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jayC
03-05-2006, 04:09 PM
Basketball officially selects candidates ESPN.com news services


Kobe Bryant will be the centerpiece of the new-look USA Basketball team that is expected to improve upon a disappointing bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics.

Bryant brings NBA championship credentials and high-powered scoring, joining Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and 20 other players selected Sunday for a possible spot on the world championship and 2008 Beijing Olympic teams.

"It's his time," USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Bryant. "He's 27 years old now. He should try to assume a position of leadership in the team. I would think he's very hungry to do this. I see him fitting in very, very well."

Bryant was supposed to play in Athens, but withdrew because of his sexual assault trial in Colorado. Criminal charges eventually were dropped, and he settled a civil suit with his accuser.

Lamar Odom, Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire and Dwyane Wade -- members of the 2004 Athens team -- also were selected to the roster. They'll be joined by Gilbert Arenas, Shane Battier, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Bruce Bowen and Elton Brand.

The selections were first reported by ESPN.com Insider Chris Sheridan on Tuesday.

National team managing director Jerry Colangelo announced the team. He was appointed last April and hired Krzyzewski after the United States finished a disappointing sixth in the 2002 worlds in Indianapolis and third in Athens.

"We wanted a team not of individual stars, but athleticism, shooters, role players and distributors," Colangelo said. "Chemistry is something we all talk about, we seek."

Others on the roster include Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison, Joe Johnson, Brad Miller, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, Michael Redd and Luke Ridnour.

College players J.J. Redick (Duke) and Adam Morrison (Gonzaga) also were chosen.

"They're both great scorers," Krzyzewski said. "I think some collegiate players going into this type of situation would be a little bit intimidated. I don't think either one of these guys will. They more define the specialist role."

The 2004 Olympic team was plagued by withdrawals, so Colangelo required a three-year commitment from players, a likely reason players such as Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett were not interested.

"The thing is they got guys that are willing to make a three-year commitment, which I think is tremendous," Larry Brown, the U.S. coach in Athens, said Friday. "We had guys that committed and then all of a sudden 9/11 happened, and then there were injuries."

Allen Iverson, a member of the bronze-medal team, was not invited to training camp. Colangelo said he was looking for more distributors of the ball, not scorers.

He also said Billups and Redd will miss the world championships in August because of previous obligations. Billups is a new father, and Redd will be getting married.

Players will attend training camp in Las Vegas in July, then travel to China and South Korea for exhibition games before a 12-man roster is selected for the world championships in Japan.

A training camp in 2007 -- and possibly regional Olympic qualifying -- will be followed by a camp and more exhibition games in 2008 before the Beijing Olympics.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report

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Drbio
03-06-2006, 04:09 PM
No Josh Howard huh?

Oh well.

sixeightmkw
03-06-2006, 04:23 PM
on another thread it explains. He was invited but turned it down cause he has a camp for underpriveledged kids in his home town and he wouldn't give that up.

Drbio
03-06-2006, 04:26 PM
I just saw that. Good for him.

Murphy3
03-06-2006, 07:56 PM
Good job selecting some guys to do the dirty work. Battier and Bowen were solid adds.

Five-ofan
03-06-2006, 08:31 PM
Im pretty sure im the only one but i think bowen was a terrible pick. He is what 35 now? He will be DAs age when the olympics roll around. On the premise of just his play, i think he would be a solid choice but will he have anything left when the olympics roll around after an nba season and the playoffs at the age of 37?

Murphy3
03-06-2006, 09:51 PM
I can definitely buy that. But, I like the idea of adding some grunt guys.

TXSportsFan4
03-06-2006, 10:02 PM
Good job selecting some guys to do the dirty work. Battier and Bowen were solid adds.
yeah defintily. This time around, maybe we can play like USA basketball is supposed to play :)

Murphy3
03-06-2006, 10:31 PM
But will Bowen be allowed 102 fouls a game?

bernardos70
03-06-2006, 10:39 PM
No, but his foul-per-minute average will be that.