Monday, July 21, 2008

Better than the Summer League

The Olympic basketball field is now set with Greece, Croatia, and Germany taking the final wildcard slots. Wikipedia lists the rosters for the 12 men’s teams. Courtesy these wikipedia files, I’ve gleamed the following:

Spain’s roster includes 4 current NBA players, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, and Jose Calderon. Spain’s roster also includes 3 former NBA players Raul Lopez, Jorge Garbajosa, and Juan Carlos Navarro.

Argentina’s team also contains 4 current NBA players, Manu Ginobili, Andres Nocioni, Fabricio Oberto, and Luis Scola, and former NBA player Carlos Delfino.

Russia’s roster includes Andrei Kirilenko.

Lithuania’s roster includes Darius Songaila and Linas Kleiza.

China’s roster includes Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian, and former NBA player Wang ZhiZhi. Yao’s health remains a question heading into the games, but the bigger question mark for China is guard-play. (At least that’s what I’ve read elsewhere on the web, sorry that I can’t remember the link.)

Germany’s roster includes Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman.

Australia’s roster includes Andrew Bogut.

Croatia’s roster includes Roko Ukic who did not play in the NBA during the 2007-2008 season, but who has signed a contract to be the back-up point guard for the Toronto Raptors during the 2008-2009 season.

Other tournament teams (such as Greece and Croatia) are also expected to be very dangerous even without NBA players.

The tournament opens August 10th including a great game between two of the favored teams in Group A, Argentina and Lithuania. The US opens against China in Group B.