Well, it could be taken as a bad sign but there is no reason to jump to conclusions too early. In the first scrimmage in Las Vegas between the team that will represent the U.S. in the Olympic qualifying tournament and the select team of young pros, the young team won.
No score was reported, but the U.S. team included Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and the big stars and the select team included Devin Harris, Al Jefferson, David Lee, Jason Kapono and J.J. Reddick.
The New York Post quoted Lee as saying: "We're simulating what other teams will do, so we packed in a zone and forced them to shoot outside," Lee said. "You can't guard Kobe and LeBron off the dribble, so it's the only way to be successful."
This is similar to what happened in 1992 when a college team led by Grant HIll and Chris Webber defeated the Dream Team led by Michael, Magic and Larry. The Dream Team came back the next day and jumped on the young guys, breaking out to a 30-2 score, so it was no big deal.
This select team is actually more competitive because the players are already in the league. It's early and it was a scrimmage, but with all the U.S. failings in recent international play, it's kind of sad that the big guys can't even win a scrimmage.
-- Jan Hubbard