Dressed in a dapper gray suit, Anthony Davis, his unibrow well-groomed, strode across the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark. He greeted Commissioner David Stern with a firm handshake, donned a New Orleans Hornets baseball cap and posed for a photo. That small ceremony was just a precursor to the official start of the Anthony Davis era this upcoming fall.

But those anxious to see what Davis can do against top competition may not have wait until this fall. The men’s senior national team is seeing its members drop like flies thanks to injuries sustained during a grueling NBA season. The latest casualties, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, might have USA basketball executives slightly concerned about how their roster for London is shaping up.

Wade’s loss can be easily overcome thanks to the glut of talented guards in camp, but Bosh’s absence could prove much more costly. With the Heat forward now out of the mix, the US is left with only two players (Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love) capable of effectively manning the center position. Lamar Odom did spend time there as part of the 2010 World Championship squad, but his precarious mental state makes him far from a safe bet to make the team.

That presents the question, “Is it time for the US to seriously consider Davis?”

It has been thought that Davis’ inclusion in the 2012 Olympic pool was mainly to allow him to get his feet wet in the program. After all, between Bosh, Chandler, Love, Dwight Howard and the host of players the US planned on using as small-ball fours, big man depth was never considered to be an issue. Now that the circumstances have changed, has the opinion around Davis’ involvement changed with them?

Asking head coach Mike Krzyzewski, or his staff, will likely only produce stock answers. Fans are just left to speculate what Davis can bring to the team if included. He has the length and shot blocking only Chandler can reliably match, but his offensive game remains a major work in progress. Perhaps the biggest obstacle blocking serious consideration is Davis' strength, or perhaps more aptly put, his lack of it.

The international game in particular is far more rugged than the NBA. In most high level European leagues, much more physical play can often go unimpeded by a whistle. With that being the case, would any US coach or fan really want to see the sinewy Davis battling the Gasol brothers in the low post during a game in the medal round? Despite what they lack in length, LeBron James or Blake Griffin might be better bets to use at the pivot should fouls or more injuries limit Chandler and Love.

Despite all that, it still is an interesting query, especially when considering what Davis’ inclusion might do for his and the NBA’s brand. Sadly, this won’t be settled until camp breaks and the team makes the trek across the Atlantic. Until then, don’t resign your fate to waiting until October to watch Davis battle the best. There’s a chance you might witness it sooner than expected.

-- Brett Koremenos is the Editor at NBA Playbook and a contributor to Hoopspeak. Follow him on Twitter.

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Four years ago, Shawn Johnson came away from the Beijing Olympics with one gold and three silver medals. She added a Mirrorball to her trophy cabinet after winning "Dancing with the Stars." What's next? Well, if you combine the international travel of the Olympics with reality-TV competition, there's one show that sounds perfect for her:

"The Amazing Race."

But Johnson is stumped on who to take with her for those capers around the world.

"Oh gosh, I don't know," she says. "Probably just one of my friend ... or another athlete. 'Dancing With The Stars' was a really challenging thing. I don't think I could do another one, but I am a pretty big fan of 'Amazing Race.' I think that would be pretty cool."

Host Phil Keoghan hasn't tapped the 20-year-old former gymnast for the next season yet, but Johnson is keeping busy during her retirement. Although she won't be dazzling the world with a beam routine at this summer's Olympic Games, Johnson will still be in London and not just as a cheerleader in the stands.

"When Procter & Gamble offered the correspondent position to me, it was a great opportunity to meet the other competitors and athletes, really connect with them and still share in the whole Olympic movement," Johnson says. "Going back as a cheerleader would have been a great experience, but I'm not going to lie. It wouldn't be easy just sitting in the stands and having no other place in the games."

Johnson began her job as P&G's Olympic Games correspondent Wednesday by announcing a $75,000 grant to USA Gymnastics from the USOC's P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund. The grant will support youth sports development and USA Gymnastics Fitness Program, which engages children in physical fitness through training, exercise and nutrition awareness.

For every new follower the USOC's P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund gets on Twitter @ThankYouMom, the company will donate one dollar, up to $50,000. The funds will go to a program that Johnson says gives children a channel for their energy and passion.

"Sports for kids of any age really set them up for life," Johnson says. "It gives them an outlet for their energy, keeps them in a safe environment and teaches them all these life lessons that they can transition into other things when they get older."

As Johnson transitions into her new role as a correspondent, she says her background as a four-time Olympic medalist will help.

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"I know what they're feeling, and I know what they've gone through," she says. "It's always difficult for an athlete to go give an interview and really relate to the reporter, but I think I will be able to ask and share an insight with people that a normal reporter might not be able to."

Such as the possibility that the Olympic Trials, which are underway in San Jose, may be more intense than the actual Games in London.

"Right now, the girls and the guys are feeling the heat. If they don't hit here, then they don't make the team," Johnson said. "Everybody is going to compete to the best of their ability and tomorrow is going to make them or break them."

During the next four days, the field of gymnasts will be narrowed down to five men and five women, but Johnson says she couldn't make any predictions.

"These girls are like my sisters and having to pick five out of the 20 would be heart-wrenching to me," Johnson says. "I hope they all make it, but no matter what five are picked, I know we are going to have the strongest team out there, because the camaraderie between the girls and how hard they work is second to none."

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Miranda Tucker was 9 when her angry face first emerged, and her parents, who had secretly been pining for one of their children to show signs of being a competitive spitfire, were shocked -- and delighted.

She was 10 when she waited in an autograph line to meet future Olympic bronze medal-winning swimmer Allison Schmitt for nothing more than to deliver the news that when Schmitt competed in the 2012 Summer Games, Tucker would be one of her teammates.

At the time, Schmitt laughed it off, delighting in a young swimmer's willingness to dream big -- no matter how unfounded or far-fetched it seemed at the time.

Five years later, Miranda Tucker is barely 15, having celebrated her latest birthday three weeks before she arrived in Omaha for the Olympic Trials that perhaps no one -- outside of herself -- believed she'd ever reach.

Let alone before she was old enough to drive.

Tucker will share a pool with the Olympic hopefuls and sure things -- the Michael Phelps and the Dara Torres of the swimming world. Undoubtedly, she will be the biggest of underdogs in a field of swimming superstars well beyond her years.

She will bump into Schmitt, who comes from the same suburban Detroit hometown of Canton, Mich., and has already reminded the four-time NCAA freestyle champion that Tucker has nearly made good on her promise.

Away from the pool, there are no signs of the angry face.

Miranda Tucker is soft-spoken and giggly, shy and unsure of herself when it comes to talking about herself and her quest to spend part of the summer leading up to her sophomore year of high school in London, earmarked as one of the world's best.

She is smiley and shy, polite and respectful, more comfortable with thanking her family and friends for their support than with trumpeting her own success.

She balks at a question about whether she has allowed herself to think about how realistic her Olympic hopes are only 12 months after she first started pushing to cross out another milestone on her competitive swimming bucket list.

In reality, making a push for the 2016 Summer Games seems much more attainable, providing Tucker another four years to prepare herself mentally and physically.

But perhaps, it's the fact that she is only 15 that she won't give up so easily. Perhaps because she is 15 and so far off the competition's radar despite being the country's No. 2-ranked 15-year-old in the breaststroke that there is a big part of Miranda Tucker that believes that maybe those hopes for London aren't so unbelievable.

"Now that I've made it (to the Trials), I guess maybe I can think about (the Olympics)," Tucker says. "So I think, 'Why not now?' -- I just have to try really, really hard."

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At a studio in Queens, a group of women are working up a sweat. But instead of dumbells in their hands, you'll find crossbows.

Archery? It's not exactly the latest fitness craze, considering we can trace the sport back to medieval Robin Hood and in more recent history, the 18th century English upper class. (Who could forget Gwyneth Paltrow's charming portrayal of matchmaker Emma Woodhouse taunting Mr. Knightly with her archery skills in the 1996 film version of Jane Austen's novel?) But, archery is making an unmistakable comeback, thanks to some fetching leading ladies today.

“There’s been a huge uptick in archery interest over the past year — particularly in the past two to four months, which is definitely reaching a fever pitch with ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Brave,’ and the Olympic games,” USA Archery spokeswoman Teresa Laconi told the New York Post.

Katniss and Princess Merida are certainly the heroines making archery the graceful sport du jour, but don't forget Neytiri, that svelte, blue Na'vi princess of "Avatar." You don't have to go too far back in Hollywood history to find more beauties brandishing crossbows: Jennifer Garner in "Elektra" from 2005, Keira Knightly's midriff-baring Guinevere in 2004's "King Arthur" and even Natalie Portman in "Your Highness."

Al Lizzio, who runs Queens Archery, told the Post his business is up 50 percent as the past year, and weekend archery lessons are booked through the end of July. The boom in clientele is 90 percent women at Queens Archery, and the same trend can be found at New York Sports Clubs. NYSC just launched a class called the "Change Your Fate Workout".

The class is completely inspired by "Brave's" Princess Merida, so New York's editors, lawyers and bartenders alike can drop in and feel like a Disney heroIne for a day with fitness crossbows and wooden swords. Would-be princesses are sure to sweat and work their upper bodies like superheroes.

With the Olympics around the corner, hopeful archers have even more inspiration. U.S. female archer Khatuna Lorig hopes to compete at the London Games, after her recent stint as a trainer for Jennifer Lawrence on the set of "The Hunger Games." As women increasingly become more than just the object of desire in today's action flicks, archery might be here to stay. We think Maid Marian would approve.

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Caster Semenya never set out to be the face of an international debate over gender politics in sports. But when the South African track star won the gold in the women's 800 meter race at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, she didn't have much of a choice.

At the 2009 World Championships, Semenya set the record for the fastest time that year, 1:55:45, an eight second improvement over her personal best. Her time, combined with her noticeably masculine build, aroused some bitter suspicion from the competition, including Italian runner Elisa Cusma Piccione and Russian Mariya Savinova, who called her a man.

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) also took notice. They asked Semenya to take a gender test after her gold medal win -- a medal she almost snubbed from embarrassment and hurt over the test.

South Africans, including the sports minister, were outraged. Many claimed the complaints were rooted in racism and since then, the eligibility of female athletes with hyperandrogenism, a condition where the female body produces abnormal levels of testosterone, has become a hot button issue in global sports.

These days, Semenya hopes to sprint beyond the controversy to a win at the London Games. Her return comes at a pivotal time when the International Olympic Committee is soon expected to announce new policies on the eligibility of women with hyperandrogenism, possibly banning them altogether.

In 2011, two years after Semenya's traumatic gender verification testing, the IAAF adopted new regulations which allow female athletes with hyperandrogenism to compete in women's sports as long as her androgen levels are below those of a man's. If her androgen levels are within the male range, the athlete would have to also have androgen resistance which prevents her from gaining a competitive advantage from the increased levels. An athlete who arouses scrutiny could be subject to a full evaluation - and if she declines or refuses, she would be banned from competition. Athletes with the condition who may have an advantage, such as increased muscle mass or level of red blood cells, would have to undergo hormone therapy or even have surgery to be eligible.

Semenya went through treatment, and at recent competitions, the media has marveled at her new, more feminine appearance.

"She wears a tight turquoise polo over her fit, feminine body. Relaxed, poised and, it must be said, pretty, the young woman with an irresistible smile is almost unrecognizable from photographs taken during the height of the controversy," Stephanie Findlay of the Toronto Star wrote.

It almost sounds as if Findlay is describing a Hollywood star strutting down the red carpet after a successful diet, not an athlete who should be judged on ability. That's precisely the problem. Should the IAAF, and now the IOC, be "policing femininity"? Does a female athlete need to resemble the Anna Kournikova or Amanda Beard? If Semenya had looked more feminine when she won her World Championship, would the competition have been so upset?

Those who make the rules , like the IAAF and the IOC, would never exactly base eligibility on looks, and rightfully so. So they look to testosterone levels. But some researchers argue testosterone levels aren't as black and white as the governing bodies need them to be in order to set policy. In a recent New York Times column, "You Say You're a Woman? That Should Be Enough," Columbia University Associate Professor Rebecca Jordan-Young and Stanford University senior research scholar Katrina Karkazis argue, "Testosterone is not the master molecule of athleticism. One glaring clue is that women whose tissues do not respond to testosterone at all are actually overrepresented among elite athletes. As counterintuitive as it might seem, there is no evidence that successful athletes have higher testosterone levels than less successful ones."

The researchers call for all women recognized as women by their birth certificates to be eligible to compete in women's sports. Women with hyperandrogenism aren't cheating, so why should they be disqualified for having more athletic bodies, which aren't necessarily a perfect recipe for winning, anyway?

"Women who have been ensnared by sex-testing dragnets have often been impressive, but not out of line with other elite female athletes," Jordan-Young and Karkazis write.

Why not disqualify LeBron James for being superbly tall and fast? That question is posed in another Times column as part of a series on gender testing for athletes.

"When men are more talented than others, it is an expression of the beauty of sports," writes Eric Vilain, director of the Institute of Society and Genetics at UCLA. "But when women outcompete others, suspicions about eligibility and arguments for a level playing field often arise."

As Vilain argues, banning a female athlete with the genetic advantage of increased testosterone from competing would hardly be different from banning a woman with the genetic advantage of height. He says, although it isn't a perfect parameter, women with higher than normal testosterone levels should be able to compete with other women, as long as the levels do not reach those of a man.

Of course, global sports organizations have to adopt clear policies for athletes and attempt to create the most even playing field possible. But when the waters are as murky as they are with gender testing, is it possible to be clear and even? In Semenya's case, former IAAF policies plagued a young woman with public scrutiny and kept her from competing for a year. Perhaps it's impossible for any governing body in sports to enact gender policies that make flawless scientific and ethical sense, but if the new policies shield athletes from gender bashing and embarrassment, it's a step in the right direction.

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Last night marked the end of perhaps the most exhausting NBA season in recent memory. From
last summer’s lockout to the Christmas Day euphoria to LeBron James finally capturing his elusive
championship. We saw the bizarre, the surreal and the inspiring.

James and his demons were front and center during all of it. He exorcised them by bookending a
memorable playoff run with a gritty triple-double. It was befitting of his maturation as both a person and
a player. His performance not in just Game 5, but throughout the Finals, has left us all to wonder what
comes next.

His journey to reach the peak of excellence this season could be the start of string of championship
celebrations that NBA fans witness over the next several years. But his path is still very much undecided.
No one knows where his legacy will go from here, but his participation in the Olympics this summer may
play a bigger role in his future than most realize.

Starting with the build-up to the Redeem Team reclaiming world basketball’s throne, USA basketball
has been a guild for the league’s best and brightest. Thanks to Sportscenter, the internet and AAU, this
current crop of superstars have been far more familiar with each other than those of generations past
but it is still a rarity for these athletes to be able to come together to witness how their respective peers
hone their craft. LeBron’s inclusion in the Olympic roster pool means that in just a couple weeks, he will
be surrounded by this highly motivated group once again.

And it couldn’t come at a better time.

The natural tendency for James now is to relax. His nine year journey filled with trials and tribulations
is finally over. With an empty summer in front of him, it’d be easy for James to bask in the glow of a
championship and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in South Beach. Instead, James is immediately assigned
another, perhaps more important, objective: to win the gold.

His new task isn’t nearly as important as the experience he’ll have during it. As his instincts are telling
him to ease off the pedal, James, in a very Dickinson-type way, will be visited by incarnations of his
basketball past and future while preparing for the London games.

His future will appear in the form of teammate Kobe Bryant. Bryant, with all his accomplishments,
doesn’t have anything left to prove. Yet more than once, James will the enter the gym only to witness
the 33-year old walk off the court, drenched in sweat, having just finished another one of his legendary
pre-practice workouts. James will again see the drive that has made Kobe a five-time NBA champion,
one still hell bent on destroying any international rival that dares cross his path in London.

His past will be embodied in the form of his vanquished Finals foes. Before and after practices, James
is sure to see Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant putting up hundreds of extra jumpers in a desperate
attempt to cure an insatiable championship hunger that James was once afflicted with. They are not
only preparing for Olympic opponents, but the NBA season that lies ahead.

The preparation for London will no doubt impact James, but just how much? We won’t know until much
later. What we do know is that James will be there, being pushed by those ghosts of past and future, pondering his present.

-- Brett Koremenos is the Editor at NBA Playbook and a contributor to Hoopspeak. Follow him on Twitter.

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During the summer of 1992, a group of basketball legends shaped the future of basketball around the globe. Wednesday night on NBA TV, viewers around the country were treated to an amazingly candid look at the Dream Team and their experiences from training camp through Barcelona. From John Stockton
trolling unsuspecting tourists on La Rambla to Charles Barkley, being, well, Chuck, we saw that group break down barriers and inspire millions. In combination with the European professionals that dotted NBA rosters in the early to mid '90s, the Dream Team paved the way for basketball to become the
global game it is today. It goes without saying then, that no other generation of athletes will have such a profound effect on the sport.

While the Dream Team’s impact will never be matched, is it nearly as certain that their talent won’t
be? The widespread belief is that a fielding a roster with 11 future Hall-of-Famers is an insurmountable
task for any U.S. Olympic team. Yet there is a group on the horizon that might just have the chops to
poke holes in that claim. It certainly won’t be the 2012 version. This current pool, even at full strength,
wouldn’t have the clout.

In four years, however, we could be singing a different tune. There could be a collection of talent that
rivals that of the ’92 team when it’s all said and done. Don’t believe us? Take a look and decide for

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It's one of the great mysteries of sport in 2012.

How can a country the size of Waterbury, Conn., produce two of the planet's top 400-meter sprinters?

Something smells fishy, but that's exactly what's taking place in the Caribbean island of Grenada, population 110,000. That population includes Kirani James and Rondell Bartholomew, who are both running for medals in the 2012 London Olympics.

James, 19, and Bartholomew, 22, are strong medal contenders this summer and they were just kids when finding inspiration to become future running legends.

Close to 39 percent of the world's 204 countries have yet to win an Olympic medal, including Grenada, which came close in 2004 with a fourth place finish by Alleyne Francique during the 300 meters in Athens, according to Scott Cacciola of the Wall Street Journal.

That relatively impressive performance by Francique inspired James and Bartholomew to follow in his running steps.

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The 20th anniversary of the Dream Team and its mesmerizing run through the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics has sparked plenty of tributes of late, and many more will come. But Lang Whitaker's oral history on the team for GQ is a must-read for a few reasons.

For starters, there are a few takes from behind the scenes that may surprise, like the fact that world domination by the NBA's best was something the NBA wasn't particularly interested in.

David Stern (NBA commissioner): The notion that the NBA wanted to redeem the 1988 loss? Patently wrong. From our view, we were stuck with playing in the Olympics. We didn't see it becoming the phenomenon that it became.

David Falk (agent for Michael Jordan): There was a growing recognition that we were putting college players out at a time when every other country was putting out pros. And were we being naive to continue that, just because there's a history?

Stern: We said to FIBA [the international basketball federation] that we weren't gung ho to play in the Olympics, but we would try to be good soldiers to support basketball. So they had a vote. The U.S. was against it, and the Russians were against it, too. But the overwhelming vote was in favor.

One big question behind the formation of the team was how close Isaiah Thomas was to making the squad, and why he ultimately didn't. It turns out, according to the story, that his Detroit teammate would have been picked ahead of him. That story likely won't satisfy the conspiracy theorists, though.

Russ Granik: The last player, as I recall, was between Clyde Drexler and Isiah Thomas, and you had two pretty great résumés there. I don't know what the final vote was—I never asked—but when they counted, it came out for Clyde.

David DuPree (reporter for USA Today): If they were selecting solely on ability and accomplishments, Isiah Thomas may have deserved it. But who are you going to leave off? Nobody was tougher than John Stockton; nobody was a better passer. John Stockton was a tough son of a bitch.

Jan Hubbard (NBA columnist for Newsday): Stockton broke a bone in his leg, and it healed very quickly. But initially they were going to replace him, and it was going to be Joe Dumars. So Isiah wasn't even going to be the first substitute.

And then there was the infamous college squad scrimmage, in which the Dream Team got jumped.

Penny Hardaway (college squad player): They just thought, "Okay, they got these young guys to give us a little warm-up. We're going to beat them up a little bit, sign a couple autographs, and then everybody go on about their merry way." They didn't know how talented we really were.

Brian McIntyre (NBA vice president of public relations): Penny had a couple of steals at midcourt, and everyone was going, "Whoa." There was—I can still feel it—there was tension. First day!

Charles Barkley (Team USA power forward): The first time we saw them, they looked like babies. We were like, "Hey, man, let’s don’t kill these little kids." And they were playing like it was Game 7. Before we knew it, they upset us.

Allan Houston (college squad player): The clock ran out—we had a twenty-minute clock—and we were up. And everybody looked around sheepishly, like, This is not supposed to happen. Nobody said anything for a few minutes.

And these are all moments before the team started going hard at each other in practice, arrived at the Olympics, and then went on a legendary run that created decades of fanfare. Other enticing highlights from the piece include a much younger Mike Krzyzewksi's introduction to pro coaching, and of course, Michael Jordan's insane competitive streak.

The piece is revealing in that it adds a few details to stories you may have already known, and it's a great primer for Wednesday night's "The Dream Team" documentary on NBA TV.

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One of the lasting images we have from the 2008 Beijing Olympics is little 16-year-old Shawn Johnson, graceful as ever, scoring herself the gold medal in balance beam. Now that 16-year-old is 20 -- and retired. With the announcement a few days back that Johnson is retiring from gymnastics, taking her out of Olympic competition next month, the doors are open for a new face of Team USA.

Enter Jordyn Wieber.

Assuming she performs well at the Visa Championships this weekend, 16-year-old Wieber, whose specialty is the uneven bars, will be selected as one of five women to make the trip to London next month. The three-time American Cup champion was also the 2011 world all-around champ, and she already has a multitude of fan pages devoted to her, one of which is aptly named "Wieber Fever."

She hasn't been perfect in her wins, but she's been able to recover from her mistakes without getting fazed, perhaps an even more important attribute than pure perfection. The 2008 Olympic all-around gold medalist, Nastia Liukin, whom Wieber has called her role model, and who's fighting herself for a spot back on the team as a veteran, has called Wieber "so mentally tough and strong" and said her ability to put a mistake aside and go and finish two events and win the gold medal is admirable.

But even with all the praise and hype, Wieber stays humble. Last month, at the Procter and Gamble Olympic event with her mom, she consistently just said how happy and honored she was to be able to so close to reaching her dream, one she's worked at since she was 4. And her proud mom, Rita, who was by her daughter’s side, made it clear that even with all of her success and the growth of the spotlight, Jordyn's not getting any special treatment.

"I don't do her laundry for her," Rita says. "Now I kind of feel guilty because all of these other Olympic mothers say they do their child's laundry, but I don't! She has to do it."

Which probably doesn't bother Wieber, who has been good so far at handling herself and getting things done when she needs to get them done. So heads up, Olympic fans: Wieber Fever is picking up quickly -- and it's pretty easy to catch.

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