Friday evening, Team USA officially pared down their 16-man roster to the required 12, with four names removed: Kyle Korver, Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, and the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard. Earlier that evening, Lillard played no minutes in a Team USA victory over Puerto Rico.
Lillard had been listed on "the bubble" by most analysts for a while, and was expected to be cut as long as Chicago Bulls PG Derrick Rose was able to play. Damian told Marc J. Spears, "It's nothing I did or didn't do. No hard feelings. Wish them the best." On Twitter, Lillard was in good spirits:
Back in my natural habitat! Throw more wood on the fire . Thankful for the opportunity And guys please don't feel sorry. I'm always Good!— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 23, 2014
USA Basketball released a statement confirming the roster.
This is the final Team USA Roster:
Update: Marc Stein has thoughts from USA Basketball chariman Jerry Colangelo here. After offering a rationale for keeping multiple big men, Colangelo speaks of Lillard's fate indirectly, inferring a choice between Lillard and Rose for the final guard spot:
"We're comfortable [with Rose's readiness] based on what we're being told by people around Derrick and what we're being told by Derrick himself," Colangelo said. "He says he feels great and that there's not going to be any issues going forward. So we're going with it. We're riding with that.
"We think we have enough people that can handle the ball that we're in pretty good shape there anyway."
In the same article Stein attributes Lillard's dismissal to Coach Mike Krzyzewski wanting to take 12, not 13, players to Spain for ongoing practices, implying that Lillard was the bubble player on the roster.