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Calling out Kobe: Why not play for U.S.?


Aug. 22
Basketball fans can be excited about action on the court again soon. The World Basketball Championship will take place in Indianapolis from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8, with 16 nations competing for the gold.

Kobe Bryant won't be making noise for the U.S. team at the World Basketball Championship.
This event has been well-organized by great basketball minds like C.M. Newton and Tom Jernstedt. This is the first time the tournament has been held in the U.S., and it should be something special as we watch outstanding talent battle for the gold. Think about some of the foreign NBA stars involved, including Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Predrag Stojakovic. These guys can flat-out play, baby!

I have one big question going into this event: Where's the pride from some of the world's greatest athletes? Where's the love for the red, white and blue, playing on our soil for the very first time? I don't understand how Kobe Bryant and company have rejected requests to compete for our nation. How can they not want to be wear the U.S. uniform?

These guys have to work out during the offseason anyway. What better way to keep in shape than by facing great competition, with a raucous crowd in the stands? Why not represent your country?

Shame on you to those who said no. I can understand if a player is hurt (like Shaquille O'Neal with his toe) or has faced international competition many times over the years. But for those who haven't given time to the international game, it's really sad.

Here we are, playing on our own turf -- we should put the best five on the court. We will be competitive and most likely will win the gold with a quality team on the court. Reggie Miller, Baron Davis, Paul Pierce, Elton Brand, Andre Miller, Michael Finley, Raef LaFrentz, Jermaine O'Neal and company will be ready to play. Recently Jay Williams was added to the squad to replace the injured Ray Allen.

But it would have been a lot better if a guy named Kobe Bryant said yes. Come on, Kobe, I can't believe you didn't join the U.S.A., baby! We need more players with a love and pride for international competition.

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