USA Basketball will NOT win the gold

Players are too worried about their shoe contracts, Escalades, tattoos, and “bling-bling”. I’m embarrassed these showboating trash-talking prima-donnas represent our country and look forward to them getting their come-uppance in Athens.


On the other hand, this is not the best team the US could’ve fielded in the Olympics. Since the NBA players don’t get paid for it, I guess representing your country is not enough of an enticement for the top stars.

I almost wonder if it isn’t time to give the Olympics back to our college players. Perhaps they’ll play with pride and patriotism.

I’d like to see the winner of the NCAA Final Four be the Olympic team. Allow team members who turned pro at the end of the year to be eligible as well. Basketball is a team sport and putting together a bunch of people at the last minute is not a good idea. Also, it’s a pyrric(sp?) victory to win with a bunch of big bruising NBA players.

…he, he, New Zealand ended up being ranked higher than the United States at the last world championship…

Did anyone in the States know the championship was on? Did anyone care that you were playing in the world championship with a third-string team?

It won’t surprise me if the U.S.A. loses this year. The rest of the world has been making great strides in basketball for some time now. The NBA is filled with great foreign players, and most of them are EAGER to play for their home countries in the Olympics (unlike the Americans, who’d rather be almost anywhere else).

Look at this in historical terms. In 1956, the American college players, led by Bill Russell, SLAUGHTERED the rest of the world in the Olympics. They won the gold without breaking a sweat. But just 16 years later (not a long time, in the grand scheme of things), the Russians won the gold. Yes, yes, I KNOW the Russians were the beneficiaries of some horrible officiating, but the fact remains, by 1972, they’d closed the gap almost completely.

Now, the original NBA “Dream Team” slaughtered the rest of the world in 1992. I predicted at the time that in a similar time, about 16 years, some other country would have a strong enough basketball team to knock us off. It looks like it MAY happen a little sooner than I thought. I STILL think the U.S. should win this time, but there’s no way around it: another country WILL win gold in basketball in the not-too-distant future.

Is the “solution” to send American college players? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING? That’s a silly idea! The days when American collegians could compete with the world’s best players are long gone! A team of college all-stars couldn’t hope to contend for a bronze medal.

Actually, in my opinion, basketball shouldn’t be an Olympic sport at all. Neither should hockey, or tennis, or baseball, or soccer, or ANY sport in which there are already events FAR more prestigious than the Olympics. An Olympic medal in tennis will NEVER mean as much as a WImbledon title. A gold medal in baseball will NEVER mean as much as a World Series ring. Brazilians yawn at Olympic soccer, knowing that the World Cup is the only event that really matters. And NOBODY would trade an NBA title for an Olympic gold medal in basketball.

I’d scrap Olympic basketball entirely. But since that won’t ever happen, I’d say we should get used to seeing foreign teams win the basketball gold regularly… or until enough of the best American players care enough to play and to take the Olympics seriously.

American basketball fans were extremely disappointed by the team’s performance at the world championship.

If the American men don’t win this year, there will be some pretty angry people. Of the team sports in the Olympics, this is the one that Americans want to win the most.

And people are still pissed off about 1972.

I’m not one of them and am in the extreme minority of Americans who feel that the players on that team should finally accept their silver medals and just learn to accept that life isn’t fair all the time.

But that ain’t gonna happen.

Well, no, practically nobody in the U.S. knew that there was a “world championship” series going on. The games were played in half-emoty arenas, which should show you how important the whole affair was to most Americans. If the U.S. team had won, nobody would have noticed or cared. It just wasn’t a big story.

It BECAME a big story as soon as the papers announced that we’d lost! Sports fans all over America were up in arms after hearing about the butt-kickings the American NBA players took. But until they heard about the losses, most Americans weren’t paying attention.

Yeah, I hate those known trash-talkers and showboaters Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Dwyane Wade, Richard Jefferson, Emeka Okafor, Lamar Odom, Shawn Marion, and Amare Stoudamire. The only two who actually fit your description are Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury - and Allen Iverson has significantly mellowed over the past couple years.

And they’ve only had two weeks to play together. I’m not terribly worried about this. Larry Brown and Greg Poppovich are two of the best coaches in the world, they’ll have the team ready by the Olympics.

Or maybe just coming off a grinding 7-8 month schedule has a lot of them tired and nursing nagging injuries. Notice that several star foreign players have bowed out of the Olympics this year - neither Vlade Divac nor Peja Stojakovic will be playing for Serbia because they feel worn out.


Sounds like the OP is one of those people who didn’t care about the team, paid no attention, and is now upset that they lost. You sound like a jerk. These guys actually did care enough to play, did their best, and you’re riding them because they lost? Wake up. This is a young team, and despite your assumptions it’s a classy team. (And I guess we’re also forgetting that Dream Team I was also rich and had Charles Barkley. :rolleyes:) They’re all there because they want to be. And they’ve only been playing together for a very short time; these other teams have had years together. They should still be the favorites in Athens.

Now what the hell kind of sense does this make? Most of these guys ARE top stars, and they’re all rich. A lot of big names said no, but this isn’t exactly the JV team.

You realize that half of these players are college-age, right? Lebron, Carmelo, Stoudamire, Okafor, and Wade are all less than 22, and there might be one or two more.

The USA beat Germany 80-77 in a thriller.

The USA was leading 77-74 with 12 seconds left after Anthony hit a couple of free throws. Germany came down court and Nowitzki hit a 3 to tie the game with 3 seconds to go.

The USA inbounded the ball to Iverson and he dribbled to just past halfcourt and Iverson hit a 40 footer (which we couldn’t see on ESPN because the camera wasn’t pointing toward the court) at the buzzer (actually a horn in Koln) to win the game.

Germany could make some noise in Athens, but they were pretty much Nowitzki and four other guys who tried not to get in his way.

Oops, Germany didn’t qualify.

I don’t follow basketball so I wasn’t aware of the drubbing until I saw the article in the Washington Post newspaper. Over the years I’ve heard that American basketball players don’t know or care how to work as a team and support each other–the players just want to hog the ball for themselves. Could this be a factor in their poor play? Are the Italians better at working as a team or did the Americans just beat themselves?

I think it’s caused more by the fact that the American players aren’t used to the international rules and style and they can’t adapt fast enough to keep up with the improved players from Europe and South America.

It used to be that the quality of play in Europe (outside of the USSR and Yugoslavia) was so poor, that the USA could muddle through.

The problem against Italy was that they were simply outplayed in almost every facet of the game. They couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn, they couldn’t rebound, they were getting called for silly fouls. (And Italy was shooting lights out as well.) Just terrible play all around.

The international game is somewhat different than the NBA game. The refs are more apt to call “forgotten” rules like “traveling” or “double dribbling” which the NBA gave up trying to enforce long ago. Nor will they allow nearly as much physical “Shaq-esque” play.

Luckily they have a few weeks to get their heads on straight. But I seem to remember the talk that Team USA surely got a “wake-up call” when they lost their first World Championship game last year, but they kept right on losing. Surely Larry Brown is a better coach than George Karl, so that should help things.

All the teams in Athens should be competitive, with the exception of the poor Angolans. There should be some very entertaining games to watch.

As I mentioned earlier, some of these international teams have been together for years. The American team has been together for a few weeks, so you’re not going to see the same level of cohesiveness.

slight hijack
I just watched a PBS series on the Ancient Olympics.
Interesting facts

  1. no distinction between amatuer and professional (tho rich people did better cause they could devote more time for training) but poorer folks could enter and support themselves with sport
  2. no universal peace. safe passage to Olympia was guaranteed but thats it. (one time a rival city state statged its own rival games in Olympia.
  3. Wrestling (Pansomething) had 2 rules: No eye gouging and no biting. boxing went untill surrender, knockout, or death (no rounds)
  4. The modern Olympics are becoming more like the ancient games (individual ego, self empowerment, commercialism, and other things.


You definitely need more outside shooters in international play. Zone defenses are legal and the 3-point line is closer in (more than college, less than the NBA). The USA doesn’t have a lot of 3-point shooters, so that’s going to be a problem.

One of the best 3-point shooters in the world, Peja Stojakovic, isn’t going to play in the Olympics either saying he was tired and he couldn’t get the time off from his military requirements for Serbia anyway. However, I think the government would let him off if he really wanted to play.

Zone defense is legal in the NBA as well. The rules were changed a year or two ago.

ALL zone defenses are legal in international play. In the NBA, a defender still cannot stand in the key for 3 seconds if he is not guarding anyone.

As long as the IOC reverses the unbelievably blatant theft and catastophic injustice that was the 1972 gold medal game (none of this “controversy” garbage; that word presumes that there actually is an argument), I don’t care how many times the US squad gets beaten legitimately.

I mean, c’mon, folks, a robbery. Robbery. (Did I already mention that the “controversy” label is bogus?) Am I really supposed to just laugh it off or chalk it up to life being unfair?

But if the “Dream Team” loses, it loses, and I’m not going to get all worked up over it. Let’s face it, folks, the era of the easy basketball gold medal is over, for reasons already stated. It’s not a tragedy or horror, it’s just a sign of the times.

And remember, the squad we sent out in '92 was inarguably the greatest basketball team ever. Except for Christian Laettner (an alternate who didn’t get much time), every member of it was one of the best in the NBA at his position, many of them future Hall of Famers. There’s no way they could’ve put together a team even half as good in '96, let alone '00. And now a lot of players who will be representing other countries are in the NBA, not to mention more than a few pro-caliber players who aren’t in the league. The Dream Team was unbeatable when it was full of superstars and the competition was still relatively weak. The gap’s closed drastically on both ends since.

Ah, well. I’ve long since given up expecting any measure of justice from the Olympics, so whatever. :slight_smile:

Some might not like Allen Iverson’s personality, but the man is the hardest working player in basketball. He busts his ass from the opening tipoff to the final horn.