Team USA Men's Basketball will begin their gold medal defense this morning when they take on France at 9:30 am eastern time. The game can be seen live on NBC Sports Network or streamed on nbcolympics.com.
The US will obviously come into this game as heavy favorites as France struggled in the run up to the Olympics. France will also be without Joakim Noah, who injured his ankle in the NBA playoff series against the Sixers. They will, however, have Tony Parker who had been out after injuring his eye in that infamous brawl between Drake & Chris Brown in a New York city nightclub.
France will field a few other notable NBA names including Boris Diaw, Ronny Turiaf, Kevin Seraphin & Nicolas Batum. Because of the familiarity with Team USA's NBA stars, Parker says his French side won't fear the Americans coming into this game, but they'll respect them.
"For us, there's not a fear factor because we play against them all the time," Parker said. "But then, we know they're really, really good and they have a very, very good team. We're not going to be like other teams who never see them and are like, 'Oh, wow, I'm playing against Kobe (Bryant) and LeBron (James).' "
US Coach Mike Krzyzewski says the defensively stout French team will provide a good opening test for the heavily favored Americans.
"France is a good test at any time, but as far as us getting right into it, to play the French team is going to be a very important game for us," Krzyzewski said.
The US has 24 all time medals in men's basketball, including 19 golds, which is more than twice as many as every other nation combined. France has just two all time medals, both silver.