Bryant says U.S. basketball team needs chemistry for Olympics

Thursday, September 7th 2006, 5:48 am
By: News On 6

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) The U.S. basketball team will have to work on its internal chemistry if it wants to perform well at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Kobe Bryant said Thursday.

The Los Angeles Lakers' All-Star guard was visiting Taiwan on a five-leg tour of Asia to meet with fans.

Last Sunday, the U.S. players returned home from the world championship in Japan with bronze medals, just like the country won at the 2004 Olympics.

Both results were widely seen as disappointments.

Bryant, 27, told a news conference in Taipei that a newly assembled team always needed some time together before starting to play with consistency.

"Years playing together will jell us as a unit, (but) if there is no chemistry, it's going to be tough to beat all those talented teams,'' he said.

Bryant said he was confident the two years up to the Beijing Olympics would be enough to find that chemistry.

Bryant's tour took him to Japan and Hong Kong. On Friday, the basketball star was scheduled to leave Taiwan for South Korea. He will also visit China.