Tha Sports Junkies 101

Why We Should Be Rooting For Team USA To Lose

Team USA Photography_Clear/via Flickr



Team USA

Some of our reader’s may not have been born when the US decided to send NBA players to compete in Olympic basketball for the first time. The year was 1992. Olympic games were held in Barcelona, Spain. The results from the USA’s inaugural “Dream Team” experience were staggering.

With what was, at the time, the 11 best hoppers in the world (sorry Christian Laettner), Team USA cut through the competition like a hot knife through butter. Team USA really brought it’s best possible squad, with the exception of Isaiah Thomas. If you believe what you hear about what went on at the time, Thomas was left off the “Dream Team” because of differences with Michael Jordan. It wouldn’t matter, though, as nobody was able to muster so much as a competitive game versus the US.

The musings and the nostalgia of the ’92 team make what is happening with the current Men’s US Olympic team seem like a dumpster fire.

We no longer are getting our A+ players to participate in Olympic competition.

I would argue that through the first six games, this squad would struggle to get a B-.

This squad is, however, probably somewhere around B- in quality. They struggle to play team ball. Klay Thompson is their only pure shooter, and prior to his break out performance versus France, his shooting was abysmal. They rely far too much on natural talent and have regular lapses of several minutes on Defense.

I question what Jerry Colangelo was doing or thinking when he was constructing this roster.

Every successful team that is truly a team has players that are willing to fill certain roles.

There’s your gunner, a.k.a. shooter.

Your lock down defender.

Your playmaker.

This version of Team USA is running light in all of these areas.

Why not put a few guys on the roster whose sole offensive responsibility is to spot up and knock down bombs off penetration? The 3 ball is, after all, just as much a part of FIBA as it is the NBA.

Where is their lock down D guy? I know Draymond Green is a great defensive player, but he is receiving sparse playing time. Where is Kawhi Leonard, or even Tony Allen? I know that Jimmy Buckets is also great on D, but during these Olympics he has not shown that.

And WHY, oh why, is there not a pass first point guard on this team? I love Kyrie Irving. He is one of the best shot creators this league has ever seen. But, he creates shots for himself. His playmaking ability is adequate at best. I know he may be a diva, and perhaps poisonous in large doses, but tell me Rajon Rondo wouldn’t have averaged double digit dimes with this squad. He averaged nearly 11 dimes last season for the friggin Sacramento Kings. I digress.

Lastly, who invited Harrison Barnes? I mean, seriously. Nobody else was available? I find that so hard to believe. I’m sure HB is a nice guy, and he is even a pretty solid baller, but he has no business wearing Red, White, & Blue.

Same goes for Kyle Lowry.

This squad is what it is. They have some great offensive players in Melo, Kyrie, and Durant. But the roster is flawed. They have holes on top of holes, and underneath that–that’s right, you guessed it, more holes. They are squeaking past the opposition for a myriad of reasons, the biggest of which being the most obvious: they aren’t that good.

It would also be nice if we could get away from guys on this team drawing parralels between Gold Medals and NBA titles. Guess what, guys, you are literally the only people who think that. Just stop.

We need to accept this squad for who they are, and realize that every country is coming for their heads each and every game. Opposing countries could care less about who is playing for USA, they just want to be the team that beats them. Everyone wants to be David to USA’s Goliath.

Should this team survive and pull out the Gold, what should our reaction be? Should we be overcome with the pride of being basketball kings? Or should we be upset?

The last time USA failed to win Gold was 2004. Following the’04 Games the US woke up. They rebooted their philosophy, brought on Coach K, and returned in ’08 to Beijing with the closest thing to an A+ squad since the boys back in ’92.

I think we can all be assured that if the US doesn’t win Gold, tinkering will ensue. The top players in the game will feel compelled to rep the US and play at the World’s in ’18, and the Olympics in 2020.

What should we want? That they squeak by, get the Gold, stay complacent? Or that they continue to send these incomplete, flawed, not aesthetically pleasing teams to compete?

How about maybe, just maybe, they are beaten?

They go down in a blaze, in spectacular fashion. They are lauded everywhere as the team that couldn’t get it done. Maybe that would be best.

If that is what it takes to get an A+ team competing in International competition, I’m all for it.