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2006 FIBA World Championship

The USA takes on Puerto Rico tonight in game one of the World Championship.

The game will be televised live on ESPN2 at midnight and it is a chance not only to watch basketball, but to see Jos? Juan Barea who plays for the Puerto Rican national team.

On a non-Mavericks related note, I don't understand why anyone would pick against the USA to win as Chris Sheridan did. Sheridan listed ten reasons to bet against the USA winning. He got pretty desperate; one of his reasons was that the USA team wouldn't want to eat Japanese food and as a result would be forced to unhealthy American fast food the entire tournament. But that wasn't even his silliest reason.

This is a little disgusting, but it's true: Some of these teams stink, literally. Players on international teams travel to and from the arenas in their uniforms, and many players forsake showers as a result. I got a really close look at Argentina during the Worlds in Indianapolis, and I do not believe Fabricio Oberto, Luis Scola or Andres Nocioni bathed during the entire tournament. BO may be repulsive, but it also keeps defenders a few extra inches away.
Those are two pretty bad reasons why the Americans will lose. Here is one really good reason the USA will win. The only two players in the entire tournament who I think would make the USA team are Dirk and Yao, but neither Germany nor China are considered serious threats. Think about that. There are 21 teams in this tournament whose best player couldn't make the US squad.

When the US team collapsed in the Olympics they got off easy. Many writers talked about the growth of basketball in the world and the strength of the other teams as the main reason for the disappointing results. That's all true, but it had nothing to do with why they lost. Larry Brown sucked. The players and their vacation mentality sucked. Those two things are gone now and the USA will win easily. And if they don't, I don't want to hear any excuses.