Kobe Bryant headlines the list of 17 players who are expected to
report for U.S. national team minicamp this weekend in Las Vegas.
The three-day camp on the campus of UNLV will be used to select
the finalists for next month's FIBA Americas tournament, the
regional qualifier for the 2008 Olympics. The roster must be
trimmed to 12 players before the tournament starts on Aug. 22.
There are 32 players in the national team program, but 15 are
unavailable for minicamp, leaving the Americans with fewer players
than expected. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said last week he thought 18
or 19 would be in camp.
Bryant, the league's scoring champion, had knee surgery last
summer and was unable to play in the world championships, where the
Americans finished third. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony,
Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Shane Battier and Kirk Hinrich are the only
players from that team scheduled to take part this weekend.
They will be joined by Chauncey Billups, Amare Stoudemire and
Michael Redd, all members of the program last summer but unable to
participate. Kevin Durant, Jason Kidd, Mike Miller, Tyson Chandler,
Tayshaun Prince, J.J. Redick and Deron Williams will also attend.
Dwyane Wade and Greg Oden are among the players who can't play
because of injuries or other reasons, though Wade, one of the team
captains, is expected to be in Las Vegas. Elton Brand, a key member
of last year's team, and Shawn Marion are among the recent injury
The Americans will train for two days before dividing up the
roster for a blue-white game on Sunday.