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Lakers Roundtable: Discussing Team USA with The New York Times' Pete Thamel

August 11, 2010 |  4:00 pm

Though the 2010 FIBA World Championships are 17 days away, it's never too early to start looking ahead. After all, Team USA reassembled Monday in New York City to begin training for exhibition games against France (Aug. 15), Lithuania (Aug. 21), Spain (Aug. 22) and Greece (Aug. 25).

Amid all his various duties in staying on top of the college football and basketball scene, The New York Times' Pete Thamel recently went to Las Vegas during the team's tryouts and plans to see the team compete firsthand beginning Aug. 28 in Turkey, a tournament the U.S. hasn't won since 1994. Among the highlights from my conversation with Thamel:

-- How the makeup of Team USA changes, since no player from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including Kobe Bryant, will play.

-- Why Lamar Odom is presumed to play backup center, what adjustments he needs to make and how he epitomizes the versatility Team USA needs in its lineup.

-- Thamel's prediction that Team USA won't win the tournament. The last time the team won was 1994.

-- You can follow more of Thamel's work here and on Twitter.

-- Mark Medina