Team USA to face Spain in Barcelona exhibition
In what could turn out to be a prelude to a gold-medal matchup in the 2012 London Olympics, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will lead Team USA against rival Spain in an exhibition on July 24 in Barcelona, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The game will be played at 3:30 p.m. ET in the Palau Sant Jordi mountainside arena, and promises to be a spectacular, intense scene.
The exhibition will coincide with the 20th anniversary celebration of Team USA’s 1992 Dream Team that transformed international basketball in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. USA Basketball is expected to invite members of that team to Barcelona for its weeklong stay in Spain.
This will be the final exhibition for the two Olympic favorites before they depart later that week for the London Games. Spain lost to the U.S. 118-107 in the 2008 gold-medal game in Beijing, but the game was tight until the late stages. Spain will return its key players plus far more mature and talented stars like Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol to join veterans Pau Gasol, Jose Calderon and newcomer Serge Ibaka.
NBA players and agents involved in the pre-Olympic tour have received the itinerary, and a formal USA Basketball announcement is expected to come on All-Star weekend next week in Orlando, Fla.
Team USA will hold July training camps in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. and also play exhibitions in both cities. Before leaving for London, Team USA will spend a week in Barcelona, where it will play two of the biggest threats to defending its gold medal: Argentina and Spain. Team USA will play Argentina on July 22 in Barcelona.
The basketball competition in London starts with preliminary games on July 29.
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