We’ve been waiting to hear this for a very long time. 4 years 12 days and 7 hours. Nope, Football and Lacrosse still have yet to be considered Olympic sports. USA Basketball is back on again! And so are those other sports..Friday July 27th will mark the 30th edition of modern Olympic competition. As for the 4 years 12 days and 7 hours, yeah I made that up.
In lieu of this years Olympic basketball festivities, we must first look back at our history. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the 1992 Olympic Dream Team as this year marks the 20 year anniversary of their dominance. History made, homage paid. As for talks of comparing this years ensemble to that of ’92? Baby steps fellas. It’s been 20 years, basketball isn’t what it was back then. Our legends are still in the making. And despite Kobe‘s confidence..wait, is that a contradiction? Well, the game has changed. A lot. The Worlds best teams feature four or more NBA players and you couldn’t say that about international competition back then. So as far as comparisons go, lets wait and see. I mean, at any level, destroying the scout team in training camp has it’s effects. Even Kyrie Irving mustered enough confidence to challenge Kobe for 50k at training camp. Bottom line, we aren’t even at full strength! No Rose, no Wade, no H(C)oward, no Hyperdunk..I mean Blake Griffin. So when you talk about match-ups, especially against the best basketball team ever assembled, you’d better have your big’s at full strength. That isn’t the case here, even if you’re as athletic as, say 15 dunkers on your bench. David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone? Please, Tyson Chandler and Anthony Davis would be grits.
Now that we got that out of the way, lets talk about this years team and their chances at striking Gold. Honestly, it looks good. (Like they have a choice right) USA Basketball is ranked no. 1 in the world followed by Spain no. 2 and Argentina no.3. Both of which we have scrimmaged this Olympic pre-season. USA has managed to produce decent showings in both games, both of them being wins. Although we’ve seen some slow starts in these tune-up games, do expect that to change. Coach K has been trying out different combinations of lineups thus far so it’s still a work in progress. We have yet to solidify our starting five, We don’t know who our backup center is and these guys are still getting used to playing with each other. This may be why you see everyone bombing three’s late in the shot clock. Other than the fast break, there doesn’t seem to be any rhythm out there..yet. I believe it will all come together, like it did in 2008. What beautiful basketball we saw in 2008. But, good things take time, so stay tuned as USA opens up against France on Sunday July 29th at 2:30 pm.
All things considered, look for more dominating performances by the 2012 USA Men’s National squad.