Friday, August 08, 2008

Can Team USA Recapture Gold?

When pro ballers were first put into the Olympics about 16 years ago, they were dubbed the "Dream Team". It was a who's who of the best of US basketball, not only for that time but for generations. Jordan, Barkley, Ewing, Magic, Bird, Stockton, Malone, & the Admiral David Robinson were amongst the squad that completely destroyed each and every opponent. Team USA captured the gold easily and the US held bragging rights in the World of Basketball. But all that changed within a span of about 10-12 years.

The influx of European talent began to show in the NBA with stars like Manu Ginobli, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitski and Tony Parker. Soon that carried over to the worldly competition in the Olympics and the once "Dream Team" became runners up to other nations such as Argentina, who just had a better handle of the European version of basketball. They simply played more of a balanced team game, used the foreign rules to their advantage and outplayed our stars who seemed to coast at times. The US was soon considered second rate in terms of its players, making Europeans a hot commodity for upcoming NBA drafts.

Now we have what's been dubbed as the "Redeem Team". General Manager Jerry Colangelo assembled the best of the best which includes stars like Kobe, Lebron, Melo, D-Wade, and legendary Duke coach K at the helm. Notably the team has just one gold medal winner in Jason Kidd, who assists with its other two bright young point guards, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. The emphasis here is on re-establishing the United States as a dominant player in world basketball. They have their work cut out for them, as they surely don't have the experience of a Dream Team. During their last exhibition game against Australia they won by a paltry sum of 11 points. We've come to expect our NBA stars to completely pulverize opponents and it's seeming to get harder. Our team has plenty of flash and highlights, but may lack in pure shooters, outside of Michael Redd's talents. It's also notable that opponents can employ a "Hack-a-Howard" strategy similar to the way NBA teams foul Shaq in the late stages of games. Howard's free throw shooting is a glaring problem for our team at this point, as is the concept that possibly many of the stars we have want the spotlight.

Overall the team needs to focus together and work as a team, not trying to showboat individual talents so much. We have a sum of great talent, but it needs to be put to proper use in order to return our stars to the gold medal stand. And there's always that "Great Wall of Defense" from the Houston Rockets looking to defend his home team as they host the Olympic games...

Labels: , , ,

Subscribe to Love & Basketball Blog

Get Email Updates from this Blog:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Share and Bookmark
Add to Google
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to My AOL


At 8/19/2008 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way this team is playing...its a lock!!

Heck, Lebron has already been practicing his gold medal dance!!

At 8/21/2008 6:53 PM, Blogger Kenneth Ragpala said...

Hey there!

Nice blog! I would like to have that up in my blog somewhere. Anyway, I was wondering if maybe we could exchange some links. I just started a new sports blog and would definitely need all the help I can get to grow. Just check my blog at




Post a Comment

<< Home