bill-swift - July 9, 2012
One of the worst things about being a fan of any sport is going through withdrawal symptoms once the season is over. You look forward to watching your team, hopefully do well, and maybe even win a championship. Whether they do or not, when their season is done, it's a little sad. Now you have to wait months before you can see them play again.
That is not the case this year. With the Olympics on the near horizon the best of the best in the NBA will be sent to London to defend the team's Olympic gold (won back in '08) as well as their '10 World Championship. Unlike the NBA All-Star game, this time the guys are actually going to play!
Early last week it was pretty clear who nine of the slots were going to go to. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams all return from the '08 Olympic squad. Joining them from the '10 World Championship team are Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler.
The decision on the final three slots was made official Saturday when it was announced that Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, and James Harden were joining the team.
While any team of NBA players would be the easy favorite for Olympic Gold, this one will undoubtedly be strong contenders. However, the need for the team to practice together and play so they can gel is not lost upon them. LeBron James recently stated:
It's going to take some practices, it's going to take some exhibition games, [but] we have a lot of guys in our prime and we have a lot of young guys and hungry guys who are always looking forward to a challenge.
The team will play its first exhibition game against the Dominican Republic in Las Vegas on July 12.