July 9, 2012, 11:04 am
The USA Basketball team is currently training for the Olympics down in Las Vegas and Blazersedge writer Ben Golliver is covering the team in Sin City. He joined Chad on The Morning Sports Page Monday to share all the news regarding Team USA and he updated us on some of the latest news with our own Portland Trail Blazers.
Golliver began by saying that Lebron looks like a completely different person now that he has finally gotten that first championship. He asserts that he is upbeat, jovial, charismatic and his aura seems to be rubbing off on the rest of the team, because many of the players have a confidence about them that he has never seen before. Most of the players who were on the team for the last Olympics were in their early 20s and were just excited to be a part of the action. This time around, most of the players are in their late 20s and they have a different agenda than they had four years ago.
Golliver also spoke in detail about the Los Angeles Lakers and their new edition of Steve Nash. He maintains that the Nash pickup is huge for the Lakers. He’s possibly the best set up man in the game and he is being paired with two of the top big men in the game in Gasol and Bynum. He will also share the backcourt with one of the ten best players of all time in Bryant. Golliver insists that the Lakers moved from being one of the top teams in the Western Conference to one of the top three teams in NBA – right there with the Heat and the Thunder.
Lastly, Golliver made sure to address the ongoing Nicolas Batum saga. He insists that the Timberwolves offer sheet is either bogus or Minnesota is comfortable paying the luxury tax because they would be well over the salary cap with the editions of Roy and Batum. Golliver maintains that this whole situation has probably been a smokescreen either by Batum's agent to drive up his client's price, or it has been a smokescreen by Minnesota to try to force the Blazers into a sign-and-trade for the Frenchman. He maintains that the deals for Ryan Anderson and Ersan Ilyasova – roughly $9 milion a year for each player – are a good indication of what Batum should, and will, be paid.
Take a listen to Golliver’s great Blazers information and be sure to check out his USA Basketball columns at http://www.cbssports.com/