L.A. Times: As Lakers fans well know, wherever he goes, Kobe is the main man and it’s no different with the U.S. basketball team.
Winter, summer, in a Lakers uniform or that of the U.S. team, it’s still all Kobe, all the time. . . .
He’s not just a Lakers obsession, now he belongs to the world, or at least international basketball, and just in time with the U.S. expected to mop up the competition in FIBA’s Tournament of the Americas that begins today — We’re back! — if only because there isn’t any.
Argentina, which won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, won’t have Manu Ginobili, Andres Nocioni or Fabricio Oberto. Brazil, which upended the U.S. in the 2002 World Games, won’t have Anderson Varejao.
Even with the U.S. team’s new humility that comes from winning their last gold medal in 2000, followed by embarrassments in one Olympics and two World Games, the Americans are expected to be OK here, needing only to finish in the top two to qualify for next summer’s Olympics in Beijing.