"The Dream Team"
While I am very disappointed with our men's BB team in the Olympics, I find it even more appalling that polls show that a slight majority were rooting for USA to lose! I had come across some at work that felt the same way. Now I have no love for the NBA and I do think the product has gotten stale and yeah some of these guys characters are very questionable (as if other pro athletes are so pure), but these guys that went wanted to play for USA. The guys that need to be called out are the likes of Shaq, Kidd, Ray Allen, R Hamilton, Wallace, Garnett and others that had better things to do.
But back to our own country rooting against the USA. Some try to water it down by saying I am not "rooting against USA, but against these overpaid athletes". No you rooted against USA! Yeah we could have picked a better team or did some things different in the selection process, but this was our team and many wanted to see them fail. Hope everyone that rooted against them is happy now. The other countries are chuckling at us and having a good ol time taunting the Americans over there.
With this kind of support back home, why would anyone want to go to China in 2008? Don't think some college kids will go over there either and compete. They will get destroyed faster than Charles Barkley could take out an Angolan!
I'm part Puerto Rican/Spanish so I wanted Puerto Rico and Spain to do well. Spain's coach acted like an ass and sore loser though. Very, very embarassing.
As for the United States. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if all the other guys on the original team selected (excluding Iverson and Duncan) had agreed to play. Guys like Garnett, Shaq, Kobe. Could that talent have outplayed the International squads? My guess is no. I watched plenty of basketball this week. Getting up as early as 4 in the morning to see it!! How often can I watch Spain vs. Serbia? And what really stood out to me was the teamwork of all the different teams, except the US.
Now Larry Brown has said that he wanted guys like LeBron and Carmelo on the team not to play, but to learn. He wanted them to get a feel for being in the Olympics and playing a supporting role. I suppose the former makes some sense because if we keep the current format they'll be the stars of the team in 2008. But the latter really doesn't. If you want someone to play a supporting role, why not get supporting players. Guys like a Ben Wallace, a Ron Artest, even an Etan Thomas. The "dream team" needs to be more diverse basically.
And like redrock says it's really a shame the U.S. team got booed because it's not like they weren't putting in the effort they just weren't built like a team, which is what the other competitors were. This was just-well basically it was like the 2000 Redskins. Just slap a bunch of great players together and theyr'e bound to win.
I'd still entertain the idea of selecting the NCAA champions, or maybe the NBDL champs to represent the US. That way you have an official team that has played together for a good amount of time. I also wonder if the NBA might start trying to slowly adjust its rules to more of an international standard so that the game isn't so different when they play in 2008.
i think sending the nba champs would be the best way to go (but obviously that has problems being okayed by the owner etc)
i think if we went with a better team we could have won easily still... the team play in the nba is less than what i'd like, but thats a different rant...
In defense many of the stars had more reasons than I don't want to, and I'm afraid of terrorist activity. I know at least 2-4 players were getting married this summer, some people nursing injuries, etc. We just did a poor job getting backups when they backed out. I seriously think if we took Michael Redd, we may have been in the hunt for a gold.
Good points Smoot. It is kind of insulting to other nations though that we sent our "B" or "C" teams and the U.S. tought it could just get away with it against these other good nations. Even with Shaq and Garnett we would have struggled, but it sure would have helped being that Duncan was in constant foul trouble. I doubt those refs would even know how to officiate Shaq. In no way am I blaming refs either as I always think the refs should never matter if you're a good enough team. Still we needed some pure shooters and we didn't bring them. There will be lots of changes for sure on how we pick our team. I think NCAA players get killed by these professional international teams and the NBA Champs may already have foreign players on their roster, thus making that idea difficult. I just hope there's some better support from home next time. The sad part is that some people I know who rooted against the USA are the same ones that preached that if you protest the war you are anti-American!
this year i don't think the champion team had any foreign players, but that's definately a valid point... most of the games i saw were within 10 points, so i think a better team would have gotten it done, but the fact that our team is always going to be thrown together (and not used to international rules) versus some of these teams that play together forever with international rules is going to give us a disadvantage anyways. Throwing b and c teams into the mix isn't going to help either, as we all obviously saw. Argentina was a good team, and they earned their spot at number 1. hopefully next time team USA won't give them such an easy run ;).... hopefully...
[quote]I doubt those refs would even know how to officiate Shaq.[/quote]
You mean actually call the blatent offensive fouls he commits every single game?
[QUOTE=Daseal]You mean actually call the blatent offensive fouls he commits every single game?[/QUOTE]
or the constant hacks people make on him on every play he has the ball.
[QUOTE=skinsfanthru&thru]or the constant hacks people make on him on every play he has the ball.[/QUOTE]
Sometimes I think you and I are the only ones who see how much he gets hacked.
Aside from the issue of foreign players on a NBA champ, how do you deal with free agency and trades? Take the Mavs for example, suppose they had won well you have to take off Dirk and Steve Nash (among many others on that team) since they're foreigners. Then what about someone like Antawn Jamison, he was traded, so is he part of the team, or is he replaced by Jerry Stackhouse?
Steve Nash isn't a Mavrick anymore, they let him go.
Shaq charges non-stop. Does he get hacked at time, yes. Does he commit a ton of offensive fouls, yes. Some of those hacks are on purpose too. Let him shoot two instead of laying it in, he's just so strong it doesn't seem to matter.
SS, with sending the nba champ, you'd fill in missing slots with the best available players, but i can see how teaching the best two "sub" players a system they don't know could backfire... i just think that THIS year it would have been a better idea than what we ended up with...
really we need more top 10 players willing to go defend the USA's bragging rights... but that's not enough to play for to a lot of guys.
[QUOTE=Daseal]Steve Nash isn't a Mavrick anymore, they let him go.
Shaq charges non-stop. Does he get hacked at time, yes. Does he commit a ton of offensive fouls, yes. Some of those hacks are on purpose too. Let him shoot two instead of laying it in, he's just so strong it doesn't seem to matter.[/QUOTE]
I admit shaq charges a bit but quite of few of his "charges" r just his defender not being able to stand up against what would be a normal move by any other player because shaq is so much bigger and stronger than practically everyone in the nba. why should he have to play at less than full strength because no one in the league can guard him for an entire game?
as far as the olympic team, I think its disgusting that their is a large amount of americans rooting against one of the teams representing our country. Sure I hate some of the egos and all of the overinflated contracts but I don't root against our country's chosen athletes. I hope they just develop a team a year or 2 before each olympics and the the team travels not only the country but the world so as to grow more accustomed to playing by international rules and the team needs to be made up of no names who actually play like a team and not just individuals wearing the same jerseys.
plus on a side note, did anyone else see how much weight shaq's lost when he showed up at the VMA's? dude looks almost like he did when he came out of LSU.and that's a scary ass thought if he's not only gonna be stronger but faster as well and more conditioned. still think it was one of the worst FO moves in the history of professional sports to have gotten rid of Shaq, Jackson, and Malone for Kobe and a couple of slightly above average players(with the exception of Odom who could be a huge star if he kept his head straight and if he stayed healthy.)
Skinsfan, not to name drop but I had dinner with Shaq's agent about two weeks ago-he and my brother were roommates in college-and he told me Shaq has lost about 20 lbs. so far this summer. The Heat have one of the most talked about off-season training programs in the NBA and he's really adhering to it.
i still can't believe anyone would let shaq go... well, at least one miami team is going to be doing well this year ;)
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