Great Britain centre Robert Archibald admits facing the USA tonight in Manchester might prove one of the hardest shifts left in his basketball career.

A flurry of injuries has robbed the Americans of several big name NBA stars, including Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard, as they bid to repeat their victory in Beijing of 2008.

However the current squad, led by LeBron James and Kobe Bryant should still have enough to overpower Team GB in the most glamorous of warm-ups for London.

And although Chris Finch’s men are focused on the Games, Paisley-born Archibald concedes the date with the reigning Olympic and world champions has been top of his mind for months.

“It’s exciting, very exciting,” said the Scot, who will retire after London.

“Being as competitive as I am, I really wish this game had happened four years ago when I feel I could have really got after them. But it will be interesting. You watch these guys, even now, the athletic ability they have is incredible. It will be fun for us to go up against them and see how we fare.”

Archibald, now aged 32, will hold little back in reserve, not when he has – at the very most – a dozen games left in a career that started with Dunfermline Reign and took in four stops in the NBA before he settled back in Europe.

There have been European titles while in Spain, league championships in Ukraine, plus cultural enrichment en route. But the poundings taken by a big man in the middle are frequent and punishing. Hence why he will soon hang up his over-sized boots and head to Chicago for the next chapter of his life with his wife and young son.

It is the right time, he says, after what turned out to be a problematic final season in Zaragoza.

“Physically it was a difficult year, the miles start adding up. You can’t do some of the things you used to be able to do at the level you want to. That’s difficult to accept. Mentally, it’s been ten years non-stop. That started to accumulate.

“It becomes more difficult to find those little tricks to get motivated. And really when you start losing that, it’s time to think about getting into something else.”

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