Olympic basketball

Once again a quick look through regular blogs and the news didn’t give me much hope for a rant today, yet, I did happen to scrape up something that is not related to current political conditions. As luck would have it, that little gem seemed to be buried under a lot of internet news, not that I visit any international sites so perhaps it was a pretty prominent feature there. Hell, for all I know even FOX news did a feature on the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team dropping the ball, so to speak, on a tradition.

I did mention, after the first U.S. loss in the competition, that I would like to see them lose a bit more. The only reason that I wanted to see that was to prove that collegiate athletes are much better for this type of competition than professional athletes. Every other country is exhibiting something called ‘Team Play’. That is a concept that is pretty much lost on most of your NBA players. Sure, back in the early ’90’s Michael Jordan and the original ‘Dream Team’ was kicking ass all over the world. I don’t recall all of the players that were on the team, but that was in the era where the Stockton/Malone type pick-and-roll was used quite religiously. Not to mention the fact that they were simply out to prove that the term ‘professional’ was appropriate when they were described as such.

The losers players that went to the Olympics this year (please, no angry mails about calling them losers. By defenition, if you lose more games than you win you are a loser), never exhibited anything approaching team play. Beyond that, they have blamed everything from the referees to the ‘weird Olympic court’ for their failures. Dear Random Fluctuations of Time and Space, man, snap out of it! The ‘All about me’ attitude of the top-notch NBA players has made it so that they can not come together as a team, not even once every four years, to show the dominance of the U.S. Basketball team. The humorous ‘but’ about that statement is that a lot of players in the NBA defend their home country now, and seem to do it fabulously. That is, the U.S. is putting up guys who (combined) make more annually than the Gross National Product of a lot of countries, yet they lose to teams that are basically playing for a place to stay while they play. If that nation has a player in the NBA, the player will represent his country, and hand the U.S. their ASS. Funny how a superstar on a team of unheard of people can bring them together, and elevate team play, while five superstars can’t seem to pull their heads out of their collective ass long enough to try to represent their own contry.

Now to the quotes that really made me start to bitch about this tonight. I am not going to link any of them since I have seen them all on multiple news sites.

US coach Larry Brown ripped referees for forcing US center Tim Duncan, a San Antonio teammate of Ginobili, to the bench early for fouling out.
“I’m proud of my team. They played hard under some difficult circumstances. It’s difficult when Duncan is on the bench every game,” Brown said. “I’ve never seen him foul out in 19 minutes in our league.”

Mmm. Hmm. In our league they also allow players to carry the ball for three steps after the last dribble without calling it travelling. They allow Shaquille O’Neal to use his ass as a bulldozer, to push two or three guys out of his way to get to the hoop, which is the only way he can score, and that is not charging. If you have a memorable name, you can get away with murder in the NBA and will rarely be called for fouls. The fact that they call the fouls in the Olympics can only bolster my position on thinking that it is far more suited for collegiate athletes.

“It hurts,” US center Amare Stoudamire said. “Everyone knows we have the youngest team here. We’re going to come back for that gold medal. You can count on it.”

I am not sure if they are, by average, the youngest team there. What I can say is that, hands down, they are the most arrogant team there. Arrogance does not equate to success though, as evidenced by the current U.S. team. Also, if you want to talk about extremes of the Olympic Basketball teams, the U.S. team makes more money than probably the rest of the teams put together (not counting the NBA players who play for their home countries, for pride, you see).

That might not be possible after their golden flop, but the US team was set up for failure when a dozen top stars rejected Olympic overtures. Iverson had a message for them – get yourselves into USA uniforms for the 2008 Bejing Games.

Okay, so I am supposed to feel sorry for our team because some of the athletes chose not to attend? I’m sorry, that is not going to happen. How many guys that you played ball with in High School are in the NBA? The Colleges select the top 5 percent of athletes that make it through high school. The NBA then takes the top 2 percent (or so) of athletes that make it through college. Haven’t we weeded out a bit of the riff-raff by that point? The NBA even sends a lot of guys packing every year since they don’t perform well. I bet any random team from any random college could also take out our Olympic team.

“We need to understand that even if we’re not fighting for the gold medal, we still represent our country and fight like it was a gold medal game,” Iverson said. “It’s important to make the people back home proud of us.”

Okay, I guess I lost you at HELLO. Any collegiate team that we could have sent to the Olympics would have brought home the Gold. The lackluster play of a bunch of superstars has tarnished the name of the USA in international play. The U.S. would be better served if you just drove your Porsche to watch the game, played by players who actually give a damn about wins and losses, and, more importantly, about the success of the USA in international competition. I do understand that you need some time off, but come on man, I work 306 days a year…full time…That is working, throwing around boxes that weigh around 80 pounds each. I do it six days a week without a break, save my one-week annual vacation. I can’t even try to feel sorry for you.

The first collection of NBA talent since 1992 not to claim Olympic gold, the Americans fired a dismal 42 percent from the field, closing a US dynasty that produced 12 gold medals and a 109-2 record before Athens.

So that is what you have destroyed. Not only your personal reputation, but the reputation of the USA for the last fifty years. I hope you guys are all sitting pretty, in your million dollar houses, when you realize that you could not beat a college team from Argentina.

Fucking Losers Good game.

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