WASHINGTON -- Don't call them Shorty.
The U.S. men are tired of hearing about their Olympic basketball team's size problem. Instead of being called small, they'd prefer to be known as versatile, quick, athletic, or something else that recognizes their strengths and not their, uh, shortcomings.
"Really it's kind of boring to keep answering the question of what are you going to do with the bigs," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said Sunday. "Like, this is who we have. Why don't we talk about what we're going to do with what we have, than talk about what we don't have? I don't really understand how that's productive. So I'm trying to dismiss that and concentrate on what we're doing."
The U.S. is down to just Tyson Chandler as the lone natural center on the roster. Dwight Howard is out after back surgery, and big man options such as Chris Bosh and Blake Griffin later joined him on the sidelines.
Yes, the Americans realize that could put them at a disadvantage against the likes of Spain or Brazil, who they will face Monday in an exhibition game. But they'd also like to know what team is supposed to defend a front line of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony?
"Look, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "I'll take versatility and athleticism and speed and quickness. That beats size all day long, because size alone can't get it done."