Aftermath of Worlds
Is this just spin from the USA staff? Well, according to assistant coach Jim Boeheim, the Americans need to play games next summer to get the expected new players on the roster, like the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and the Pistons' Chauncey Billups, valuable game experience. Had the U.S. won the World Championships and earned automatic qualification, then the plan was for a 10-day practice slate in Las Vegas with an exhibition or two.
Instead, the U.S. will play in the Tournament of Americas, which is scheduled to be in Venezuela, although a source close to the situation told ESPN.com that the U.S. may try to get the event moved due to current anti-American climate in the country under the command of president Hugo Chavez.