BEIJING - Try out this starting five: Houston Rockets center Yao Ming,
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitski, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu
Ginobili, former Indiana Pacer/Golden State player Sarunas Jasikevicius and
Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko.
All five have enjoyed standout professional basketball careers - four in
the NBA, with Jasikevicius seeing his best days playing in Europe.
The five will share another honor Friday night by carrying their
respective national flags in the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies.
That includes Kirilenko for Russia, Yao for China, Nowitski for Germany,
Ginobili for Argentina and Jasikevicius for Lithuania.
"There will be a lot of tall people in the opening ceremony [carrying
flags]," said Kirilenko. "Yao will be the funniest because the other Chinese
will look so small behind him."
Track athlete Lopez Lomong, once a child refugee from Sudan who specializes
in the 1,500 meters, will carry the U.S. flag, while a pair of
tennis stars - Switzerland1s Roger Federer and Chile1s Fernando Gonzalez -
will bear their national flags in the ceremonies.