http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/t...-championshipsNo, Team USA isn't the favorite to win the gold. Spain won't have the Lakers' Pau Gasol, but it still has such proven NBA performers as the Grizzlies' Marc Gasol and the Blazers' Rudy Fernandez. Spain also boasts the young, dynamic point guard, Ricky Rubio, who one day is expected to join the Timberwolves, who made him their top pick in 2009. Argentina won't have the Spurs' Manu Ginobili, but still will feature Andres Nocioni of the Sixers; Carlos Delfino of the Bucks and the Rockets' Luis Scola. Then there is Brazil, with the Cavaliers' Anderson Varejao, the Raptors' Leandro Barbosa and Tiago Splitter, the Spurs' newest 7-footer.
It's not just the competition that presents problems for Krzyzewski's crew. As Americans, we might not take the World Championships as seriously as the Olympics, but we're in the minority.
"As I learned when I played overseas years ago, the World Championships are bigger than the Olympics for most teams, and even the European Championships are a bigger deal," said Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, Krzyzewski's lead assistant who didn't travel with the team due to back problems. "Coach K addressed it the first day of camp. He told the guys, "Hey, the world champions aren't really the Los Angeles Lakers. It's whoever wins this tournament.' He's impressed on the players that half the world thinks we're pretty arrogant calling our NBA champions the world champions, when we haven't won it in so long."
So what do you guys think? Is the winner of the NBA playoffs the legitimate "World Champion"? Or is it the winner of the world championships?