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Old July 26th, 2004, 06:41 PM   #1
thegrahamcrackr
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First Olympic Practice


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Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Carmelo Anthony has a message for Argentina, Lithuania and the other best basketball teams from around the world: The United States is going to win at the Athens Games.

"We're guaranteeing a gold medal. We're bringing it back," Anthony boldly predicted Monday on his first day of practice with the U.S. national team.

It took very little prodding for Anthony to basically repeat what he said last week on David Letterman's late-night television talk show. It betrayed a level of youthful cockiness that might seem at odds with one of the main messages the American coaching staff tried to get across at the team's welcome dinner Sunday night: Respect the competition.

"That's just a young kid saying that," coach Larry Brown said when informed of Anthony's guarantee. "But as long as he respects the people we're playing against and understands how good they've got, I don't have any problem with that."

The United States will field its youngest roster, with an average age of 23.6, since it began sending professionals to the Olympics in 1992.

Anthony turned 20 less than two months ago, making him the second-youngest member of a team that includes three players -- Anthony, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade -- coming off their rookie NBA seasons, along with rookie-to-be Emeka Okafor.

Brown held a nearly three-hour practice and planned to put the players through two-a-days Monday and Tuesday in an effort to get them acquainted with one another. Only three players, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan and Richard Jefferson, remain from the U.S. team that won the Tournament of the Americas last summer to qualify for a spot in the 12-team Athens field.

"We've got a lot of teaching to do. If we would have had the nucleus of the guys from last summer, that wouldn't have been necessary," said Brown, who also lamented a shortage of preparation time.

"They've already mentioned that the other Olympic teams opened their camps a couple of weeks ago," Jefferson said.

From the looks of things Monday during a portion of practice that was open to the media, Brown has plenty of work ahead to get his team to conform to his mantra of "playing the right way."

"One pass and a shot, we can't do that!" Brown yelled at Amare Stoudemire after he clanged a mid-range jumper early in a possession during a four-on-four drill.

"I've got to reprogram you guys!" Brown later yelled, unhappy with the level of intensity he was seeing on the defensive end.

"If Allen [Iverson] makes a free throw you don't have to run," Brown offered.

One clanged foul shot later, it was wind sprints for everyone.

Iverson, named a co-captain along with Tim Duncan, screamed at himself when he missed the pressure shot. It was not the type of leadership moment that the team's oldest member (29) wanted to show his teammates and the man who coached him for six seasons in Philadelphia.

"I never know how much something means to me until it's gone, and that's how I am with coach Brown," Iverson said.

One of the challenges for the coaching staff will be educating the youngsters about the intricacies of international basketball. After the players responded with shock to a foul call, Popovich took it as an opportunity to impart a lesson: The quality and objectivity of the refereeing will not be what these players are accustomed to in the NBA.

"Let's assume I just made the worst call in America," Popovich told the team. "Get used to it."

That's not all they'll need to get used to.

James and former teammate Carlos Boozer will need to set aside any lingering tension related to Boozer's departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who released Boozer from his contract when they believed they had an understanding with him on an extension. He instead signed with Utah.

Stephon Marbury will have to learn to coexist with Richard Jefferson after the two exchanged angry words during the Knicks-Nets playoff series, and all the players will have to adjust to running much of their offense through Duncan, who Brown on Monday called "the greatest player in the game."

It remains to be seen how opponents will react to Anthony's guarantee.

"I guess that's going to make the games more fun," Anthony said. "Right now, teams are not scared of us no more. Why not hype the games up? It's the Olympics. We're having fun, man. We've got to go over there and win."

Especially now that there's a guarantee to back up.
One of the many reasons I didn't want Melo on the Olympic team. I just think he is way to immature to represent the US at this time in his life. Funny enough, I thought Bron Bron would have the maturity issues, and Melo would be a straight arrow. Was I wrong or what?

I like Brown yelling at Amare for "1 pass and shot". If only Mike D would scream at players for that.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:01 PM   #2
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"We're guaranteeing a gold medal. We're bringing it back."

Hah, this guy sounds like Paul Pierce (how many games did you guys lose at the World's again?).

Comments like this make will make it it so much more fun when you don't win gold.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:21 PM   #3
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Melo's a real tool, isn't he?

Oh well, at least we've got someone to blame now, if the U.S. loses...
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:41 PM   #4
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And with the talent this team has there's no way this dillhole averages more than 15 minutes a game.

Its like the kicker gaurenteeing a Super Bowl win.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the3rdside
"We're guaranteeing a gold medal. We're bringing it back."

Hah, this guy sounds like Paul Pierce (how many games did you guys lose at the World's again?).

Comments like this make will make it it so much more fun when you don't win gold.
More fun when we don't win gold? Wow you are a really strong supporter of your country.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by binkar
More fun when we don't win gold? Wow you are a really strong supporter of your country.
Not everyone on this board is from America. I'm assuming that "you" means America and that this person is of a different nationality.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 08:00 PM   #7
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wilol carmelo even play at all?
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Old July 26th, 2004, 10:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NJYAJ09
wilol carmelo even play at all?

Hopefully not at all. In reality, I am guessing he will play minimal time. He is like 3rd or 4th on the depth chart at SF....


I really want to know what NugzFan thinks of Melo's promise. Personally, I just think it is his immaturity showing again, but maybe he has seen something I haven't?


I was especially mad at the way he acted before he got an invite (which came almost by default.) As much as I dislike Steve Francis, I would have rather him gotton the invite. To me, it seemed like he wanted to play for his country, while Melo wanted the intention. Francis also handled not being selected a lot better than Melo did.

edit: I mean compared to Amare, who simply said he would love the chance to represent his country, Melo acted like a baby. However, the media circuit tends to portray Melo as the ultimate franchise centerpiece. Amare gets some mention, but not nearly enough (and it is usually in second wind after a statement about how great Yao is).

Actually, second question. Nugzfan, as a person from the other side, if you could pick one person to build your team around (not consindering current roster), would you pick Amare or Melo???
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Old July 26th, 2004, 10:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by carey
Not everyone on this board is from America. I'm assuming that "you" means America and that this person is of a different nationality.
Sorry didnt catch the "you" part. My bad.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #10
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I don't see what the huge deal is with this? I know it looks kind of cocky and stuff, but I think it makes it kind of fun. It will defintetly motivate us. Although I am sure it will motivate others as well.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 11:22 PM   #11
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Actually this is the kind of "street ball" attitude that Larry Brown has to overcome. What the US team learned at the Worlds two years ago is that they cannot beat top teams playing one on one basketball.

The irony is that in 1992 the US had a vastly better collection of individual players, but they seemed to absolutely relish making assists to the point of being almost too unselfish.

I'm excited that Amare and Shawn are getting this kind of coaching. Larry Brown is one of the greatest coaches to ever coach basketball. He can't help but make our guys better.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 12:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrahamcrackr
I like Brown yelling at Amare for "1 pass and shot". If only Mike D would scream at players for that.
Amare is a very self motivated guy, luckily for us. Maybe he will pass on critiques to Mike D and get the rest of the team behind what he learns from Brown. Pretty great. Might cause some resentment though.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 12:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by panfolk
Amare is a very self motivated guy, luckily for us. Maybe he will pass on critiques to Mike D and get the rest of the team behind what he learns from Brown. Pretty great. Might cause some resentment though.
I think it is clear the Suns are being built around Amare. That's why he went along on the trip to recruit Nash. The great thing is that Amare is incredibly dedicated to becoming a great player and it can't help but rub off on everyone else.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 01:20 AM   #14
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Amare got all the tools.. I see him as a career 26 pts 11 rbs.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 08:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Dog
Melo's a real tool, isn't he?

Oh well, at least we've got someone to blame now, if the U.S. loses...
i really hope this is a joke/sarcasm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devilalum
And with the talent this team has there's no way this dillhole averages more than 15 minutes a game.
the mere fact that he made the team at 20 is good enough. 5 mpg is a bonus. he will be in plenty of more olympics before its all said and done. there are very few guys on the team i would take instead of melo to build my team around. VERY few (obviously i would take duncan and bron, but other than that - not much). his mpg are not indicative of anything. this is the OLYMPICS. in fact, i didnt want him to go (injury reasons).

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrahamcrackr
Hopefully not at all. In reality, I am guessing he will play minimal time. He is like 3rd or 4th on the depth chart at SF....
this is true. maybe he will get a few minutes here and there just for experience sake.


Quote:
I really want to know what NugzFan thinks of Melo's promise. Personally, I just think it is his immaturity showing again, but maybe he has seen something I haven't?
immaturity? the kid is just speaking his mind. nothing wrong with what he said. if it was duncan, people would praise him. im sick of all the guys being safe with what they say instead of saying what they actually think. of course at the same time, guaranteeing the gold is kinda stupid because we are SUPPOSE to win the gold. its not really going out on a limb.


Quote:
I was especially mad at the way he acted before he got an invite (which came almost by default.) As much as I dislike Steve Francis, I would have rather him gotton the invite. To me, it seemed like he wanted to play for his country, while Melo wanted the intention. Francis also handled not being selected a lot better than Melo did.
you really dont know melo then. the kid is all USA pride. 100%

Quote:
edit: I mean compared to Amare, who simply said he would love the chance to represent his country, Melo acted like a baby. However, the media circuit tends to portray Melo as the ultimate franchise centerpiece. Amare gets some mention, but not nearly enough (and it is usually in second wind after a statement about how great Yao is).


so this stems from jealousy?

Quote:
Actually, second question. Nugzfan, as a person from the other side, if you could pick one person to build your team around (not consindering current roster), would you pick Amare or Melo???
i would take melo no doubt. you guys would disagree and laugh at the idea. and i in turn have the same feelings when you guys say you would take amare over melo. no harm done.
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