View Full Version : Is the US hoops team even the biggest disspointment in athens?
08-19-2004, 04:10 AM
Defending world champion Serbia took an embarrassing loss to New Zealand today, to drop to 1-2. Another loss and they're pretty much eliminated from medal contention. As it is, they need help.
As much as the world has ragged on our team, shouldn't Serbia & Montenegro be catching just as much flak, if not more?
well I am sure that they do on the home front. but.....
they are not "the dream team".
and whatever way you look upon it, any nba team that enters a bball event will be called that.
Fact is that several players from the team who committed themselves last year got injured, something no one can do anything about, however others hiding behind the "security" excuse simply did not want to do it.
To blame anyone but the players that refused on this "flaky" grounds (if you don't want to go be honest and say so instead of finding excuses) is nonsense, by the time the team had to get together they were still searching for people to play, perhaps not all the "gooduns" were asked, but those asked refused.
Had the team that played last year been there it would not have been a subject for anyone, as it is, the team is unbalanced and i'm sure that a number of the young guns are less apt at checking their egos at the door.
Funnily enough it also shows that no matter how talented they are, they are still not capable of carrying a team or sufficiently contributing to a team to make a real differnce, even Jefferson who played a decent tourney last year behind JO is now being exposed to his real value, which is quite a bit less then people thought.
As for Serbie, they to miss some players and are getting flak internationally for it as well, it is just not an interesting piece in the US papers.
For those papers the interest lies with the team USA, which is performing below expectations, no whether those expectations are realistic or not is another topic, though I am sure (repeat) that if the team from last year would have played they would be rolling around.
They gambled on the rookies when keyplayers were injured and their possible replacements refuse to go and it looks like they're losing that gamble.
It is sad because worldwide people are looking forward to seeing the NBA stars in action, for now to just see hype and little result.
People are not laughing because they (the team) are Americans that lose, they are laughing because they are the invincible ones that are getting beat up by the little guy, remember david and goliath? well every time a team comes up against the USA, that is what the world perceives it to be, so they all root for the little guy but trust me, if the USA plays to their ability (i.e. last years team) then the world "roots" for team USA just to see more of the breath taking basketball display.
If you look now it is nothing but a boring bad performance and don't tell me any one of you thinks he is seeing decent basketball from team USA.
It is not "USA against the world", it is all about basketball aned nothing else, if team USA fails then so be it.
I'm not 100% certain that the security issue is "flaky".
We all remember the 72 games & what happened there. I know security has been vastly improved since then but I don't think that it's unfair to say that capturing a high profile player like say Shaq would be something that Al Quida wouldn't want to be part of.
It's very real for these guys & let's be honest a sniper can take out a player just walking down the street.
As Americans we know that we are both loved & hated at the same time all over the world. Some of it's political, but as you pointed out some of it is just the David vs. Goliath thing.
This is off of the topic btw & I apologize for putting this here, but I just thought that the "flaky" title to guys who listed security as a reason was just a little unfair.
it is extremely flaky, they are not the "HIGHLIGHT" reel of the Olympics, have faith, taking out Samaranch would be more interesting, taking out the Israeli's a higher and more likely priority and other more accesible American athletes as for instance the track and field ones who simply live in the Olympic vilage instead of on a rented boat are far "easier" targets.
Also comparing 1972 and those times to the current is outright silly, terroristgroups in those days were everywhere, hijacking trains, plains and automobiles was almost order of the day compared to now, and they were dealt with in another way causing their demise over the years.
Since no other athlete in the world is absent for "security reasons" one can easily conclude that the excuses used are "flaky" at best,
08-19-2004, 08:28 AM
Well able, you're talking to people from a country who would have never dreamed New York could get attacked. 9/11 seriously opened the eyes of everyone here to the fact that we're not as safe as we'd like to think. So going to that region of the world isn't exactly considered cosey.
08-19-2004, 08:29 AM
Well to those on this board it might be. Go to a swimming board ???? and it could be Phelps or volleyball and it could be the women's team.
08-19-2004, 08:39 AM
You know, just watching right now, it isn't the US bigs that are to blame. Duncan, Odom, and and Marion are more than holding their own. Despite some of Iverson's big numbers, it's really the guard play that's just killing us. We can't hit our jumpers, and we can't defend theirs. The original Dream Team had some of the best shooters in NBA history. We just have to recognize that mid-range shooting is a mich bigger part of the international game. The only way this "Dream" Team will win, is with intense defense and running the floor.
08-19-2004, 12:00 PM
Even if we don't win gold in hoops we're far from the biggest disappointment.
Internationally, number one has to be the two Greek Sprinters.
For us, I think the women's gymnastics team was considered more of a lock to win gold than bball - they've been hyped for a LONG time as the deepest, strongest team in our history & probably the history of the sport - they've been saying that we could have fielded three teams which would compete for a medal.
We all knew this was the weakest US team since the NBA players were allowed and after the Italy game and the other prelim game close calls it was pretty obvious this team would have trouble.
08-19-2004, 01:50 PM
I guess I'm a little different than most.
I think it's sad that a top player would choose not to play, but injuries, burnout, family and other considerations play a part in their decisions just like they would for any of us.
But I really don't think it matters. Obviously, we can no longer send a team of college players and expect to have a shot at a medal. But I don't think it is nearly as important who among our experienced pro players we send as it is in choosing the right combination of players that we send.
In fact, I would expect that we could construct a team of players from our top 50-75 players and as long as they are unselfish and have good balance between rebounders, defenders, slashers, passers, perimeter shooters, etc. that we should be in the thick of it for a gold medal.
Just choose players that accept that the team and winning are more important than their own agendas and make certain that the team is well balanced.
For that reason, I still contend that the Pistons would make a more competitive TEAM in the Olympics than the team that we sent.
And I'm not faulting the players for that because they are each playing the same way that they have always played. I fault the selection.
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