Perhaps the worst is already in the past for the United States Olympic men's basketball team.
Following coach Larry Brown's mantra of "playing the right way," the Americans dominated the defending world champions with defense in an impressive 78-60 exhibition victory over Serbia-Montenegro last night at Belgrade.
The Americans took a partisan crowd out of the game by holding Serbia-Montenegro to just 9 points in the second quarter, showing none of the faults that hampered them in earlier games against Italy and Germany, shutting down an opponent that appeared both overconfident and incompetent.
"We played hard and we tried to do what was right, and I think that was a significant step," Brown said.
Tim Duncan led the US team with 16 points, LeBron James added 11, and the entire team turned in a determined effort. The US team went 14 for 14 from the free throw line and 30 of 60 from the field, holding the Serbian team to 35 percent shooting overall and 1 for 14 from 3-point range. The US team's next exhibition game is against Turkey tomorrow.
Edwards faces ban
US track star Torri Edwards's hopes of competing in the Athens Games were diminished after the world governing body of track and field, the IAAF, essentially ruled she should be subject to a full two-year ban for a positive test for a stimulant, The
The US Anti-Doping Agency announced yesterday it had referred the IAAF's decision to the American Arbitration Association panel, which initially reviewed the case and will ultimately decide Edwards's fate. Should Edwards, the world champion in the 100, be banned, she would lose her position in the 100 to Gail Devers -- who might decline it, opening the door for fifth-place finisher Marion Jones -- and in the 200 to LaShaunte'a Moore.
Greene beaten again
Jamaican Asafa Powell beat Maurice Greene again in the 100 meters at the Weltklasse Golden League meet at Zurich. Powell, who won his third straight 100 race, was behind Greene until pulling away in the final 20 meters to win in 9.93 seconds. Greene was second in 9.94. "I guess I'm the big favorite for the Olympic Games now," said Powell, who also beat Greene at a meet in London July 31 . . . In Huelva, Spain, two-time world champion Yipsi Moreno of Cuba showed she is in fine form for the Olympics after winning gold in the hammer throw at the Iberoamerican Games . . . A Bulgarian Olympic official implicated in alleged bid-city corruption faces possible suspension from the IOC. Ivan Slavkov was secretly filmed by an undercover BBC television crew discussing how votes could be bought in the campaign to host the 2012 Summer Games . . . Sue Haywood's effort to be restored to the US Olympic women's mountain biking team ended in Denver, where a federal judge denied her request to have a second arbiter decide who should race in Athens . . . Milton Green, a track standout at Harvard and a former world-record hurdler who boycotted the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, died Wednesday in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 92. Green was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Netanya, Israel, in 1997.