Now that the U. S. Olympic basketball team has been selected, I think there is good reason for enthusiasm and excitement.
I have to give a salute to the job done by USA Basketball, led by Jerry Colangelo, as well as coach Mike Krzyzewski. This team has talent, depth and is capable in all facets of the game. There are players capable of hitting outside shots, there are inside factors, experienced athletes who have faced Olympic pressure before.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Carlos Boozer all played in the 2004 Olympics and they understand what it takes to come back and win the gold. Kobe Bryant makes his first Olympic appearance and you know he will be fired up coming off an MVP campaign. Jason Kidd adds veteran leadership.
There is the youth in the backcourt with Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh give new blood to the frontcourt.
Tayshaun Prince provides a defensive stopper capable of slowing down the opposition's top player. Michael Redd is a key three-point weapon.
I know the Krzyzewski feels ball pressure is important and he has the talent in place. This club will buy into the message and will compete as a unit.
I feel very confident that the fans of Team USA will have plenty to cheer about in Beijing. I feel that we have learned a lot since the last Olympics and the way this squad has been assembled, so much work went into getting the right combination of talent in place.
My friends, it is an exciting time for USA Basketball. Now we know the 12-man roster, and there is a lot to be thrilled about. I believe it will all come together on the court and the American club will come home with gold, bringing back the positive energy and passion that has been missing in recent international basketball events.