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Thread: USA National Team 2012 Olympics

  1. #221
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    USA - Bryant: "I'm not letting Pau get a free run at a gold medal"

    LOS ANGELES (NBA/Olympics) - The Los Angeles Lakers went through some pretty radical changes ahead of the 2011-2012 NBA season, but one very important constant has remained intact: Kobe Bryant is still the face of the storied franchise.

    The 33-year-old, now in his 16th season, is chasing a sixth championship and is also a very likely candidate for the USA to go after a second gold medal at this summer's Olympic Games.

    Before London beckons, Bryant will look to lead the Lakers to their 17th championship and match the Boston Celtics for most NBA titles.

    That will be no mean feat for a team that has had a busy off-season to say the least.

    It began with the retirement of legendary head coach Phil Jackson, who was summarily replaced by Mike Brown.

    In December, after the NBA lockout ended, LA changed up its roster, most notably trading Lamar Odom - last season's Sixth Man of the Year and a member of the USA's 20-man preliminary squad ahead of this summer's London Olympics - to the reigning champions Dallas Mavericks.

    A three-team blockbuster deal that would have seen Pau Gasol leave California in return for Team USA point guard Chris Paul was revoked by the NBA, but the Spaniard's name is still mentioned in trade rumours on a daily basis.

    As for Bryant, he gave Lakers fans a huge fright when injuring his right wrist in pre-season and a spell on the injured list looked inevitable.

    However, one of the league's toughest players decided a torn ligament was not going to mess his campaign and he has played through the pain.

    With so much change taking place within the franchise and so little time to prepare for a compact season, Bryant and the Lakers got off to a slow start but have steadied the ship somewhat in recent weeks.

    FIBA.com caught up with Bryant to talk about the current season and look ahead to this summer's Games.

    FIBA: Kobe, where do you feel the Lakers are at this moment in time? Are you encouraged by your recent play?
    Bryant: We just don't have a big margin for error. It's really not that bad. We play very well for long stretches of the ball games but then we have a couple of minutes where we don't execute well defensively and teams tend to bust us open in those stretches. It's not as bad as the record may indicate. There's a lot of positives here and we're close to really turning the corner and we really have to keep at it.

    FIBA: The Lakers are among the oldest teams in the league. Is that playing against you in this compact season?
    Bryant: We're not necessarily young and we've been around the block twice. In this particular season it may take a little longer for us to get going.

    FIBA: You're in your 16th NBA season and have accomplished everything. What keeps you motivated?
    Bryant: (Winning a) sixth ring. I'm obsessed...I got to get it, it's what I play for. I can think of nothing else. As a kid growing up, that's all I saw. I watched Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan winning multiple titles. You grow up thinking that's how it should be. This is what I must do. Then after you win one, you become addicted to it, you win two and three. You get greedy. I want another one.

    FIBA: Speaking of wanting more, can we expect to see you in London at the Olympics going for a second gold medal?
    Bryant: I'm definitely going to play. I'm looking forward to it, if anything else just not to let Pau (Gasol) win a gold medal (laughs). I'm not letting Pau get a free run at getting a gold medal.

    FIBA: One USA player who likely won't be in London is Chauncey Billups because of the injury he suffered recently.
    Bryant: Hopefully he'll still be there. I'd be surprised if he wasn't there in some capacity, helping out some of the younger guards. He did a great job helping Chris Paul a lot at the beginning of his career. I know Chris views Chauncey as almost a big brother. Chauncey did a great job showing Chris the tempo and pace of the game and things like that.

    FIBA: What are your thoughts on the USA's preliminary squad?
    Bryant: We have so many great players, it's a good problem to have. The challenge has always been to put a good mix of players that play well together. It's not necessarily getting the best players but it's finding the players that fit together the best.

    FIBA: But if you, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony all play, the USA will have no shortage of star power. That can be intimidating for any of your opponents.
    Bryant: It's not about star power. It's really not. It's about putting a group together that plays well together. Spain play extremely well together, Argentina play extremely well together and so forth and so on. That's going to be our challenge.
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  2. #222
    Senior Member CKR13's Avatar
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    More comparisons and hypothetical match-ups between 2012 Team USA vs. The Dream Team.

    2012 USA basketball team heading to London Olympics is better than the 1992 Dream Team
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  3. #223
    Senior Member NorCal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CKR13 View Post
    More comparisons and hypothetical match-ups between 2012 Team USA vs. The Dream Team.

    2012 USA basketball team heading to London Olympics is better than the 1992 Dream Team
    As others have pointed out before- the thing about the '92 Dream Team was what their career accomplishments were by the end of their playing days. This 2012 team could be better than the '92 team on paper simply because they have almost everyone on the projected team in their prime years whereas the '92 team had 2 out of its top 3 players historically speaking well past their primes for age and health reasons- Magic and Bird. Also, the '92 team had Laettner.

    So, better on paper, possibly. But, as the article states the historical significance of this 2012 team will be based upon its results in these upcoming games as well as the further accomplishments of the players down the road.

  4. #224
    Senior Member CKR13's Avatar
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    TEAM USA

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  5. #225
    Senior Member Dtown's Avatar
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    Team LISA err USA!

    Alright so we won't be the best looking team at the tournament....
    Dtown facts: roots for...

    Detroit Pistons: We'll be good again...someday

    Michigan Wolverines: Hail to the victors valiant.

    USA Basketball: It's not koolaid it's 19 Olympic and World cup titles.

    Bronze medal 2013 Eurobasket prediction Game.

  6. #226
    Senior Member Federoy's Avatar
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    Yeah, the new uniforms have gotten some criticism from the newly sprung Olympic fashion police, but all in all, I think they look pretty modern and stylish. I would have personally went for a more retro look (like the 60's style jerseys they had for the 2007 Tournament of the Americas), but ultimately the only thing that matters for me is them winning the gold medal.

    BTW, the ugliest uniforms in the USA's long and storied history (in my opinion) are from 2002/03. These generic montrocities designed by Reebok featured a single stripe of stars along the right side connecting the jersey and trunks. The oversized USA logo is in big red block letters trimmed by navy blue. They're tapered off on the collar and around the arms with cheap looking solid blue (home) and red (away) elastic material. The unines looked like something designed by high school kids that were given $20 worth of material and told to make something.


    $(KGrHqV,!oEE8VRLFcS1BPH2B-6T+w~~60_3.jpg
    Last edited by Federoy; 02-22-2012 at 11:15 PM.

  7. #227
    Senior Member Dtown's Avatar
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    I don't know I've always been a fan of less is more with basketball jerseys.

    I'd say these are my least favorite.

    robinson-hakeem-shaq-640246.jpg
    Dtown facts: roots for...

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    Michigan Wolverines: Hail to the victors valiant.

    USA Basketball: It's not koolaid it's 19 Olympic and World cup titles.

    Bronze medal 2013 Eurobasket prediction Game.

  8. #228
    Senior Member Federoy's Avatar
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    Yeah, not a big fan of those get-ups either, especially the cursive USA on the front. For 2012, Nike could've kept the 2010 WC uniforms, which were only a slight variation from the 2008 one's. They keep introducting new jerseys when they don't need to.

    BTW--love the vintage Shaq-nosis shoes

  9. #229
    Senior Member CKR13's Avatar
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    Don't expect Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks to be in a Team USA jersey anytime soon.

    Jeremy Lin not expected to play for US in London

    USA Basketball will have a press conference in Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. NBA TV will air it live 9 AM Eastern Time.
    Last edited by rikhardur; 02-24-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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  10. #230
    Senior Member CKR13's Avatar
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    Jeremy Lin Could Train With USA Team


    Perhaps Lin will be a member of a Team Select that will first scrimmage with the Olympic bound roster prior to them flying abroad?
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    USA 2012 NT exhibition games in prep of the Olympics announced:

    http://www.usabasketball.com/mens/na..._training.html

    Doubleheader games with the Women NT will be played with Brazil and Great Britain.

  12. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by CKR13 View Post
    Jeremy Lin Could Train With USA Team


    Perhaps Lin will be a member of a Team Select that will first scrimmage with the Olympic bound roster prior to them flying abroad?
    This is awesome! This will help him mature his skills!

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Jeremy Lin could earn an invitation to scrimmage against the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team this summer.

    USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo mentioned the Knicks guard as a candidate for the select team of young players who will work against the Americans during their training camp in Las Vegas.

    But he won't play for the Americans in London even if he continues his superb play since becoming an NBA starter. The U.S. already has a roster of 20 players, and Colangelo says, "Everyone has to pay their dues. No exceptions."

    But the select team could strengthen his chances for another time. A number of players in this year's U.S. Olympic pool, including All-Stars Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Iguodala, were previous select team members.

  13. #233
    Senior Member CKR13's Avatar
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    USAB's new logo

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    Lamar Odom is considering retirement. That's another possible absence from the 2012 preliminary squad.

  15. #235
    Senior Member Dtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raze Lupin View Post
    Lamar Odom is considering retirement. That's another possible absence from the 2012 preliminary squad.
    Don't know if this is necessarily equal to missing the olympics, he wouldn't be the first player to end his career with the Olympic team.
    Dtown facts: roots for...

    Detroit Pistons: We'll be good again...someday

    Michigan Wolverines: Hail to the victors valiant.

    USA Basketball: It's not koolaid it's 19 Olympic and World cup titles.

    Bronze medal 2013 Eurobasket prediction Game.

  16. #236
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    http://www.nba.com/2012/news/feature...ory/index.html
    Shortened season won't slow USA hoops' progression

    There has been understandable concern about whether the lockout-shortened season has contributed to all the injuries throughout the league this season. Jerry Colangelo is concerned, too. But he can't let that stop him from putting a team together.
    USA Basketball's chairman and head honcho will have a small window after The Finals in June to put together a team that will be defending its 2008 gold medal in London for the Summer Games. He knows it will be a hybrid of the '08 team led by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and the Kevin Durant-led 2010 team that won the World Championships in Turkey. He knows Mike Krzyzewski will be coaching it. And he believes it has to come together in a hurry. So the U.S. team will start camp July 6 in Las Vegas, train there until the 11th and play the Dominican Republic in an exhibition on the 12th. Then they will fly to Washington, D.C., for three days of training and an exhibition against Brazil on July 16. The next day, the team flies to England, where it will train for two days and play again on the 19th, against Great Britain. Then it's off to Barcelona, for games on July 22 against Argentina and July 24 against Spain, before heading to London for the Opening Ceremonies on July 27.
    "We have a short period of time," Colangelo said Friday. "We've got to get the games in. We've got to get prepared. And that's just the way it is."
    Colangelo will not replace Chauncey Billups, a member of the 2010 World Championshipsteam who will be out the rest of the NBA season with a torn ACL, on the roster, and he's not likely to make any additions before next summer. The U.S. Select Team, comprised of younger NBA players that work out with the senior team, will be vital to this Olympic cycle, Colangelo said, helping the Olympic Team prepare. Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Andre Iguodala and Derrick Rose were '08 Select Team members who went on to become part of the core of the '10 World Championshp team. Rest for the older players has to be built into the schedule.
    "One of the things we're going to be very careful about is our players, coming off of a condensed season," Colangelo said. "We're not going to overwork them. We're not going to overkill them or anything like that. We've got to be careful. We'll back off (practice) a little bit. It's important to have our Select Team be there for all of that, and I may have a few extra. Even though we have a 12-man roster we have to submit in June, before the camp, I may ask a few guys to come anyway. If they wish to. And they should."
    But Colangelo does not think an extended summer for any NBA player, including NBA playoffs and the Summer Games, will necessarily lead to more injuries for those players in the 2012-13 NBA season. To the contrary.
    "It turned out to be a blessing that none of the Beijing ('08) guys played in Istanbul," he said. "Look at what happened with those new players. Derrick Rose ended up as MVP. Durant led the league in scoring. Westbrook made the All-Star team. Love had an incredible year. Tyson Chandler helps Dallas win a championship and parlays that into a pretty nice contract. All of those guys had great seasons. Nobody got hurt. That's the proof of the pudding."

  17. #237
    Senior Member CKR13's Avatar
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    A good read about the gear from NIKE that Team USA will strut in the London Olympics.

    Nike Innovation Summit Recap
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    No ill-feelings from Kobe Bryant on Dwyane Wade's hard foul that resulted in Bryant having a nasal fracture and a mild concussion. Wade did apologize publicly when he learned what happened to Bryant.

    More importantly, Bryant brushed it off and said he harbor no ill feelings.

    “He didn’t mean to do it, he’s not that type of player. He’s a nicer guy than I am, to be honest. "
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    Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving has opted not to suit up for the Australian national team in the London Olympics. Instead, Irving is looking ahead in 2014 and 2016.

    Irving won't play for Australia in Olympics
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    After Kyrie Irving said that Mike Krzyzewski was coaching in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Coach K said that there are no discussions beyond the 2012 London Olympics this summer.

    Coach K focused on 2012 Olympics
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