Not that there's any pressure for the rock stars of the United States delegation to roll through the Olympic field and win a basketball gold medal, but as Kobe Bryant wryly noted: "We probably won't be allowed back in the country if we don't win."
That drew chuckles from the few dozen reporters who had crowded around Bryant on Friday when the men's basketball team met the media for the first time here.
But here's some advice for Bryant and Co. -- hold onto your passports with both hands.
Once again, with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Bryant, etc., nobody comes close to having players as talented as the United States as the Olympic tournament begins Sunday. But this won't be like Beijing when the Americans weren't seriously challenged until the gold medal game against Spain.
If the Americans have regained their rightly throne in the world of basketball, after the unseemly unravelings in Athens and Indianapolis, it feels like a wobbly one.
And here's why: the Un...