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Expectations_for_the_Next_Olympic_Team

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					Expectations for the Next Olympic Team

Word Count:
481

Summary:
I think everyone would remember a while ago when Rasheed Wallace either
wasn't talking to reporters or cursing them. Once in one of the great
playoff moments, the NBA forced Wallace to talk to reporters after
several fines and Wallace answered every question, "Both teams played
hard."


Keywords:
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Article Body:
I think everyone would remember a while ago when Rasheed Wallace either
wasn't talking to reporters or cursing them. Once in one of the great
playoff moments, the NBA forced Wallace to talk to reporters after
several fines and Wallace answered every question, "Both teams played
hard."

To the common folk it might seem like Wallace doesn’t care about his
teammates but for us NBA fans it is clear that he does. He has proven to
be an excellent and reliable teammate on a terrific Pistons team that
just finished its season series with the Spurs with a second straight
blowout win.

Wallace as an Olympian comes to mind with the sudden rush of NBA players
to play for the 2008 team in Beijing that includes participation in the
world championships in Japan this summer.
Allen Iverson said he wants another chance; so do Paul Pierce, Baron
Davis and Carmelo Anthony. Let's say this: If any of them are on the
team, it means the selection process still is flawed and is about
marketing and selling stars rather than building a winning team.

There has been a burst of publicity lately that Iverson is a changed,
respected, responsible man. Perhaps, Pierce got most of the blame for
what happened at the 2002 World Games sixth-place finish under George
Karl, but Golden State's Davis also had some part in it. USA Basketball
executives were furious at Davis, so it was comical to hear him add his
name to the list last week as he seems about to put another coach on the
unemployment line. There was a confrontation last week when a columnist
reported a verbal attack by Davis. Yep, we want that guy in a USA jersey.

That brings us to Anthony, he is putting up quite a scoring season and
hit his second game-winning shot in a row last week. It was the fifth of
his NBA career, an interesting contrast with
Anthony is a remarkable offensive talent, and has had a career full of
embarrassments already from refusing to enter games as a rookie to that
drug-glorifying DVD he made in Baltimore last year. But he was a major
problem on the 2004 team from his trash-talking and childish behavior in
practices to wearing his pants like a handyman with a heavy tool belt,
much to the disappointment of USA Basketball officials.

The next Olympic team could do without all of them, especially because
there are enough excellent perimeter and wing players. James and Bryant
are two taken spots, and Dwyane Wade should be added. Maybe Gilbert
Arenas gets a spot, too, though scoring won't be a problem. Chauncey
Billups would be a good choice when looking for facilitators and
defenders and Bulls' Kirk Hinrich remains high on the list of
possibilities.

The problem is big men. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neal and
Jermaine O'Neal are not expected to play.

				
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