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Some more USA Hoops Thoughts....


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Now that I think about it, this team PERFECTLY represented what basketball in America is today.


If you look at it, this teams major weaknesses were the following:


1) Inability to both defend and shoot the 3.

2) Lack of fundemental skills.

3) Terrible free throw shooting

4) Poor defense of simple plays like penetration and kick outs, pick and rolls, etc.....(see no 2)


This team can jump out of the gym, rebound, and create in the open floor, but when you have no fundemental skills, can't shoot, and don't appear to care on defense, combined with the mass improvement of worldwide basketball in the last decade, you get this crap.....


It's PATHETIC that we are playing for the BRONZE medal in a sport WE invented!!


If the US loses (a realistic possibility) tomorrow, we will finish 4-4 and not medal in BASKETBALL!!! Come on now, that's just sad......


I pray these olympic, along with the 2002 WC's will be a lesson that we need to start doing more than teach our players to dunk, throw behind the back passes, and rebound all the bricks being thrown up from the perimeter.


Not only is international basketball different than hoops in America, it's also BETTER........and we got what we deserved in 2002 and this year.......


*end rant*



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Olympic basketball is supposed to be about the best players from each country playing their hearts out for their nation and it's safe to say we have succesfully failed that.


The part that upsets me the most is that we didn't even get to show off the players that really represent basketball here in the US (for the exception of Duncan and AI). The majority of the team were young and upcoming players (James, Wade, Anthony, Okafor, Odom, etc.) but they don't represent US basketball at this time...they're not the Shaq's, Kidd's, TMac's, KG's just yet. It's really too bad many declined and then the selective commitee picked all these young players, I mean they're good, mind you but not really players you want represeting your country right now.


But oh well, hopefully we'll get it right in '08.

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ok i guess its time for the das response.



this team was poorly assembled from the beginning.



there are specific reasons why this team struggled. they all play the same position for hte most part.



there is no real point guard on this team.



there is no real center on this team...duncan is a psuedo center as is.



here is the real irony of this team.



the committtee decided to select kids.


Admin brown hates young players.



irony at its finest.



the players gave all they had...they just didnt have what it takes to put together a complete team.


i blame the selection committee.



defense is more a mindset...you have to be dedicated to defense...this is often not seen in younger players. period.



there is a lack of fundamentals in the nba. but thats due in large to the players in the nba now...dont need them in lower levels ot succeed.



there are fundamentals taught..they are just known and learned by players who dont have the natural talent to play in the nba.

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awesome article that kind of sums things up:


Don't pin this one on the players

Published August 28, 2004



Don't blame the players; blame the system.


A bronze medal should not be allowed to tarnish the reputations of Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Lamar Odom, Dwyane Wade and the other U.S. basketball players who stepped forward and put pride and patriotism ahead of fear of failure.


Ditto for coach Admin Brown, who now faces questions of Olympic disappointment instead of praise for a championship season with the Pistons.


In watching the artistry of the Argentines and the intensity of the Italians, it would be easy to reason that the game has bypassed the rims of Rucker, the hoops of the heartland, the baskets by the bluegrass.


It also would be foolish.


This Olympic experience had nothing to do with the state of the game in the States (although the fundamental failure in the fundamentals certainly should not be overlooked).


Instead, it had everything to do with misgivings, marketing and mostly, mismanagement.


Foremost, consider who was not playing basketball in Athens: Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Vince Carter, Jermaine O'Neal, Allan Houston, Mike Bibby and Elton Brand, to name a few.


All elected to bypass the experience.


None should be criticized.


Because once you get past the varied excuses for the absences, the bottom line remains that an NBA championship remains the sport's ultimate championship, just as the Wimbledon winner is held in higher regard than the Olympic tennis titlist or the World Cup victor is remembered far longer than the soccer gold medalists at the Games.


Even with the 10 best or 20 best or 30 best players skimmed from its pool, the United States remains the sport's most formidable force -- but only if as much diligence is paid to the makeup of the Olympic team as the marketing of the venture.


Even without the aforementioned absentees, this Athens roster retained plenty of sizzle, namely the youthful promise (profits?) generated by Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire and Richard Jefferson.


But that also was the downfall of the process. Instead of building the best team, USA Basketball (a de facto pseudonym for NBA management), settled for the best available players. What it wound up with was a team long on athleticism and short on compatibility.


Think of it as the NFL selecting its version of an Olympic team by ranking its players from best to worst and then selecting those at the top of the list. While a roster of Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Daunte Culpepper, Tom Brady, Steve McNair, Brett Favre and Trent Green might titillate, who exactly is going tackle, catch passes, block?


Such was the approach taken by the USA Basketball selection committee, a star-gazing group headed by NBA Vice President Stu Jackson that seemingly was blind to the realities of international basketball.


What this team needed was the shooting of a Fred Hoiberg, the defense of a Bruce Bowen, the interior presence of a Brad Miller. (Of course, try selling those jerseys.)


What this team needed were specialists, not 12 charismatic athletes who at no time in their careers had to work as supporting players.


Instead, USA Basketball trotted out its best-known remaining stars, its own B-list version of The Surreal Life.


The U.S. players and coaches who walked off the court 89-81 losers Friday to Argentina failed only because they were set up to fail by a basketball bureaucracy that placed greater emphasis on style over substance.


Ira Winderman can be reached at iwinderman@sun-sentinel.com.

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