CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chicago's Michael Jordan and Detroit's Isiah Thomas head a group of National Basketball Assn. players who will face the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team in two exhibition games in Charlotte next month, organizers of the event announced Tuesday.
The Olympic team is currently training at Georgetown under Coach John Thompson, and will make its first appearance in Charlotte as part of the Carolinas Invitational on Aug. 12. The three-day competition also will feature the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team in two games against Cuba in Charlotte's new 23,500-seat arena.
Both basketball teams will play again on Aug. 14. Jordan and Thomas have announced that they will play only in the Sunday game.
"This is absolutely a dream lineup," Steve Luquire, head of the company managing the Carolinas Invitational. "I can't think of a better way for Charlotte to open its new coliseum."
Also playing on the NBA all-star team will be Thurl Bailey and Karl Malone of Utah, and Sam Perkins and Rolando Blackman of Dallas.
The rest of the team consists of Charles Barkley of Philadelphia, Alex English of Denver, Chris Mullin of Golden State, Tom Chambers of Phoenix, former Milwaukee guard John Lucas, San Antonio's Alvin Robertson and Benoit Benjamin of the Clippers.
Charlotte Hornet Coach Dick Harter will lead the NBA team in the Friday night game, and two of his players, Tyrone Bogues and Kelly Tripucka, also are members of the all-star team. Coaching the game Sunday will be former Philadelphia head coach Billy Cunningham and North Carolina-Charlotte coach Jeff Mullins.