With LeBron James sticking around and some of the NBAs best players joining him, the U.S. basketball team could be better than ever. "The roster itself is the strongest roster weve ever had," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. Even without Kobe Bryant, who had said the 2012 London Olympics was his last international competition, its a formidable group. James and 10 others from the 2012 U.S. Olympic team are remaining in the national team pool, joined by a group of newcomers hoping for their first chance at gold. USA Basketball selected 28 players Thursday to choose from for the World Cup of Basketball this summer in Spain and the 2016 Rio Olympics. Carmelo Anthony was also chosen, giving him and James a chance to play in a fourth Olympics and win a third gold medal. They wont play this summer, but might still put on the red, white and blue one more time down the road. "We really do want to give some of the younger players an opportunity in Spain this summer, but they want to remain there and stay in the mix for being on our roster in Rio," Colangelo said on a conference call. Also selected from the 2012 gold medallists were: Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kevin Love, Deron Williams, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Tyson Chandler and Andre Iguodala. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is back to lead the Americans, as he has done since 2005. The other players picked were: Chicagos Derrick Rose, Houstons Dwight Howard, the Clippers Blake Griffin, Indianas Paul George; Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson of Golden State; LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard of Portland; Sacramentos DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving of Cleveland; San Antonios Kawhi Leonard; Washingtons Bradley Beal; Atlantas Kyle Korver; Detroits Andre Drummond; Denvers Kenneth Faried; and Utahs Gordon Hayward. Its an experienced, star-filled group -- it includes the NBAs top 10 scorers -- and the Americans stressed it will be "fluid," meaning more players could be added over the next three years. And unlike recent U.S. teams, its big. The Americans have been undersized up front, but have plenty of post players to choose from with Howard, Chandler, Cousins, Davis and Aldridge. "Those are more big guys than weve had before," said Krzyzewski, noting he had James and Anthony on the floor as his two big men late in the 2012 gold-medal game. "We do have a few more options now." Half of the 28 players have already won gold in either the Olympics or world basketball championships, which was renamed for this years event. James, Anthony, Paul and Williams all have played for the last two Olympic gold-medal winners. Howard missed his chance to join them when he had to pull out of the 2012 London Games because of injury. So did Rose and Griffin -- the latter after he had made the final 12-man roster. Durant and Love were the first to announce their return last summer and are expected to play in Spain. They, along with Iguodala, Westbrook and Chandler, won gold in both 2010 and 2012. The Americans will have to trim the roster to 12 before heading to Spain. If they defend their world title, they will automatically clinch a spot for Rio. If not, they would have to play in an Olympic qualifying tournament in 2015. As in 2010, when they won the worlds for the first time since 1994, the Americans will likely feature a younger roster. But its a deep one, with the potential to bring players such as Aldridge, George and Cousins, who have been among the NBAs best this season. Then James, who began his Olympic career with a bronze in 2004, could make his way back. He and Anthony have already tied David Robinson for the most among U.S. players with their three Olympic appearances. "LeBron has an incredible opportunity to do it a fourth time and the mere fact that his name is on the roster indicates his desire and interest in continuing to have that opportunity in front of him," Colangelo said. Krzyzewski saw James on Wednesday when Duke played at Miami, and said the NBAs MVP was excited to remain involved. "For him to do it a fourth time would be just another star or asterisk next to his name and his career, and it appears thats exactly what he wants to try," Colangelo said. Pat McAfee Jersey . -- Downcast before the final game of what had been a difficult road trip, the Ottawa Senators found a way to dig out a little momentum in the desert before heading home. 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Brett Bulmer scored the lone goal for the Wild (6-11-0), who dropped their sixth straight contest.I first covered the most unsavoury subject on planet futbol in a February 2006 blog, and at the time thought like all other pre-civilized diseases on mother earth the authorities would do all they possible could to ensure it would soon be eradicated. How foolishly wrong I was. Forget the now inherent corruption and back handed favours that plague the beautiful game. Goal Line Technology? Youre having a laugh. As for them penalty cheating bandits, footballs lawmakers upend them by awarding the penalty to the opponent each time a player attempts to con the referee into awarding ghost penalties. This at least ensures Cristiano and Gareth remain upright for the next el clásico. What Josip Simunic did following the final whistle in Zagreb Tuesday night is beyond the pale of rational or reasonable behaviour. This has to finally be the point FIFA and UEFA finally begin to behave in a manner which will ensure the so termed beautiful game is rid of racism. Let there be no doubt, this is hardly an isolated case. Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini need to take a long, hard and very painful look at themselves and their organizations for their inertia, pitiful response and the lenient way they have dealt with offenders. In some cases, repeat offenders. The punishment is not even close to the offense taken and crime committed. Shaking hands doesnt count, Blatter. The effect of leniency has provided the breeding ground which has allowed racism on the terraces and the sacred pitch itself to evolve into a form that is not far removed from becoming structural. Dare I say an accepted practice? My February 2006 blog highlighted the fact a fringe minority of so called Real Zaragoza supporters were repeat offenders for racially abusing Samuel Etoo. Moreover, I was as troubled by the fact when the racism had occurred the previous year the response from the authorities was to fine Zaragoza €600, approximately $1,000. Etoo was so incensed by the events in 2006 to again be the target of this depraved and cowardly behaviour he wanted to send a message he had enough and was willing to walk off the pitch. It took his then coach Frank Rijkaard and some of his Barcelona teammates to convince the Cameroonian to not allow the racists win. Shamefully no one in a position of real authority that particular Zaragoza night decided to act in the required manner and right there in that moment begin the long hard process of finally doing something more meaningful than the lip service of an appeal on the PA system. The referee requested Real Zaragoza make an announcement on the stadium public address system for those guilty to refrain from the racism. Not sure if they used the word please. Obviously 2005s €600 fine to Zaragoza was hardly a deterrent. Or the first time such behaviour had occurred. Merely the first time the authorities felt compelled to be seen to be doing something about it. Plainly, what the Spanish Football Federation did, likely briefing or getting direction from UEFA as they went, sent a clear intention that brushing it under the carpet was all they were willing to do. I cant quite understand why its the club the authorities go after and not the actual cowardly perpetrators themselves. They use their football club as a smokescreen. We could list here all the separate racist incidents that have occurred in European football since 2005 and the word worthless could fit in terms of an adjective for the so called punishments that have been handed out. Excuse me, sanctions. Punishment almost directly infers a crime had previously been committed. The most recent reported case of racism occurred in last months CSKA Moscow v Manchester City Champions League match. Yes, many cases do go unreported and undetected. City captain Yaya Toure was the target on that particular Moscow night. Russian footballs response to this was to accuse the English of a smear campaign, whilst CSKA rolled out the denial campaign. UEFA went away from its fines system and went for the partial stadium closure sanction. Three institutions, three strikes. Shameful. Hows this for flexing your muscles? In UEFAs official statement, they omitted anyy explicit racist references to what went on that particular night.dddddddddddd. Wholly unacceptably, UEFAs statement referred to the matter as an incident. The first sentence of the statement reading, "The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has handed down sanctions to CSKA Moscow following incidents during their UEFA Champions League home game against Manchester City" An incident? Of what nature exactly. Late in the statement we find out the sanction is partial closure to a section of the stadium where the horrific abuse stemmed from. UEFA couldnt even bring themselves to close the entire stadium, or even for that matter, the South Stand which is the part of the ground the racist cowards like to associate themselves with. Tough guys only need apply. When CSKA and Bayern Munich play their UEFA Champions League group stage match Wednesday, Sector D of the Khimiki Arena will be closed. It was only in the final paragraph of UEFAs statement were they were willing to use the R word. "The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA. All forms of racist behavior are considered serious offenses against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions." If closing a solitary section for a single Champions League match is UEFAs definition of the most severe sanctions then it is all the proof we need the European Custodian of the worlds game is incapable of correctly policing itself. Hardly surprising, shortly after the match, Yaya Toure began speaking of African players and teams boycotting Russia 2018. Can anyone blame him? Why is it that where yet again society has grotesquely failed people of African origins they themselves feel compelled to take matters into their own hands? I ask FIFA and UEFA; do we need to see rioting on the streets before they recognize that it is they themselves who have a responsibility? They have failed this generation and are indirectly guilty themselves. I think the legal term is by association. Too bad Platini doesnt view racism in football as he does the so called financial doping in the code. When do we see a panel assembled that has the exact same resources and same wide ranging powers as UEFAs Financial Fair Play executive be put in place to finally rid us of racism in European football. Apparently you can no longer invest your own personal fortune to better ensure a winning culture pervades at your football club. But at the same token, sit idly back as your customers racially abuse and in some instances commit crimes on the employees of your rivals. Who invented this system? Didnt John Terry get charged by the London police in regards to the well documented case involving Rio Ferdinands younger brother? Ultimately standing trial shortly after appearing for England at EURO 2012. Why then are the people who claim allegiance to CSKA not feeling the full force of the legal system? Simunic was found guilty by the Zagreb legal system for, Spreading Racial Hatred and was fined a paltry $4,000 by the Prosecutors Office. What message does that send? Someone else willing to invoke 20th century Nazism for a sum of money Gareth Bale roughly receives for every minute he spends on the Santiago Barnebeau pitch. Those multi-national companies, including the recently added Russian energy company Gazprom, who set aside millions of dollars each year to partner up and brand themselves around the pinnacle of club football have a duty and obligation to greater society. Companies are very willing to associate themselves with good causes. There is no greater cause in all of humanity than to foster encouragement in us all to treat one another and each other as our equals. As in the immortal words of singer Timmy Thomas who asked in his 1972 classic, which over the years has gone on to be re-recorded by a variety of musical greats from a variety of different backgrounds: Why Cant We Live Together? Answers on a postcard to Sepp & Michel. Im sure the two most powerful men in world football are in a good place to cover the cost of the stamps. You can reach and follow Noel Butler at:Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter ' ' '