Dream Team No More

After yesterday’s debacle I hope that the current NBA representatives known as would-be Dream-Teamers will be known as the clank and crib club. This new generation of “players” – these guys are truly an embarrassment to the US and to the NBA. It is time to get back to fundamentals.

I think I what I had to say on this matter yesterday was somewhat more cleaver, but all of that was lost with the hack attack. Too bad. Still, something has to be said, even if I have now lost my thunder.

I will leave it at this. The current Olympic team is a disgrace to the fundamentals of the game. Does anyone even care? These guys are almost irrelevant; just a bunch of NBA Ballers that are out for the individual instead of the team. The rest of the world understands the basic concepts of the game – teamwork, possession, precession passing, parameter shooting, and sound shots from the charity stripe. These birds may yet win which as an American I truly want, but man-o-man do they piss me off. You cannot just throw together 12 NBA “super stars” and hope to intimidate the rest of the field, let alone take home the gold.

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2 thoughts on “Dream Team No More”

  1. I don’t think we should blame the players. These guys believe in what they are doing, are humble and proud to reperesent the USA and are fighting their hardest. Witness Iverson’s attitude towards the whole experience, an attitude that frankly surprises me.

    I’m convinced that all the blame is due to a broken USA Basketball system. THE COACH DID NOT SELECT THE TEAM!!!! This is the A-#1 problem with this situation. The team was selected by some ‘selection committe’ who clearly did not select a team with winning a tournament in mind.

    If you give a coach a mandate to win a tournament, you damn well better give him the ability to slect the players he wants, to build his team. This team is missing a true shooter, someone who not only can hit the wide open long shots that are being offered freely by these packed-in International zones, but who can also feed confidence to the other players in terms of their shot. This team is also in need of a true ‘coach on the floor,’ and a tough, blue-collar style worker to set the tone. Unfortunately, this team appears to lack each of these types. I can’t imagine Coach Brown selecting a team that would be so clearly lacking in such important, team-based areas.

    I happen to believe these players can fill these roles, even though none of them is a natural in any of these roles. We will see.

    I do think this is the greatest international hoops tourney of all time, and a lot of that is due to a particualrly ill-suited USA team. But I also think USA can still win the gold.

    I don’t think these players are showing too much selfishness or somehow don’t care. Rather, they are poorly prepared to play the international game (very little time for practice with these guys), and an exceedingly poorly selected team.

    USA Basketball needs to take these tournaments more seriously, and allow the coach they select to be in charge of picking the team, not marketing gurus or corporate suits. This is way too much like the Dan Snyder Redskins in the last season of Norv Turner’s reign. We all know the phenomenon so well, it’s a cliche: the board-room suits picking a team for all the wrong reasons, the poor coach stuck with what he’s given, and lacking some of the less celebrated type of role-players, but those are the ones who make teams successful, aren’t they?

  2. Zeppo,

    Your points are well taken – the coach did not select his team, and the selection committee may not have a clue. However, the selection committee did actually select a different group of guys, but most of the NBA elite turned down the opportunity to represent this great country with some fairly lame excuses. I do not have the excuse list in front of me, but they were pretty lame (as published in the Sporting News).

    I think most of the current group of NBA players could give a rat’s ass about putting their team first; maybe I am wrong, but perception is everything. When has AI ever been considered a team player? Actually crying about not having enough practice time? Give me a break! The whole lot of balers that skipped out certainly did not put the team or country first. As I said, perception is everything.

    I also think the lack of overwhelming success has more to do with a deficiency in basic fundamentals than being ill prepared for the International game. Not that I do not respect your opinion. I do. I just think the group of players we have are totally self absorbed and lack basic skills and understanding of the game.

    Not counting today, I think the US is shooting something like 22% (in ~85 attempts) from the International 3pt line, which happens to be closer in compared to the NBA. In Saturday’s game our gang missed 11 of 33 free throws? A 66% success rate should be appalling to most basketball fans.

    The bottom line is that we can no longer throw together some of our best (or even second best) and take home the Gold and call it a day. What went wrong? Did the rest of the world catch up? Did we suddenly suck?

    Or perhaps, just maybe, we forgot the fundamentals of the game while the rest of the world decided the basics actually count? I think you know where I stand.

    Thanks for your comments!

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