All eyes will be on Orlando this weekend for the NBA All-Star Game, but come July the attention will shift toward Las Vegas, Washington D.C., England and Spain as Team USA prepares for the 2012 London Olympics.
USA Basketball announced today their schedule for both training camps and exhibition games and in the States and internationally, which includes exhibition games against Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Great Britain and Spain, and training camps in Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Manchester and Barcelona beginning July 6.
“This tour will be a very challenging schedule of five exhibition games that will each be played in outstanding environments and will be memorable for all basketball fans,” said USA and Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski in a press release by USA Basketball.
“The team’s training and these games will be absolutely critical in our preparation and we know that each of the teams will pose significant and unique challenges.”
After opening training camp in Las Vegas from July 6-11 and playing the Dominican Republic on July 12, Team USA then moves on to Washington, D.C., to train from July 13-15, where they will play an exhibition game against Brazil at the Verizon Center on July 16. Next up: Manchester, England and a jump across the pond to train and take on Great Britain at the Manchester Arena on July 19.
Perhaps the most significant of the Team USA tour happens in Spain from July 20-25. Twenty years after the USA Dream Team debuted in Barcelona, the U.S. returns to conclude its tour against Argentina on July 22 in Barcelona, and then face Spain on July 24, in what could be a prelude to the gold medal final in London.
First things first — Team USA needs to trim their roster down to 12 men after initially naming 20 players as finalist to their selection roster. And, because this is part of any basketball story nowadays, Jeremy Lin may help with that process. He’s being considered for the USA Select roster, which will scrimmage the US team and be considered for future squads.
Right now they are a banged up bunch. Both Chauncey Billups (Achilles) and Eric Gordon (right knee) are on the mend and their status to participate in training camp in Las Vegas is in doubt.