US NBA stars book four World Cup tuneups

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 10 2014 07:24 PM | Updated as of Apr 11 2014 03:24 AM

LAS VEGAS - US NBA stars will face Brazil, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Slovenia in tuneup matches before the Basketball World Cup, USA Basketball announced Wednesday.

The Americans, whose lineup could include such NBA stars as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, will be favored to defend their global crown at the worlds on August 30-September 14 in Spain.

"Our training sessions and our exhibition games are vital in our preparations for defending our gold medal," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said.

In the run-up to the tournament, the US squad will gather July 28 in Las Vegas for a four-day training camp culminating in an August 1 inter-squad exhibition.

After a 12-day break, the team will reunite in Chicago for training days August 14-15 ahead of an August 16 exhibition against Brazil at the home of the NBA's Chicago Bulls.

The US lineup then relocates to New York for training August 17-22 with exhibition games against the Dominicans on August 20 and Puerto Rico two nights later, both at Madison Square Garden.

From August 24-26, the Americans will train on Gran Canaria in the Spanish Canary Islands, ending the camp with an August 26 exhibition against Slovenia.

"The tour will offer our players and coaches the opportunity to get familiar with each other and to gain critical international game experience against a variety of differing styles," US coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

The Americans will play preliminary matches in the 24-team Basketball World Cup in Bilbao against Group C rivals New Zealand, Finland, Turkey, Dominican Republic and Ukraine.

The US squad, two-time reigning Olympic champions, will open August 30 against Finland and faces Turkey the next day in a rematch of the 2010 final won by the Americans 81-64.

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse