As I watched yesterday’s headache that was Team USA vs Brazil, I wondered to myself why it had to be this hard.
There is no team in the world remotely comparable to America in terms of talent, experience, coaching and basically everything that makes up the game of basketball. Their worst player is as good if not better than the best player on any other team in the world. Their best player is a top 5 talent of all time. They boast at least two other players that are locks to be Hall of Famers, another 5 or so that certainly could be there, and just the most overwhelming roster of talent that any other national team can offer in any other sport on this planet.
So why do they, at times, make it look so damn hard?
LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant? Yet it takes a 14 point quarter from the best player on the face of the earth to scrape together a measly 11 point win over a country that doesn’t even know what basketball is?
I swear if I hear another so called ‘expert’ tell me Brazil is a very good team that will be a tough matchup I will explode. If I see any ‘expert’ tell me any team is a serious threat to Team USA I am going to go on a killing spree.
Brazil have four NBA players, Anderson Varejao, Nene, Leandro Barbosa and Tiago Splitter. Not one of those players is remotely close to being an All Star. Team USA has 15 All Stars.
Argentina have 1 All Star, 34 year old Manu Ginobli.
Spain have the Gasol brothers, Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon and Serge Ibaka (yeah…the guy that brought out African flags during his dunk contest is playing for Spain…). Of those 5, two are All Stars, one is at the beginning of his career, one at the end who can’t play defense and an African who can block shots, hit a mid range jumper and that’s about it.
Seriously, stop trying to hedge your bet, be rational or fair or alternative or whatever the hell you are trying to do. There is no one that should ever come within a stone’s throw of Team USA, but for whatever reason it keeps happening.
The reason the English men’s football team has such high expectations thrust upon it every tournament they enter, and that is because they have undisputedly the best league in the world. The reason they constantly fail is because the stars of their league are largely from other nations.
The NBA is undisputedly the best basketball league in the world, and it’s players, particularly the elite players, are by a vast majority, American.
Don’t give me ‘oh they don’t all fit together’, or ‘their egos are getting in the way’ and all that cliche crap. That is completely irrelevant when you are talking about superior talent on this level. There is no one close.
This obviously is an open ended story, because I can’t give an answer, nor even offer an opinion. I don’t know why they make it so damn hard.
I’m sure they’ll go on to win the Gold Medal and everything will be forgotten and the Dream Team debate will resurface, but unless they are winning every game by 50+ points, to me it’ll be a disappointment.