The U.S. didn't come close to defeat last week in its first four games of the preliminary round, flattening the competition by an average of 48.5 points and running Kidd's record in international play to 32--0. While Kidd's numbers were far from dazzling (he averaged 1.8 points and 4.5 assists in the first round), the U.S. players' fluid ball movement and willingness to defer to teammates showed that they'd molded themselves in their point guard's image. "We really are an unselfish team," says coach Mike Krzyzewski. "And Jason Kidd is the ultimate unselfish player."
Kidd's superior court vision has benefited many of his teammates, particularly Carmelo Anthony, the U.S.'s leading scorer in the tournament with 21.3 points per game. Against Canada, Kidd feathered a 70-foot pass over the head of three Canadian defenders that hit Anthony in stride a few feet from the rim. "This guy is a dream come true," says Anthony. "All you have to do is run the floor, and he is going to find you."
Though injuries have kept Kidd out of international play in recent years, Team USA has never been far from his mind. "I watched them play in the  Olympics," says Kidd of the squad that won a bronze medal. "And I never saw that sense of urgency in their faces." Last winter Kidd placed a call to Colangelo and told him he was ready to rejoin the team. Says Colangelo, "For a guy like Jason, whose body has been through so much and who has accomplished what he has, to put himself out there like that was remarkable."
While in 2000 Kidd was comfortable leaving the leadership to veterans Steve Smith and Gary Payton ("I let Gary do all the talking," says Kidd) this year he has taken on a vocal role. "I'm talking to the guys a lot on the bench," Kidd says. "I feel like it's my place to say something if I think it will help us win, because I don't believe in losing."
Kings of the Ring
Last weekend in Houston, 11 boxers, including seven teenagers and an Iraqi war vet, secured berths to represent the U.S. at the World Boxing Championships in Chicago in September and, should they qualify internationally, at the Olympic Games in Beijing next summer.
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