Olympic Hoops '08: Size Doesn't Matter

What the 2008 Olympic Men's Basketball team lacks in size, it makes up in star power.

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James headline a squad looking to erase the memories of a Bronze Medal finish in 2004. With Bryant and James leading the way, it will be up to head coach Mike Krzyzewski to mold the rest of the players into a fluid team concept.

And that supporting cast reads like an All-Star team in its own right. Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Chirs Bosh, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd, Dwyane Wade and Deron Williams.

And if you're not impressed with that, flanking Coach K on the bench are Hall of Fame Syracuse head boss Jim Boeheim, Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan and newly-appointed New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni.

USA Basketball is basically running with a fresh start, for only James, Wade, Boozer and Anthony return from that nationally televised disappointment in 2004. Coach Larry Brown is gone and so are Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Stephon Marbury, Richard Jefferson, Lamar Odom and Emeka Okafor.

On paper, the '08 squad should wipe the floor with the '04 team despite the leadership of The Big Fundamental (Duncan) and the man with the biggest heart in the world (Iverson.)

And thanks to the national media, it's not going to be all butterflies and rainbows with this squad as the media folk would like you to believe that this team lacks big men.

And yes, it does lack height as there isn't a 7-footer to be seen. However, don't be fooled by the hype. Howard, Bosh and Boozer can handle the four and five spots on the floor because any of those guys can put up 25 and 15 on any given night. At 6-10, Tayshaun Prince can handle the three and the four on both sides of the floor and at 6-8, 'Melo can do the same.

The team's strength will be in the backcourt. Think about it, Coach K's system at Duke made Bobby Hurley, J.J. Redick, Trajan Langdon and William Avery look so good that NBA front office types used lottery picks to draft these guys. Imagine what kind of offensive juggernaut that Coach K and D'Antoni will have at their hands with CP3 and D-Wade running a fast break with Kobe and LeBron.

Don't worry, I'll wait.

And as you wipe the drool off your chin, imagine the alleys D-Williams and J. Kidd could throw up and the oops that Howard, Boozer and Bosh could throw down.

Lost in all this is sharpshooter Michael Redd, who will thrive against the 2-3 zones that most international teams will be using this August.

So keep your immobile big men. Give me athletes, sharpshooters and some revolutionary minds on the bench and I can almost guarantee the Gold will be coming home to the U.S. of A.