LAS VEGAS - As could have been predicted, Team USA had no trouble disposing of a dispirited Dominican Republic team Wednesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV. It was obvous that members of coach John Calipari's team wanted to be anywhere but on the court, in this heat, having failed to qualify for the London Games.
The Dominicans squandered their last opportunity for the 2012 Olympics with their to Nigeria last Sunday.
"I'm going to London anyway," said team captain Francisco Garcia. "I got tickets for the family a long time ago. I really thought we were going to make it."
Garcia chatted briefly with DeMarcus Cousins before the USA's 113-59 rout. The Kings center, who played for the Select Team during the weeklong training camp, is staying in touch to watch the Kings' first few games in the Summer League. "He's full of himself right now," said Garcia, laughing, and saying he heard reports about his teammate's progress throughout the week.
Here are a few final thoughts on Team USA:
* USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski look absolutely exhausted. True, temperatures reached 114 both Tuesday and Wednesday. Mostly, though, they have been dealing with what they termed "distractions," among them the crazy free agent period and the injuries to key players.
* Krzyzewski, who was an assistant on the 1992 Dream Team, sounds like he'd take the original Dreamers over any subsequent USA roster. "In their prime, all those guys together .... There was no team ever like that." The late Chuck Daly described his '92 squad as "majestic."
* Dream Team members Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen and assistant Lenny Wilkens receiving a rousing ovation when they were introduced to the crowd last night during a timeout. Daly, you might recall, never called a timeout in 11 games in Barcelona. Of course, his team won by an average of 43 points.
* As far as cobbling together teams at the last minute? Ask Larry Brown about that. Except for Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson, the team that sprinted to the 2003 gold medal at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico virtually abandoned him for the 2004 Athens Games. Mike Bibby, among others, freely admitted that he bailed because of terrorism fears.
* Krzyzewski played the 6-foot-8 LeBron James in numerous positions, including center. Expect plenty of tinkering as Team USA heads off to Washington, D.C. for more training and another exhibition.