While Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, both of whom played in the 2010 World Championships, are locks to make the 2012 Olympic Team, no such guarantee exists for James Harden.
The third of Oklahoma City's perimeter stars was added to the qualifying pool during the playoffs, and he'll be competing with New Orleans Hornets SG Eric Gordon to backup Kobe Bryant.
According to a report from ESPN's Ric Bucher, the difference which will be which player Coach K thinks would be more comfortable as a role player on the star-studded team:
The team's scrimmages and workouts in Las Vegas beginning this weekend are likely to determine who wins this spot. This isn't about who the best overall player is, but which one is the better defender and scorer off the ball.
Bucher gives the early edge to Gordon, a career 37% three-point shooter who came into the NBA known as a shooting specialist.
There isn't a huge amount of difference in the games of the two SG's, who are widely considered the two best young players at the position. It could also be the start of an intriguing individual rivalry between Gordon and Harden, especially now that Gordon's Hornets picked up Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers in the lottery and have a chance to be a long-term threat to the Thunder's domination of the West.