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Thread: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

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    Default LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...ris&id=2290907

    LeBron James: His Olympic experience in 2004 was not a good one, and his behavior and attitude were bigger problems than the public realized. In the end, however, it will go down as a good learning experience for James, who has told Colangelo he's on board.

    I'll post the rest of the article here:

    eam USA will be stocked, that's for sure. Whether it blends into a cohesive unit that can restore American basketball dominance is a question that remains to be answered.

    National team czar Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.com he has been "stunned' by the level of interest he has received in more than two dozen face-to-face interviews with players he wants to put on the national team roster.


    Allen Iverson is passionate about another shot at the gold.

    With another six or seven meetings still to take place, Colangelo said he has received 18 solid commitments. In addition, agents for seven other players have called Colangelo to say their clients are eager to sacrifice their next three summers to take part in what Colangelo describes as his "mission" -- the effort to build a national team capable of winning gold medals at the 2006 World Championship in Japan and the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China.

    Colangelo plans to announce a core group of players, as few as four and as many as eight, sometime around the All-Star break. Formal invitations eventually will be extended to 20 to attend training camp in Las Vegas in mid-July. The World Championship will run from Aug. 19 to Sept. 3, with the U.S. team playing its opening-round games in the northern city of Sapporo, with the opponents to be determined by draw on Sunday.

    The United States is coming off disappointing finishes in the last two major international tournaments, a bronze medal showing at the Athens Olympics and a sixth-place failure at the 2002 World Championship in Indianapolis.

    In Colangelo's meetings thus far with 25 players, some have expressed surprise that they might actually have to go through what would amount to a tryout. Colangelo has told players he's not forcing anyone to do anything, but anyone who believes it would be beneath him to fight for a roster spot won't be welcome. Colangelo is also laying down a few laws, such as banning families and entourages during the opening round of the World Championship and pretournament trips to China and South Korea.

    "I think the response I've had has been stunning, and I think it's a compliment to our NBA players' buying into the philosophy of playing for their country," Colangelo said. "Pride is a factor, because they're not happy with where USA Basketball is at the moment, and they want to change that."

    Colangelo would not divulge which players have given him their word, although public comments and Insider insight have combined to produce a reading on where more than 50 of the top American players stand:

    Ray Allen: The best pure shooter holding a U.S. passport is one of the last players Colangelo will meet with. Played for U.S. in 2000 and 2003, withdrew from 2004 team due to security concerns. Might have a hard time coexisting peacefully with Kobe Bryant.

    Carmelo Anthony: Colangelo said everyone starts with a clean slate, and he did not hold Anthony's complaints about playing time in Athens against him. The three-year commitment is giving Anthony pause, but he was one of the first players Colangelo sought out.

    Gilbert Arenas: On board and eager judging by his public comments, the NBA's fourth-leading scorer is a strong favorite to be on the team heading to Japan.

    Shane Battier: Wants to play, and it can't hurt that he spent four years at Duke under new U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski.

    Mike Bibby: Strangely, there seems to be no interest in the player Larry Brown wanted to beg back onto the Athens team when it was stumbling through its pre-Olympic tour.

    Chauncey Billups: Met with Colangelo on Tuesday in Oklahoma City, as did teammates Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince. Coach Flip Saunders has lobbied for Billups, saying his combination of strength and shooting would be perfect for the international game.

    Bruce Bowen: On the bubble. The last two roster spots likely will be filled with role players, and the player who guards Manu Ginobili in practice every day is an intriguing candidate.

    Carlos Boozer: Out all season with an injured hamstring, it's clear that this member of the Athens team won't be wearing red, white and blue this summer.

    Chris Bosh: With the ability to play inside and outside on both offense and defense, Bosh is seen as a perfect fit for the U.S. team. Count on seeing him in Japan.

    Elton Brand: Another player who withdrew from the Athens team due to security concerns, Brand might be regretting that decision. He has indicated he'd like to wear the USA jersey again.

    Kobe Bryant: Knee surgery kept him off the 2003 U.S. Olympic qualifying team, and a sexual-assault trial forced him to withdraw from the 2004 team. He's in -- and gung ho -- for 2006 and 2008.

    Vince Carter: The best player on the 2002 team, he has not yet met with Colangelo. His best dunk ever came while wearing a USA uniform when he jumped over 7-2 Frederic Weis of France during the Sydney Olympics.

    Marcus Camby: Another on the short list of players who will meet with Colangelo soon. Was playing like the NBA's best center before getting hurt last month, and the Americans need a shot blocker and rebounder who can defend China's Yao Ming, Australia's Andrew Bogut, Argentina's Fabricio Oberto and Serbia's Nenad Krstic, among others.

    Baron Davis: A member of the 2002 U.S. team that lost to Argentina, Yugoslavia and Spain, he'd like another chance. But with Billups and Jason Kidd seeming to be held in higher esteem, he appears to be somewhat a long shot.

    Tim Duncan: Infuriated at the way international referees treated him during the Olympics, his parting words as he left Athens were "FIBA sucks." His agent has already informed Colangelo that Duncan will not be participating.

    T.J. Ford: An intriguing candidate, but too young and too raw to be given serious consideration. Perhaps in 2010 when the World Championship is held in Turkey.

    Steve Francis: Top USA Basketball officials have never been all that enamored with his game or his character, and he remains off their radar. His suspension this week won't get him any closer to Beijing.

    Channing Frye: One of the players Colangelo wants to have on a scout team that would scrimmage the national team in Las Vegas.

    Kevin Garnett: Not interested in doing it again after winning a gold medal in Sydney.

    Ben Gordon: The U.S. federation is not interested yet, but the British federation is. Gordon and teammate Luol Deng are toying with the idea of playing for Great Britain, with Steve Nash potentially as their coach, when England gets an automatic berth as host of the 2012 Olympics.

    Richard Hamilton: Rip still has bad memories of his time with the U.S. Olympic qualifying team in 1999 when he sprained his ankle and did not play. For that reason, he might be on the fence.

    Kirk Hinrich: There are some folks at USA Basketball who love him, others who believe he's not ready confidence-wise. A long shot.

    Dwight Howard: The youngster is said to be super eager for a chance to play, and Colangelo has made it clear he sees Howard as one of the long-term pieces of his project. Might have to play his way onto the Japan roster if he gets an invite to training camp in Vegas.

    Allen Iverson: Some in the USA Basketball hierarchy were skeptical about him going into the 2004 Olympics, but he won many of them over with his genuine passion for representing his country. Wants to play again.

    Antawn Jamison: His struggles this season for Washington wouldn't figure to be helping him, but he's said to be under consideration.

    Richard Jefferson: Played poorly for the U.S. team in Athens but wants to redeem himself. The type of first-class citizen USA Basketball has typically tried to get, but the memory of his inability to hit an open 20-footer has stuck in the heads of many U.S. federation officials.

    Joe Johnson: This would be an awkward selection if Colangelo made it, given the circumstances of Johnson's departure from Colangelo's Phoenix Suns. But if bygones are truly bygones, Joe J may have a shot.

    Jason Kidd: Has said he's very intrigued by the possibility of wearing the red, white and blue again. Was an integral part of the 2000 team in Sydney, the only player on that roster who knew the details of the disputed U.S. loss to the Soviet Union at the 1972 Munich Games. If he's chosen, it would impact the type of players that would be selected to surround him.

    Kyle Korver: One of the game's best shooters, but too deficient in other areas to draw consideration.

    Rashard Lewis: Wants to be in the mix, but it's unclear whether Colangelo has a mutual interest.

    Stephon Marbury: Set the U.S. Olympic scoring record of 31 points against Spain in the Athens semifinals, but isn't believed to be on the list of players being considered for 2006.

    Shawn Marion: A member of the 2004 and 2006 teams, he's a Colangelo favorite and likely will be playing for the U.S. in Japan.

    Adam Morrison: Scout team candidate.

    Tracy McGrady: Hasn't yet met with Colangelo but has said publicly that he does not believe his chronically injured back could take the wear and tear of a three-year commitment. Enjoyed his experience with the 2003 U.S. team that qualified for the Olympics at a tournament in Puerto Rico, but backed out without much of an excuse in 2004.

    Brad Miller: Was a member of the 1998 U.S. team that competed in the World Championship in Greece during the NBA lockout, and has a style of play well suited to the international game. His agent has called Colangelo to state Miller's interest.

    Greg Oden: Scout team candidate.

    Lamar Odom: Is expected to meet with Colangelo later this month, and has said he'd like to represent the U.S. again. Was one of the more consistent performers for the 2004 Athens team.

    Emeka Okafor: The only member of the 2004 team who failed to score a point in Athens, even when the team kept running plays for him in the fourth quarter of a blowout over Angola. Apparently not being considered for 2006.

    Jermaine O'Neal: For reasons that remain unclear, O'Neal and Colangelo failed to keep a scheduled meeting. O'Neal has said publicly that a three-year commitment would be too taxing physically, but he still plans to talk things over with Colangelo.

    Shaquille O'Neal: Hasn't played for the U.S. since 1996, but now says he's seriously thinking about doing it again. His presence alone would be a huge statement, but he'd have to be teammates with Kobe again.

    Chris Paul: Scout team candidate.

    Paul Pierce: Has repeatedly stated publicly that he wants a chance to redeem himself after being part of the 2002 debacle, and Colangelo has assured Pierce he'll get consideration. Expect the two to meet soon.

    J.J. Redick: Scout team candidate.

    Michael Redd: Many felt he should have been added to the 2004 Athens team, which needed shooters but added Okafor for the 12th roster spot. If Ray Allen declines to play, it's almost imperative that Redd be on the U.S. team. The Americans likely will see a steady diet of zone defenses, as they did in Athens. "We kept our zone packed inside the foul line," Lithuania's Sarunas Jasikevicius recalled.

    Jason Richardson: Apparently not being considered.

    Amare Stoudemire: Wants to play again after being buried on Larry Brown's bench in 2004, but it's hard to see his being included on the 2006 team so soon after having knee surgery. Look for him in Beijing, though.

    Wally Szczerbiak: Colangelo plans to speak to him to gauge his interest.

    Dwyane Wade: A person who has spoken to Wade described him as "98 percent" certain he'll rejoin the national team. He was the backup point guard behind Marbury in Athens.

    Ben Wallace: His style of play is not suited to the international game, which was plain to anyone who watched him play on the 2002 team. He has improved his shooting since then, but it's still highly unlikely he'll play for the U.S. again.

    Rasheed Wallace: Apparently not being considered.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Can't say I blame Duncan, with the FIBA officiating that pretty much allows you to commit murder on post players.

    Now I understand why so few Euros have real post moves. They are discouraged from playing on the low block from day 1.

    Also, with respect to JO, but if he won't commit to three years, then he should stay home. We can;t afford to let players run the show anymore, even if we have to settle for lesser ones.

    If I was a Pacer fan, I'd want him to stay home too, for the same reasons Duncan isn't going.

    The only real center I'd want on the team is Shaq, because no intenational center would have the balls to treat him like they trated Duncan.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...ris&id=2290907


    Rasheed Wallace: Apparently not being considered.
    Gee, really??? You mean they don't want as$holes representing our country?

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson
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    Gee, really??? You mean they don't want as$holes representing our country?
    Yeah, you were the first guy scratched off the list.

    Now that that's out of your system, leave and let someone else discuss the point of this thread.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Rytas_Jega
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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    Ben Gordon: The U.S. federation is not interested yet, but the British federation is. Gordon and teammate Luol Deng are toying with the idea of playing for Great Britain, with Steve Nash potentially as their coach, when England gets an automatic berth as host of the 2012 Olympics.
    I hope they will play for GB. Otherwise, 2012 Olympic Basketball Tournament will have guaranteed 5 cruel games.

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    Rytas_Jega
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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    IMO, USA NT really needs Chauncey Billups and Ray Allen. International basketball game is much about threepoint shooting.

    USA NT with any NBA players roster will be stronger phisically than their opponents.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    I've missed something. Why would Gordon, Deng, and Nash play for Great Britain? Was that a joke?

    Meanwhile, It'd be a coup to get Shaq on that team, and I think they're making a mistake in not pursuing Rasheed. I think he'd be a teriffic cog in the Team USA machine.

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    Rytas_Jega
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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    I've missed something. Why would Gordon, Deng, and Nash play for Great Britain? Was that a joke?
    Nash couldn't play. He has played for Canada NT. But he could frighten opponents from bench being a coach.

    Nash has Brittish passport.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    I've missed something. Why would Gordon, Deng, and Nash play for Great Britain? Was that a joke?

    Meanwhile, It'd be a coup to get Shaq on that team, and I think they're making a mistake in not pursuing Rasheed. I think he'd be a teriffic cog in the Team USA machine.
    I doubt Shaq will play b/c Kobe is playing. ...and unless Shaq starts playing better, I don't want him on the team.

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    MillerTime
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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    I think alll three were born in the UK.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Wait a minute, why isn't Ron Artest among those 50 best..
    Hmmm..

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    Meanwhile, It'd be a coup to get Shaq on that team, and I think they're making a mistake in not pursuing Rasheed. I think he'd be a teriffic cog in the Team USA machine.
    Just Imagine a team of

    PG- Billups
    SG- Ray Allen
    SF- Kobe
    PF- Sheed
    C- Shaq

    Double Shaq off anyone and you're dead from the perimiter. Dont double Shaq and you're dead from.... well... Shaq. Sheed would be the perfect teammate to Shaq. Drawing that defender out to the perimeter. There would be a lot of drama with that team outside of the Pistons though.

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    Rytas_Jega
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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime
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    I think alll three were born in the UK.
    Almost.

    Ben Gordon was born in London, United Kingdom.
    Loul Deng was born in Sudan but raised in London.
    Steve Nash was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Canada (Vitoria, BC). He was a captain of Canada's basketball NT in 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    British www.nba.com says:
    http://www.nba.com/uk/british_players.html
    "This year, British fans have all the more reason to watch the NBA, as we have four players in the league with UK ties, Michael Olowokandi and Ndudi Ebi of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns and Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls."

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    Rytas_Jega
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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by FreshPrince22
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    Just Imagine a team of

    PG- Billups
    SG- Ray Allen
    SF- Kobe
    PF- Sheed
    C- Shaq

    Double Shaq off anyone and you're dead from the perimiter. Dont double Shaq and you're dead from.... well... Shaq. Sheed would be the perfect teammate to Shaq. Drawing that defender out to the perimeter. There would be a lot of drama with that team outside of the Pistons though.
    I'm not sure you need Shaquille. Europeans would defend easily forcing Shaq to make 30 freethows a game. 50% freethrows from Americans, and 40-50% threepointers from Europeans...

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rytas_Jega
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    I'm not sure you need Shaquille. Europeans would defend easily forcing Shaq to make 30 freethows a game. 50% freethrows from Americans, and 40-50% threepointers from Europeans...
    Forcing Shaq to take 30 FTs a game never works.

    It would only result in Every European team losing half thair players to fouls. ESPECIALLY with the 5-foul limit in international play.

    Besides, half the fouls would be and-ones anyway.

    Has everybody forgotten that there is no offensive goaltending in international play? The second a shot hits the rim, Shaq can simply shove the ball through the basket.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    I almost guarantee you that FIBA would institute some rule changes if it knew Shaq was going to play. Thats the type of organization it is.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    Can't say I blame Duncan, with the FIBA officiating that pretty much allows you to commit murder on post players.

    Now I understand why so few Euros have real post moves. They are discouraged from playing on the low block from day 1.

    Also, with respect to JO, but if he won't commit to three years, then he should stay home. We can;t afford to let players run the show anymore, even if we have to settle for lesser ones.

    If I was a Pacer fan, I'd want him to stay home too, for the same reasons Duncan isn't going.

    The only real center I'd want on the team is Shaq, because no intenational center would have the balls to treat him like they trated Duncan.
    Yes.. exactly, they cant tolerate REAL original basketball.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Americans never changed the rules because of individual players!


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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    Forcing Shaq to take 30 FTs a game never works.

    It would only result in Every European team losing half thair players to fouls. ESPECIALLY with the 5-foul limit in international play.

    Besides, half the fouls would be and-ones anyway.

    Has everybody forgotten that there is no offensive goaltending in international play? The second a shot hits the rim, Shaq can simply shove the ball through the basket.
    After some thinking I must agree with you Shaq couldn't get 30 frethrow attempts. He would be brutally fouled immediately in the scrimmage under the basket without a ball. Shaq would be soon ejected because of two technical fouls. He simply couldn't stand weaker ones beating him.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rytas_Jega
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    After some thinking I must agree with you Shaq couldn't get 30 frethrow attempts. He would be brutally fouled immediately in the scrimmage under the basket without a ball. Shaq would be soon ejected because of two technical fouls. He simply couldn't stand weaker ones beating him.
    Shaq is brutally fouled under the basket almost every game and has shown incredible restraint. If anything, the players deliberately fouling him will pick up the technicals. Hack a Shaq has been an utter failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold
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    Shaq is brutally fouled under the basket almost every game and has shown incredible restraint.
    I don't know why, but NBA players are much more nervous when they play in international tournaments. Players like Steve Smith, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen (not to mention Payton, Morning) definitely showed disrespect to their opponents, especially weaker ones. However, I forgot one thing, it will be toothless Japanese crowd in 2006. They love David Beckham and other prima donnas. Marbury won't have a chance to cry for a crowd hating them (when it indeed just normally supported weaker sides in Athens).

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold
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    If anything, the players deliberately fouling him will pick up the technicals. Hack a Shaq has been an utter failure.
    What technicals? I haven't seen FIBA or ULEB referees calling technical fouls for deliberate actions against player without a ball. But I remember one moment from last season when Vilnius Lietuvos Rytas center Javtokas ran out the line to avoid foul in the last seconds Shaq should start sprint trainings now if he thinks about playing in Japan.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rytas_Jega
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    I don't know why, but NBA players are much more nervous when they play in international tournaments. Players like Steve Smith, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen (not to mention Payton, Morning) definitely showed disrespect to their opponents, especially weaker ones. However, I forgot one thing, it will be toothless Japanese crowd in 2006. They love David Beckham and other prima donnas. Marbury won't have a chance to cry for a crowd hating them (when it indeed just normally supported weaker sides in Athens).


    What technicals? I haven't seen FIBA or ULEB referees calling technical fouls for deliberate actions against player without a ball. But I remember one moment from last season when Vilnius Lietuvos Rytas center Javtokas ran out the line to avoid foul in the last seconds Shaq should start sprint trainings now if he thinks about playing in Japan.
    The point stands.

    Hack-a-Shaq works once every 50 times.

    Now If you give the US (still by far the best defensive players on ANY court, they were in Athens by a wide margin) time to set up their defense every posession, the European teams MIGHT manage 20 points a half, if that.

    The only way international teams score on the US is via transition, and intentional fouling makes that impossible.

    If you don't get that, you really don't know much about basketball at all. Either that, or you understand very little about defense.

    Please, Hack shaq every posession. He's MORE than used to it.

    In the end, the US will score at least 1 point every posession, half of the other team will foul out, the other team will be in the penalty 2 minutes into each half, and the team we play against MIGHT shoot %20 from the floor, if they hit a few lucky shots, since we'll have full-court defense set up every posession.

    It's a completely ignorant point of view to think Shaq couldnt dominate the olympics. The rules are set up FOR him.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson
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    Gee, really??? You mean they don't want as$holes representing our country?
    the sad thing is, Sheed's game, body and attitude is probably better for international style of play than just about any other big man in the NBA right now...

    Just not sure why they would hold out Sheed for attitude purposes when they let Barkley play in 92 and 96...
    Sometimes a player's greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team. -- Scottie Pippen

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    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rytas_Jega
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    I'm not sure you need Shaquille. Europeans would defend easily forcing Shaq to make 30 freethows a game. 50% freethrows from Americans, and 40-50% threepointers from Europeans...
    lots of international enthusiasts also think that Shaq would foul out very quickly. I personally would like to see Shaq in the Worlds or Olympic games just for the sake of it. I think he would be unable to dominate against the best teams, even with some help by the refs (which would surface in one way or the other imho - unless rfs finally get over the US syndrome and stop helping them). obviously, in the case of failure FIBA would be to blame. but what else is there to do when you can't prove your worth otherwise than in words?

    just teasing

    let's hope US assembles the team that satisfies the majority of you guys.

  25. #25
    Kestas
    Guest

    Default Re: LeBron will join Kobe on team USA..... plus word on the next 48 candidates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    Now If you give the US (still by far the best defensive players on ANY court, they were in Athens by a wide margin) .
    how do you know that (regarding Athens)?

    if we judge by the stats, here's what we have (40 minute games!):
    against Puerto Rico USA allowed 92 points (blowout loss)
    against Greece - 71 (won, but only by 6)
    against Lithuania - 94 (lost)
    against Australia - 79 (10 points victory)
    against Angola - 53 (good, but that was Angola)
    quarters:
    against Spain - 94 (won)
    semis:
    against Argentina - 89 (lost)
    bronze medal:
    against Lithuania - 96 (won)

    unfortunately I can't compare this average with other teams, coz it's not on fiba site and I'm too lazy to look elsewhere, but was it the best result for points allowed between all teams? i seriously doubt it. I even think it was pretty poor.

    k

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