Team USA looks as good as it has ever looked. It is beating its opponents the way the original Dream Team in Barcelona 92 did. What has changed? How is this team different from the one that represented the US during the last summer games in Athens?
First, the players are more committed to the TEAM. After being embarrassed by teams like Puerto Rico who does not have an NBA starter on its team, USA basketball has stressed pride and is playing every game like an NBA finals game. Second, many of the players that were on the Athens squad have matured. Melo, LeBron and D-Wade have a lot of NBA games on their backs, including in Wade’s case an NBA championship. Those 3 guys are really giving the team an impressive effort. Third, the coaching has been great. Larry Brown gave us a chance to see how the best coach in the NBA could be the worst coach in international basketball. He began his Olympic quest by punishing Iverson and LeBron for being 5 minutes late for a practice, yes a practice. He was also reluctant on playing the young guys and had many confrontations with other players like Marbury, Okafor and Carmelo.
Everyone who frequently visits this blog knows how I feel about Mr. Collangelo and Coach K. If you have just joined my show, I hate them….They left Allen Iverson out of the team, when the guy said he really wanted to play for the team. As I have said before, AI was the only player to show up during the last Olympics even playing injured. He deserves to play for team USA. He is playing better than ever and even if he was on a wheelchair they should let him play. I can think of many words that can summarize my thoughts such as lack of loyalty, integrity, respect, uprightness and decency etc.
Having said that, I believe that this new team will make us all proud to be Americans****. It will allow us to laugh at teams when they get their assess kicked by 40 or more points. What’s more American than that?
Last week my Puerto Rican team got crushed by the Dream Team. A painful experience for everyone playing for PR and for those of us who watched.
**** For those of you with little knowledge of History, Geography, Civics and Politics, Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States. Puerto Ricans are Americans since 1917.