USA Olympic Basketball Team
Now the NBA playoffs are over, Kidzworld checks out some of the NBA stars who'll be playing for the USA's basketball at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
USA Olympic Basketball Team - The Guards
Many of the top NBA stars have turned down offers to play for the USA because they want to spend their time with their families, are defending themselves in court, are scared the Athens' Olympics will be the target of a terrorist attack or are more interested in spending the summer watching reruns of the Bernie Mac Show. Jason Kidd, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett have all refused invitations to step on the court for the red, white and blue. The only two guards who have said for sure they'll play for the USA are Allen Iverson and NBA Rookie of the Year, Lebron James. The other guards you'll probably see playing for the US Basketball Team are Stephon Marbury of the New York Knicks, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks.
USA Olympic Basketball Team - The Forwards
While several top NBA forwards have turned down offers to play for the USA at the Summer Olympics, the team's front court shouldn't have any problems dominating the rest of teams in the tournament. Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, Lamar Odom of the Heat and Carlos Boozer of the Cleveland Cavaliers have all accepted invitations to play. The other forwards you can expect to see taking the court in Athens for the USA are Richard Jefferson of the Washington Wizards, Shaun Marion and Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns and Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets.
USA Men's Olympic Basketball Team - Who Do They Play?
With a team stocked with NBA All-Stars, the USA is a huge, huge, HUGE favorite to win the gold medal in basketball. Anything less than gold will be a major disappointment. There will also be a few other NBA all-stars playing in the tournament. Yao Ming of the Rockets will be playing for China, Pau Gasol of the Grizzlies will be trying to lead Spain to a medal and Emanuel Ginobli of the Spurs will be the starting point guard for Argentina. The USA will start the Olympic basketball tournament in Group B with Angola, Australia, Greece, Lithuania and Puerto Rico. The Group A division includes China, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Serbia and Montenegro. The USA's first game is August 15th, 2004 against Puerto Rico.