Anyone else disappointed in the lack of top-tier talent on the US Men's BBall Team?

I can think of more than a few reasons why the top stars aren’t on the team:

not selected
prefer to spend time with family
prefer to spend time in exotic places
prefer to rest
injury risk
already injured
already been on a previous iteration of this team
can’t stand George Karl
sick of basketball
it’s not like it’s the Olympics
I’m Kobe

(please jump in and add at least a few)

but only a few reasons to join:

Opportunity to represent your country
Chance to play with the best against the best the rest has to offer
It’s the right thing to do
Looking to get injured to spite the Bulls (Scottie Pippen):wink:

(please jump in and join in)

When you net it out, I guess it’s not surprising at all but symbolically it’s a punch in the nose to see the US get beat by Argentina. Puhleeze. It’s not as if they’d beaten the Lakers or even the East second team All-Stars, but they did beat the US Team and that bugs me.



A friend works for USA Basketball. In discussions about it over the last couple of days there’s not only a lot of politics involved but a primary reason brought up was that a lot of the NBA players preferred to take the time off rather than join in and play.

This is sad on many levels because the rest of the world sees this larger than the Olympics unlike the Americans. It was stated that people (unnamed pro players) preferred to stay home.

Anyhow, If I can get more information about it I will be sure to pop in here and let you know as I have an in there. Yes I do, as this person is a best friend type.

Come tomorrow my friend’s job may be on the line because of the poor showing…again, politics within the organization.

I think the US should only have sent pros in 1992 to Barcelona. That team was probably the greatest single group of basketball talent ever. After they stomped Croatia for the gold, they should have said, “I think we all know who is the best basketball nation on the planet” and then let the college kids go play.

Obviously Team USA could have been much more talented if they had made it a true “dream team” of all the NBA players, but the team they put on the court still was made up of mainly NBA all-stars. They also had home-court advantage in the tourney as well. There is absolutely no reason the team should have even played any team close, much less lost two games. This is an absolute embarrassment.

I would have to put most of the blame on George Karl for this one. Much like last year’s Bucks, he got a lot less out of his team than they were capable of. I wonder if the Bucks should have gotten rid of him instead of Glenn Robinson this off-season.

Still, the team would have been a lot diffrent if it had guys like Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, Tracy McGrady, etc. This list goes on too. Its hard to say how many guys from the actual roster would even have made a real “dream team”.

While it is disappointing that the US played so poorly, it’s not that surprising. They play na individualized style of basketball with lenient referees and silghtly different rules. The other countries play team based ball with stricter refs and more familiar rules.

The exciting thing is the level of talent in other countries that can only make the NBA stronger. Dump a stiff like Jerome Moiso or Corie Blount and bring in an exciting player like Emanuel Ginobili. Stronger players make a stronger league and the NBA has a whole bunch of players that I look at and think they are just cashing a check rather than working on being the best they can be. Give me an infusion of talent and an increasing popularity of a global game and I am happy.

I don’t know … but New Zealand is ranked in the top four in the world and USA … isn’t. :slight_smile:

Very big (whole front page of newspaper) news here.

Of course that’s because we’re just as surprised as everyone else is :smiley:

Regarding the OP, I think it’s just a major lack of US interest. Yugoslavia has actually won the championship more times than the US.

Now that I think about it, it’s turning out like the Soccer world cup. 2002, Year of the Underdog perhaps?

They had point guards who didn’t pass, offense that didn’t swing the ball, and shooters who missed. The first two are general problems in the NBA, so why the hell didn’t they use they guy who had not yet been poisoned, Jay (son) Williams. The offshore players play TEAM basketball, and Williams has just left a very successful TEAM as it’s leader. And he can shoot.

Poor coaching of the guys they did have.

Idon’t neccessarily agree with the whole “poor coaching,” thing. These days it’s much more of an “ask the player to please do this,” then a “tell the player if he doesn’t get his head out of hisass, he’s gonna be sitting on the bench,” type of situation.

Players today are so coddled and yes, spoiled, that in many cases they have more say in what the team does on the court, then the coach does.

There were many factors that led to the disappointing showing of the U.S. team.

First and foremost, the U.S. top players were not there.

Secondly, the team assembled, had no inside offensive presence. Ben Wallace, Jermain O’Neal, Antonio Davis, Raef LaFrentz are all good rebounders and defenders, but none of them are the go to guy on their NBA teams. The only one who fit that mold was Elton Brand, and for some reason they didn’t get him the ball enough.
With no inside game, they became a perimeter shooting team, that lived and died with the jump shot.
They died an ugly death.

But all that could be overcome with decent coaching.

But all the U.S. had to offer was George Karl.

If Karl could have recognized taht he had no inside game, he could have had the defense step up the pressure, press full court, get fast break opportunities and get easy baskets.
He could have done that because he had a deep enough bench to substitute liberally and keep fresh bodies in there.

His coaching style has won zero championships. I may be wrong, but I think he was the only coach in recent memory, that had not won a championship of some sort, before he became the U.S. coach.

Going back to ‘84’, Bob Knight, John Thompson, Chuck Daly, Lenny Wilkins and Rudy Tomjanovich, the Olympic coaches, all had won Championships in college or Pro, before being named U.S. coach.

I think George Karl’s only qualification to be a coach, is that he used to play for Dean Smith.

No, I disagree. But that’s a common perception. You can see the difference a coach can have on a team, even at the NBA level. Look at what the difference a new coach made on the Celtics after Pitino left. And look at Don Nelson’s history of developing soft teams that don’t defend properly and collapse in the playoffs because of it. And then there’s George Karl. The Bucks have been a disaster when it comes to pressure situations with him at the helm…they just meltdown.

No, I think Karl had a lot to do with the failure of the team. He’s just not a very good coach for that level.

Plus, the players were not top-notch, had 13 days to play together, and really, just had too many disadvantages to overcome.

As for the OP…frankly, I don’t really care about the World Championships. If the US wins, great…if they don’t, well, oh well. I’d rather have Kobe saving his energy for the NBA season to help the Lakers win another championship for me to revel in (despite me having nothing to do with it…I don’t even contribute merchandise revenue). So yeah, I care about the NBA season, not this FIBA stuff. I recognize that many other people care about this more, and I don’t have a problem with that…but I’d just rather see the guys on the team I root for resting in the offseason.

Oh, come on; there were at least four or five All-Stars on the team. Maybe more. These were top-flight NBA stars. Paul Pierce, Michael Finley, Antonio Davis - these are Grade A ballers.

They were lazy and met two teams at the top of their games and got their asses kicked. They had 75% of the talent on the floor. They had ALL the advantages. There was NO lack of top-flight talent there. They just blew it.

Wrong. There were three All-Stars…Elton Brand, Paul Pierce and Jermaine O’Neal. And none of them were starters. And quite frankly, the only reason Jermain O’Neal is on that list is because there are no really good centers in that conference, so he got it by sort of default. Elton Brand was elected as a sop to the Clippers. Paul Pierce is the only one who truly is an All-Star in the group. Moreover, only three of them made it so far as to make it to the all-NBA third team Pierce, Wallace and O’Neal. No, the US team was definitely not made up of the best the US has to offer. Not even close.

Quite frankly, the US team was made up, with few exceptions, of Grade-B ballplayers, rookies, and past-their-prime players like Reggie Miller. They had 13 days to play together, as opposed to these other national teams that have been playing together for years and years in most cases. Many of the Argentinian players have been playing together since they were children, doing two and three a days for most of their life. And it showed…just watch the ball movement, screens and general team play shown by these other teams. The US team had none of that. Not only that, Karl had no time to scout other teams outside of this tournament, while the pervasiveness of the NBA in many countries made it extremely easy for those full-time non-US coaches to scout US players.

Don’t give me this bullshit about the US having all the advantages. They had one advantage, raw talent. And, quite frankly, that’s not enough…as the Lakers continued dominance with a team of two superstars and the remainder second-tier stars while teams full of top-tier talent like Portland, Sacramento and Dallas didn’t make it.