Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Kidd looking forward to Olympics
RENO, Nev. -- Jason Kidd said Wednesday he's looking forward to playing for the U.S. basketball team in Beijing in August -- even if it does cut into his golf game.
U.S. Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski said the roster will be announced Monday during a news conference in Chicago, but Kidd said USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo has telephoned those who'll be participating over the last few days.
"I'm not supposed to say anything, but I talked to Jerry and I'm looking forward to participating this summer," Kidd told reporters during a teleconference promoting the 19th annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe.
Kidd, the Dallas Mavericks point guard who won a gold medal in 2000 but missed Athens in 2004 due to a knee injury said he intends to play in the three-day golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course July 11-13 and doesn't mind that he's been made a 100-1 long shot to win.
"I try to get out at least three times a week, but with the Olympics this year, it's kind of cutting into my golf schedule. I was excited that you guys made [the Tahoe event] in between the Olympic practices," Kidd said. "I'm representing my country in Beijing and this gives me a chance to relax before we try to win a gold medal."
The U.S. team will go to Las Vegas to train in mid-July and play an exhibition against Canada before opening the Beijing Games against the host Chinese on Aug. 10.
Kidd averaged 11.3 points, 10.4 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game this season. He has 100 triple doubles in his career. He said the continued improvement in international competition will make it difficult to claim gold this summer
"I think it is a great challenge. The last time we've had success was in 2000. The world has gotten better at the game of basketball. Going into this Olympics is not going to be easy," Kidd said. "But I'm looking forward to the challenge. My season ended early so I'm a little antsy to get back to playing basketball."