Billups wants Team USA to resemble Dream Team

Jul 20, 2007 - 4:19 PM LAS VEGAS (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups wants Team USA to evoke memories of the "Dream Teams" of the 1990s starting at this year's FIBA Americas Championship.

Billups missed last year's FIBA World Championship due to the birth of his daughter and watched from home in frustration as a star-studded squad was forced to settle for the bronze medal.

But now Billups is back, one of 17 players taking part in a training camp in Las Vegas this weekend as coach Mike Krzyzewski gets ready to name his 12-man roster for the Americas championship.

With the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Jason Kidd also returning to the fold, Billups believes Team USA can dominate the international game in the same way as Michael Jordan and Co. did a decade ago.

"I take a lot of pride in being on a team that brings (dominance) back home," Billups told the Denver Post. "We have the best players in the world and we haven't been able to prove that. I'm excited for the opportunity."

Team USA has not won a major competition since the 2000 Olympics, but Billups is targeting gold at the 2008 edition in Beijing.

Before he and the team can achieve that, however, they must negotiate the Americas championship, which offers two qualifying berths for Beijing. The tournament will take place in Las Vegas from August 22 to September 3.

A number of names - most notably Dwyane Wade - are not available to Krzyzewski this summer, but Billups insists the team can deal with their absence.

"It's not about names," he said. "It's about building a team. If you do that, all the one-on-one stuff is a non-issue. You have to build a cohesive unit."

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