Once were Warriors ... Bogut to meet old teammate

Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson during a Golden State Warriors game.
Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson during a Golden State Warriors game.

It is one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes of the Rio Olympics - a battle between the undisputed kings of world basketball, the USA, and the paupers from Down Under.

The Boomers have won both their pool games, against France and Serbia, and have never had more talent and experience on the floor to throw at the Americans, who still have enough superstars to sink a ship despite the absence of LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

And speaking of ships, the mind-bogglingly well-paid Americans are relaxing between games on luxury cruise ship White Cloud while the Australians are staying in the Olympic Village.

The jokes and barbs have been flying back and forth between the camps since Andrew Bogut commented on social media about the "small" beds in the village and that he had to put together and hang his own shower curtain.

It prompted former Golden State Warriors teammate Klay Thompson to take a dig at the Dallas Mavericks' new signing, who will earn $15m next season, jokingly responding Bogut was "spoiled" after being pampered in the NBA.

"You called me spoiled and you're on a luxury yacht," fired back Bogut in a text to Thompson.

But when asked about Bogut, Thompson was extremely complimentary: "I know what Bogut brings to a team, I know it well," he said."He brings a very good defensive presence. He is a very athletic big man, a very skilled big man."

Seventh in London, the Boomers have never won an Olympic medal of any colour and have dropped out of the top 10 in the official FIBA world rankings.

But if anything, they have looked more impressive than expected, posting their first win in Rio over highly ranked France before showing plenty of fight and composure to close out their second match against Serbia.

However, as if to remind the Aussies and anyone else who may think the "Dream Team" is beatable, the Americans swaggered on court for their first outing against China and won by more than 50 points.

Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis will need Bogut to be strong in the paint and guards Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova to step up against their world class rivals.

The Aussies will have to take it to America from the tip-off. If they fail to get physical with them in the first quarter, the scoreboard could start to look very ugly.

The game tips off on Thursday at 8am (AEST).



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