Kobe Bryant expects the young players who headline the United States' roster for the FIBA World Cup to be the marquee names of the future.
Much has been made of the lack of star power in the USA squad. No players who contested the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors are involved and the sheer number of withdrawals has left the Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell as the leading light on the team.
Boston Celtics duo Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum will also hope to have a big impact alongside Mitchell.
However, an exhibition defeat to Australia has served to increase scepticism around their prospects for the tournament, which starts on Saturday.
However, Bryant, who won two Olympic gold medals in his glittering career, has faith Gregg Popovich's team can deliver in China.
"We got great players. The team gets a little bit chippy about it because everybody is writing them off because we don't have the marquee names," Bryant said at the US Open on Thursday.
"These young players that are playing on this team will be those marquee names in two or three years. They're great players in their own right. We'll be fine."
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