London 2012: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in US Olympic squad

NBA superstars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have been named in the United States' initial 20-man squad for the London Olympics.

The US have picked eight players who won gold in Beijing in 2008 - their 13th men's Olympic title.

Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Deron Williams also return having played in the 2008 squad.

The roster will be trimmed to 12 players in time for the Games.

The rest of the squad includes LaMarcus Aldridge, Chauncey Billups, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.

The United States are due to play a number of warm-up games ahead of the Olympics, including a friendly against Great Britain in Manchester in July.

Anthony, James, Odom and Wade also played at the Athens Olympics in 2004, where the American team had to settle for the bronze medal .

LONDON 2012 - WHO'S ALREADY QUALIFIED?

  • Men's competition - Great Britain (hosts), United States, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, Australia, Tunisia, China plus three wildcard teams to be decided in July
  • Women's competition - Great Britain (hosts), United States, Brazil, Russia, China, Australia, Angola and five wildcard teams to be decided in June

Ten of the players in the 2012 squad were on the team that won gold at the 2010 Fiba World Championship .

"I feel like we have an outstanding blend of talents from the 2008 Olympic and 2010 World Championship teams that won gold," said USA manager director Jerry Colangelo.

"Reducing to the official roster limit of 12 players will be an even tougher decision, but we'll evaluate how guys play during the 2011-12 NBA season and, as we've done with our teams in the past, we'll attempt to select the very best team we can."

The United States will be favourites for gold in London having finished among the medals in all 16 Games in which they have competed. They won the first seven Olympic men's titles, only succumbing to the Soviet Union three seconds from the end, 51-50, in the dramatic Munich final in 1972.

The Americans have won gold in every Games, except 2004, since 1992's 'Dream Team', the first time NBA players were able to take part.

Great Britain has one player in its ranks who plays for an NBA side, Luol Deng of Chicago Bulls .

United States initial 20-man squad:

LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers), Chris Bosh (Miami), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City), Rudy Gay (Memphis), Eric Gordon (New Orleans), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Dwight Howard (Orlando), Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia), LeBron James (Miami), Kevin Love (Minnesota), Lamar Odom (Dallas), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), Derrick Rose (Chicago), Dwyane Wade (Miami), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), Deron Williams (New Jersey).