by Lang Whitaker

Monday! Before we get to the news, just wanted to point out that the next three Team USA games are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, on ESPN2 live each morning at 6:30 a.m. EST. I’ll be up with the sun watching them all and will post notes as soon as I can after each game. Tomorrow morning they square off against Rasho Nesterovic, Beno Udrih and Slovenia.

Let’s hit The Links…

QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’m an American. And I would like to see America regain our prominence at the World Championships. I just thought I could have contributed to that.” — Bruce Bowen

THE LINKS…
• World Basketball Championship Round-Up: Angola is surprising everyone, and they’ve already secured a spot in the Final 16. Anyone remember when Barkley elbowed the guy from Angola in the chest in 1992? ….. Primoz Brezec says he’s already worn out ….. Catching up with Carlos Delfino. Couldn’t they find any larger pictures of him?

• Al Harrington is back on the trade block, after the Pacers insisted on giving the Hawks way too much value for Harrington. “We’re committed to getting ripped off in a sign-and-trade,” Hawks GM Billy Knight didn’t say.

• The Heat have re-signed Alonzo Mourning. If you can’t say something nice…

• Josh Howard = good guy.

• Bruce Bowen is back from Japan, and he’s not mad but he says he is disappointed that he never got the chance to show he belonged on Team USA. Pretty cool that Gregg Popovich called him upon his return and let him vent.

• Again, a player needs knee surgery during the summer but he waits until now to have it, putting his chances of returning in time for camp in jeopardy. This week’s contestant is Jason Richardson!

• The Bulls have continued their summer makeover, picking up Martynas Andrieuskevicius for pretty much nothing from the Cavs. When a team in the same division as you is willing to just give you a player, shouldn’t you be a little suspicious?

• If you want to get NBA 07 for your PlayStation, hope you like Kobe. Brian Cook appears to.

• The Cavs then went out and got themselves some Scot Pollard, who I’m pretty sure spells his first name with one “T” just because he wants to be weird.

• 15 POUNDS OF MUSCLE ALERT!: Well, not really. Just a story about Mike Bibby noting that he’s lost 18 pounds this summer.

• There’s a feature on Main Event in today’s Boston Herald. I don’t really get it, either.

• Blazers boss Steve Patterson always takes some odd photos.

• A former UNLV player tested positive for marijuana, and I’m guessing it’s not who you think it could be, no matter who you’re thinking it could be.

• And no, it’s not JR Rider, although I’m pretty sure he’s tested positive before at some point. Right now he’s on the run. Watch out, Dikembe!