Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Mens Basketball

Italy 95 - USA 78

I enjoyed the professional years while they lasted (especially when Mark Price was on Dream Team 2), but I don't think that the USA can just send over a bunch of NBA players that practice together for 30 days and expect to waltz to the gold medal anymore. Other countries have national teams that practice all year round, and then when the World Championships or the Olympics come around, they add 1-2 NBA players. By then the teams already know what to expect from each other and know the tendencies. It's easy to just include the new additions and keep on rolling. I think that the USA has to go this route also. The national team doesn't have nearly enough practice time. It should be obvious now that talent alone is not enough. The USA team has now lost 4 games in 2 years, and I'm sure that with the effort I saw today, that there are more losses on the way.

There are only two solutions to this problem, and one I think is much better than the other.

I think that the NBA should send the reigning NBA champions to the World Championships and the Olympics. Subtract the foreign players off the team and add in some college kids or other All-Stars. That would go a long way towards guaranteeing success.

The other option is to have a team that is similar to an AAU team. Professional players that aren't quite good enough to play in the NBA, but are still excellent players, and more importantly are players that have been together for a while. Then if you want to add a Shaq or Tim Duncan to the team, there won't be a problem.

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