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Old 07-20-06, 05:14 AM
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USA Basketball Gets Defensive

USA Basketball Gets Defensive
Recent struggles in international play could make the Spurs' Bowen a key figure on the team.
By Robyn Norwood, Times Staff Writer
July 20, 2006

LAS VEGAS — Even with Kobe Bryant elsewhere recuperating from minor knee surgery, there were many faces at the USA Basketball national team training camp that opened here Wednesday far more famous than Bruce Bowen's.

LeBron James is here. Carmelo Anthony. And Dwyane Wade, just one month removed from being the most valuable player of the NBA Finals for the Miami Heat.

But it is Bowen's presence that might tell more than any other about how the U.S. team will try to regain its glory after doing no better than a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics.

Bowen has never been on an NBA All-Star team. His career average is 6.5 points. He wasn't drafted out of Cal State Fullerton and played in the Continental Basketball Assn. and France before making it in the NBA.

But Bowen has been on the NBA all-defensive team six times — three times on the first team — and he has two NBA championship rings with the San Antonio Spurs.


As Jerry Colangelo, managing director of the senior national team, likes to say, "We said from the get-go we're not going to pick an All-Star team."

There are 24 players on the roster, and 12 will represent the U.S. in the FIBA World Championship in Japan beginning Aug. 19.

"They may not be the 12 best players," cautioned Mike Krzyzewski, the Hall of Fame coach from Duke who is the U.S. coach. "It's how they adapt to the system, and how they react to one another, that will be a big thing."

Krzyzewski has a long haul ahead of him on the national team. In 2008 he will become the first college coach to coach the U.S. Olympic team since NBA players made their debut with the original Dream Team in 1992.

The players were hand-picked to try to solve some of the glaring weaknesses of recent U.S. international efforts — outside shooting and defense. "In the [2004] Olympics, we gave up 83 points a game and scored 88 points a game," Krzyzewski said. "I think our most important emphasis has got to be on team defense."

There is a decidedly collegiate feel to Krzyzewski's camp, the first under a revamped system in which players and coaches make a three-year commitment to the national program to prepare for the world championship and Olympics.

"These guys are all going to be on the team whether or not they make the 12 that plays," Krzyzewski said. "It's not tryouts. In tryouts, someone gets cut. No one is going to get cut from this team."

The decline of the U.S. from the heights of international basketball — including a sixth-place finish in the 2002 world championship in Indianapolis — stemmed in part from the failure of an All-Star system that many players opted out of in 2004, including Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant.

Bryant's decision to play for the U.S. this time was welcomed, but he's a late dropout for this summer after his recent knee surgery, though he will remain part of the Olympic plans. He is expected to visit camp and accompany the team on part of its Asian tour.

"I love Kobe. I wish he was here," Krzyzewski said. "But Kobe's not going to be able to play. My responsibility right now is to concentrate on what is, not what if."

Paul Pierce and J.J. Redick also have been excused for the summer because of injuries. Lamar Odom, whose infant son died last month, will sit out, as will Chauncey Billups and Michael Redd, who are in training camp but will not play in the world championship because of family commitments.

"You're sad for Lamar," Bowen said. "Other guys, hey, they felt they needed to take care of whatever they felt they needed to take care of. I can't judge. I don't know their situations.

"It's not just about one guy or two guys falling off. We have other guys here that are more than willing to represent the country."

That commitment is significant. After this week's camp, the players will return a week later for another week of training and an Aug. 3 exhibition against Puerto Rico, which beat the U.S. Olympic team by 19 points in its opening game in Athens in 2004. Then there's an exhibition tour to China and South Korea before the final roster must be named for the two-week world championship.

"We've got more training than we had in 2004, so that should help us," said James, who has become an NBA star since playing only a small role in the 2004 Olympics. "I'm very excited to have all these guys here. Guys made a commitment."

Anthony, likewise, was only a bit player in 2004.

"We want to get USA basketball back on the map," he said. "I heard some other countries just look at us and say 'OK, we're going to beat them.' Now we get a chance to go back and redeem ourselves."

http://www.latimes.com/sports/printe...ines-pe-sports
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Old 07-20-06, 06:47 AM
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I hope he makes the team for the world champs, but I think the Olympics are out of reach.
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Old 07-20-06, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harro
I hope he makes the team for the world champs, but I think the Olympics are out of reach.
i think he will and will reitre after the olympics




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Old 07-20-06, 09:26 AM
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He might not be an all-star, but he sure is a Spurs Star!!!
Hope he makes the team & bring glory back to the US!
Go Bowen Go!!!
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Old 07-20-06, 09:27 AM
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At 37?? That’s a stretch
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Old 07-20-06, 09:34 AM
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Aren't they looking for defense? Isn't Bowen like one of the best defensive player in NBA history?!
Have some faith my friend...
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Old 07-20-06, 09:37 AM
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i don't think he's going to make it.....he's already giving brand dirty looks
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Old 07-20-06, 09:43 AM
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His skill never came into question. I love the guy. I just think that at 37, it will be a long shot.
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Old 07-20-06, 09:58 AM
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Bowen is more valuable to the US team than Kobe.
Those superstars can be replaced, you have a lot of them.
What Bruce brings to the table is priceless.
IMO
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Old 07-20-06, 10:27 AM
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I think he has a solid chance to make it

he wouldnt have been asked if USA b-ball didnt think that too

They need a player like him
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Old 07-20-06, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harro
At 37?? That’s a stretch
yea at 37 and he doesnt seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam M., GUAM
Aren't they looking for defense? Isn't Bowen like one of the best defensive player in NBA history?!
Have some faith my friend...
you're from guam? i lived there for 4 and a half years.
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Old 07-20-06, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matias
Bowen is more valuable to the US team than Kobe.

IMO
I think you're reaching a bit with that comment. Kobe is one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA.

I think people forget that Kobe is himself one of the better defenders in the league.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:53 PM
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There aren't many 37 year olds that can play as well as Bruce. Although I would be surprised if he makes the final cut, I really hope he does.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:58 PM
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I actually don't want him to play for the Olympics. Just stay healthy and help us get 1 more championship please.
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Old 07-20-06, 07:06 PM
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I'm getting excited for the World Championships. It's time America regains the respect we should have. I hope they put together a good team.
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Old 07-20-06, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmiltsx
yea at 37 and he doesnt seem to be slowing down anytime soon.



you're from guam? i lived there for 4 and a half years.


Yup Yup, "Where America's day begins" so says
George Bush.... You want me to send you some Kadun Pika or how about some finedene?
Let me know if you ever stop by & I'll take you drinkinn in Tumon Bay & make you some spam kelaguen


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Old 07-21-06, 03:32 AM
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Bruce Bowen is the epitome of healthy. He's heavilty involved in his Get Fit program and he's an ironman having played like 3843879483743987 something games in a row. I want him to play for Team USA and win a gold medal and I don't worry about it slowing him down or injuring him.
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Old 07-21-06, 03:42 AM
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When all is said and done, I doubt Bowen will make it. I'd be shocked if he made it. I mean its clearly seen that he gets overlooked, as seen in the defensive player of the year award.

In some ways, I don't want him to make it, because it provides extra wear and tear. But then of course he'd help the team a lot. Team players like him and Battier really would benefit the team, because they play team ball and do the things the bigger players sometimes don't do.
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Old 07-21-06, 03:46 AM
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why is every1 saying they hope he makes it

i thought he allready did

but he might not be the top 12
thats what it said in the front page
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Old 07-21-06, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingkyle
why is every1 saying they hope he makes it

i thought he allready did

but he might not be the top 12
thats what it said in the front page
He just made it to the camp to compete for the top spots. Basically he made it past his first interview, but there still is another interview so to speak.
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"When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at this rock perhaps 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow, it will split in two and I know it was not that blow that did it. But all that had gone before." - Jacob Riis
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Old 07-21-06, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grego
He just made it to the camp to compete for the top spots. Basically he made it past his first interview, but there still is another interview so to speak.
oh ok man


thanx alot

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Old 07-21-06, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grego
When all is said and done, I doubt Bowen will make it. I'd be shocked if he made it. I mean its clearly seen that he gets overlooked, as seen in the defensive player of the year award.

In some ways, I don't want him to make it, because it provides extra wear and tear. But then of course he'd help the team a lot. Team players like him and Battier really would benefit the team, because they play team ball and do the things the bigger players sometimes don't do.
Conversely he made Defensive Team which is less of a popularity contest.
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Old 07-21-06, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason R
Conversely he made Defensive Team which is less of a popularity contest.
Well he would have made it anyway. The cherry on top is he beat out Ben Wallace in top votes. But the major point is he gets overlooked more often than not. The committee in selecting has improved, but I still am not confident about it. I mean Pop should have been next in line, to start, but oh well.
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"When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at this rock perhaps 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow, it will split in two and I know it was not that blow that did it. But all that had gone before." - Jacob Riis
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Old 07-21-06, 08:40 AM
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One thing that pisses me off about the Nba he should of won the Defensive Player of the Year a long time ago.At least Once these past years,they just keep going to Wallace **** he's good but let him guard Ray Allen,Kobe,Lebron,Carmelo or Rip for that matter. **** Ben can't stick those guys.
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Old 07-21-06, 10:01 AM
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even though wade and bowen are on the same team, i wonder if he has some kind of fear still in him about bowen getting all defensive on his ass.
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Old 07-21-06, 12:47 PM
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Well if he ever has a moment of fear he can always dig into his pocket and pull out his Championship ring, then go to his closet and haul out his Finals MVP trophy.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason R
Well if he ever has a moment of fear he can always dig into his pocket and pull out his Championship ring, then go to his closet and haul out his Finals MVP trophy.
isn't there a ref in there somewhere too?
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