Referring to the five newcomers on the US women's Olympic basketball team as rookies is a bit misleading.
Sue Bird actually finds it amusing.
''Lindsay Whalen and Asjha Jones are considered rookies, that's pretty comical,'' the American point guard said. ''In terms of Olympic experience, it's new for them. They'll enjoy it the same way we did the first time.
''But they've faced almost everyone we'll be playing against.''
Jones, Whalen, Angel McCoughtry, Tina Charles and Maya Moore will be playing in their first Olympics when the U.S. opens against Croatia on Saturday. The quintet has a wealth of international experience playing with USA Basketball in other tournaments, including for the 2010 world championship team that won the gold medal and qualified the Americans for the Olympics.
''They're old rookies,'' three-time Olympian Diana Taurasi said. ''This team is weird because we have young veterans and old rookies. There's no sense of youngness on this team coming from anywhere...