Howard, Bosh dynamic Olympic duo?

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

ORLANDO -- Dwight Howard has a vision for 2008 and it involves wearing the same uniform as Chris Bosh in Beijing.

"Both of us can play at the same time," the Orlando Magic man-child said yesterday when asked about the prospect of playing with Bosh on the 2008 United States Olympic team.

"(Bosh) can play centre and I can play power forward."

If Charlie Villanueva and Bosh can work well together on the Raptors, just think what Bosh and Howard could do as duo on the international stage.

Jerry Colangelo is set to pick his first players for the three-year national program next month -- the first major competition is the world championship next year in Japan -- and he could do far worse than selecting Bosh and Howard, who pretty much are model citizens on and off the court.

Colangelo already has talked to Bosh, who has expressed his interest, and yesterday Howard said he would be more than happy to make the same sacrifices if asked.

"I would do it because it's for my country," said the easy-going Howard, who turned 20 on Dec. 8. "We need to get (U.S. basketball, which has struggled recently) back up there. It would be awesome to have players like Chris Bosh play."

Selected first overall out of high school last season, Howard has put on more than 20 pounds of muscle since draft day and the broad-shouldered sophomore now checks in at about 6-foot-11, 266 pounds. He is second in the league in rebounding in just his second season and is averaging 14.9 points per game, almost five up from last season. Bosh isn't as physical as Howard, but can do more from outside.

"We have a good rivalry now," said Bosh, 21, who trails Howard in the rebounding department but is a better scorer. "Every time we play each other, it's always been a good game and a good battle. I'm always looking forward to it."

Despite the fine seasons for both players, Howard and Bosh will need help to make the all-star game. Both are more than 500,000 votes behind starting spots in fan balloting and both of their teams are under .500. It's much harder for players from losing teams to earn spots in the mid-season showcase.

"It's a dream of mine, but right now I'm more concerned about my team," Howard said.

Besides, Bosh and Howard are bound to be under all-star consideration for quite some time.

"Chris Bosh, I think, is becoming one of the best players in the NBA," Magic coach Brian Hill said.


Videos

Photos