With the USA Basketball's senior men's team competing for an Olympic berth in the upcoming Tournament of the Americas in August, Jay Wright's Pan Am team will operate in relative anonymity this week in Rio de Janeiro. However, the competition down there will be tough; the Americans will be competing against a number of senior national teams that will be using this tournament to get ready for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and company next month in Las Vegas.
The task for Wright and his team of college stars will be just as daunting as it has been for the past two decades. (Team USA has not won a Pan Am gold medal since 1983 when North Carolina sophomore Michael Jordan led the squad in scoring.) Fortunately, two of the best teams in the tournament, Argentina and Brazil, will be saving many of their best players for the NBA stars.