September 04, 2002

58-1: That's the USA record in international play with NBA players now that Argentina beat them. Poor George Karl. He suffered through a season where his Milwaukee Bucks imploded. Now, he's known as the coach that couldn't win with pros. If the USA fails to win the gold, look to David Stern to make sure the top-flight players (i.e. Kobe and Shaq) play in the Olympics in Athens in 2004

posted by shackbar to basketball at 09:17 PM - 5 comments

And just how is Stern going to accomplish that? They don't want to play, and I don't they will then either.

posted by corpse at 09:30 PM on September 04

Serves 'em right. Frankly, the whole "Dream Team" concept is a sham. Let the college kids back in. Or maybe the high schoolers.

posted by owillis at 10:26 PM on September 04

Why is it a sham? Are you if you are serious about winning it? then put your best team out there (not necessarily the best individuals). Where's the heart and pride in playing for your country? The fact is Basketball USA or whoever puts the team together along with the players aren't showing as much heart, as much pride, as much focus upon the prize as Argentina did. That's the bottom line. No-one has rights to the gold or an undefeated record. But slapping a bunch of NBA'ers together as if to comply with the minimum standard required of them and then cruise through undefeated says you expect it not that you want it, and want it bad. Argentina had a better team. It was clearly a bigger deal to them than it was to team USA. Talent does not always win out. End of story.

posted by brove at 03:06 AM on September 05

"Talent does not always win out." For sure, not when the talent gap has narrowed considerably.

posted by jackhererra at 12:05 PM on September 05

Well, with the exception of a couple of players, this was a "B-squad" at best. The US is still so far ahead of the competition it's not even funny- while the gap is become narrower, should as brove suggests the US start giving a damn (as we likely will in the Olympics) it will be a cakewalk again. But it was bound to happen for the reasons stated; the US isn't sending its best players, and clearly don't care about this tournament- heck, I think I'm not alone in saying I was unaware it was even going on until I saw this story on Sportscenter. I don't think the US will fail to win the gold, though, this time at least- if those guys don't go out and play like it's Game 7 of the finals for the rest of the tourney, they truly suck. But in the long run, it's like the 4 minute mile- now that someone's broken the barrier of "beating the USA", it suddenly becomes a possibility, conceivable to every team that steps on the court. Teams that played with the idea lingering in the back of their head that they couldn't actually win will now play with energy and determination for every second- it only gets harder for the US in any tournaments after this one... It might ultimately be for the best, this loss- this could stimulate more interest in basketball in parts of the world that basically considered it an American sport ("Wow, the USA can be beat!"), resulting ultimately in more basketball players and thus more skillful competition in the NBA as it goes global. owillis: Serves 'em right. Frankly, the whole "Dream Team" concept is a sham Now wait a freakin' sec', here- didn't you write an article on this very site mentioning how you just couldn't understand rooting for the underdog?

The way I figure it, the underdog is the underdog for a reason. The American love for the underdog seems to go completely against our culture of going along with the winning team...
...
I like the odds loaded up on my side. I don't want to be David, hell, Goliath was undoubtedly robbed because there's no way that puny little guy beats Goliath in a fair fight....
...
Honestly, this Superbowl has trampled over all I know and hold dear to my heart. My logic is shot, and I need to be held.
So which is it? Is a "dream team" an underdog we shouldn't root for, or the winning team we should root for, or a complete sham, or- hell, I don't know what you mean any more. It just doesn't make sense, Mr. Consistency. :)

posted by hincandenza at 04:06 PM on September 05

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