Summer League ended on Sunday and Tuesday was the first practice for USA Basketball in preparation for the 2010 FIBA World Championship coming up at the end of August in Istanbul, Turkey. Rick Kamla, Dennis Scott and I hosted two hours of live coverage from UNLV’s Cox Pavilion for Real Training Camp, which will air throughout the week on NBA TV.
They brought in 22 NBA players to contend for 12 spots on the National Team as well as the 20 college players named to the Select Team, which will train against the National Team. They had a great practice, but unfortunately the National Team lost three big men by the end of day one: Robin Lopez, David Lee and Amar’e Stoudemire – who would probably have been their starting center. This loss coupled with the fact that this is a very young team lacking in international experience further complicates the already difficult assignment of going into a hostile environment to try and win gold.
Now Mike Krzyzewski and his coaching staff have a lot of big decisions to make regarding who will play and how they will play – which will likely be small and quick. Fortunately Coach K has a talented group to work with, and he will no doubt bring out the best in this bunch, who along with Spain, Argentina and Brazil are the top contenders for the coveted Naismith Trophy.