Bosh a Yankee dandy

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

Chris Bosh was not planning to stage a wild house party in Dallas last night after surviving the first cut for the U.S. national basketball team.

"I came to play in the (world championship). Why else would I be here?" the Raptors star said yesterday from training camp in Las Vegas after he earned a spot in the final 15.

"I believe in myself and I'm going to keep the pressure on myself."

The all-star forward isn't guaranteed a spot on the 12-man U.S. roster for the world championship, Aug. 19-Sept. 3 in Japan, but it would be a shock if Bosh doesn't play a big role on a team that is hoping to reverse the trend for a slumping USA Basketball program.

Bosh, one of many young stars on a youthful roster, will compete for playing time with guys like Amare Stoudemire, Elton Brand and Dwight Howard.

"It depends on me," Bosh said. "It depends on how hard I work defensively and offensively and how well I mesh with the other players."

Of the players who had hoped to play in the worlds at training camp, injured forward Shawn Marion, rookie forward Adam Morrison and guard Luke Ridnour were the only ones sent home.

Bosh will spend the next few days in Dallas before returning to Las Vegas for practice Monday. The U.S. will play host to Puerto Rico in an exhibition game Aug. 3 before travelling to Asia for games and practices in China, Hong Kong and South Korea. The roster will be trimmed to 12 just before the worlds.

Bosh hopes to play in his third international tournament. He played for the U.S. junior team in Venezuela and at the Global Games in Dallas as a teenager.

"That's one of the reasons I wanted to play ... I get to go see the world," Bosh said.

Meanwhile, the Raptors are set to announce the signing of ex-Indiana Pacers guard Fred Jones to a three-year, $1-million US deal today, a move that puts a smile on Bosh's face.

"(Jones) gives us quickness and he's a great finisher around the basket," Bosh said. "In Indiana, he gave us problems on the high pick and roll. He brings athleticism and he has heart and you can never have too much of that on a team."

The Raptors did make one move yesterday, signing second-round pick P.J. Tucker, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward out of Texas, to a two-year deal, with the final year a team option. Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo was pleased with Tucker's play at summer league earlier this month in Las Vegas.

"He worked hard, he impressed everyone with his tenacity and he has shown he's a fierce competitor," Colangelo said.

"He adds a lot to the mix."


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