Clippers. "This is a great opportunity for me to both represent my country and the Clippers on the world stage."
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Gordon's chances would improve if the team elects to carry six guards, rather than the traditional five, something that coach Mike Krzyzewski hinted could be a possibility in a statement released Wednesday.
"We're really pleased with the week we had in Vegas," Krzyzewski said. "There's such a great spirit to be on the team and to bring these 15 players to New York, they've all earned the opportunity to be there. We have an unconventional team that we're forming, but it's still one that is built with great spirit, athleticism and a little bit more guard oriented than most U.S. teams have been."
Team USA opens its exhibition schedule with a game against France on Aug. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers and Clippers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.