Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TEAM USA unveiled

Now its final, the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team through its managing director Jerry Colangelo announced the 12-players who will represent the United States in the Aug. 8-24 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China. The selections were approved by the USA Basketball Executive Committee, and will be nominated to the United States Olympic Committee to participate in the 2008 Olympic Games.

And here they are, drum roll please

The Guards

1. Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets)

2. Deron Williams (Utah Jazz)

3. Jason Kidd ( Dallas Mavericks)

4. Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks)

5. Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat)

6. Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)

The Forwards

7. Lebron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)

8. Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons)

9. Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets)

10. Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors)

11. Carlos Boozer- (Utah Jazz)

The Center

12. Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic)


The Coaching staff is led by head Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University), with assistant coaches Jim Boeheim, (Syracuse University) who specialized in attacking the zone, Mike D’Antoni (New York Knicks) and Nate McMillan (Portland Trail Blazers).

Coach Mike K and Jerry C.
(Contrary to what others believe,
Coach K. will not be replaced by Robin Williams)

According to Colangelo the 12 players have incredible talent, excellent leadership, great versatility, balance and chemistry. Those were the criteria where they based their selection of the team. From the 33 players in their program, it’s just so sad they had to let go of some because they can only name a 12 man roster.

In the press conference Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University mentioned the following:

“Our Team wants to show our country that we love our game and we want to represent the US on and off the court in a way that all those people will be proud. Again we are Proud, Respectful and Committed!”

“Our Goal it to be there on august 24th when they tap it up for the Gold Medal and hear the USA National Anthem play when Gold medals are being placed on the necks of these great players who committed themselves to getting USA basketball to be at the level it should be at.”

Dwayne Wade added “In 2004 we had no clue what we were getting into. We were just happy to be part of the team. We respect the international game and the team basketball that they play and we had three summers to prepare. We do not want to known as just being talented NBA players but being in a talented team and that’s just what you need to win the gold.

Carmelo Anthony added: “In 2004, I did not know what to expect. It’s like we were thrown to the wolves. As a member of The USA team we were expected to win everything. We went over there and got disappointed and I think going thru that experience made me learn more of the international game and I really want to go over here and redeem myself. In 2004 we were just happy to be part of the Team but now we are more mature and we know the international game a little bit more which will help us this year.”

Coach Mike was asked, “Why the three point guards?” He answered “ The reason for the three point guards is that we want a different set of point guards since we will face a variety of point guards in international ball. We have to win in that position every game and that is why we need the depth in that position.” He added that in addition to Michael Redd who is obviously the team’s zone breaker the team has have 7 or 8 of the top scorers in the NBA who can shoot. He also said “Kobe and Carmelo can shoot also from the outside, Bosh and Boozer can also shoot. With the penetrating ability of Lebron and Dwayne we can get more open shots. “

Lastly he mentioned his philosophy “This thing will not be won by shooting but by Team defense. You win big if you stop people. The emphasis of the team is defense and scoring off our defense, and getting a fastbreak before they set up a zone. If we force turnovers then there is no zone. This is not an all-star team, it’s a TEAM!”

Good luck to TEAM USA, Go for Gold!

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