I was 95% sure Team USA would win this competition. I hoped my country (France) would make some noise, but once TP got injured, I knew it waw over.
Over the last months, even though I agreed with Applenader's pointson Tem USA, I still thought he was alarmist and just hyterical, as a result of being too worried about what would happen in the WC.
Well, he was more than right all along. I really would like to see anyone defend USA's dominance of the basketball world now. 2002 and 2004, as well as these WC aren't accidents. The state in which basketball is in America should worry you guys more than it does.
Many young players coming up should be chasing a career in track & field instead ofbasketball, but nobody tells them that. There still is the illusion that any spectacular athlete can play ball. Before being tremendous athletes, MJ, Malone, Clyde etc. were tremendous BASKETBALL PLAYERS. Athletism came as a tool. It's no coincidence that these guys could still be efficient even when they were injured or when they got old. They knew the game in and out. Not just 1 on 1 iso's on offense, not just chasing your man for 10 seconds max on defense, they had all the fundamentals.
Today, all kids do is jump, crossover, shoot from deep (and don't even make those shots).
David Stern should make sure he brings back the rules that pushed players to their limits and got them to play the best they could, instead of just being able to dribble a whole team and get free throws after being barely touched; carrying the ball all the time, being allowed to travel on game winning baskets etc.
Bring back the fundamentals, and hungry players. Not just money hungry, but hungry for knowledge of the game and getting better. Hate or love Kobe or Arenas, these 2 guys can be selfish at times (several times), but at least one can see how motivated they are to get better, and unfortunately, the typical up and coming NBA player is more like Darius Miles.
This loss should teach USA Basketball several lessons. Amongst them is also "stop handing young NBA stars everything on a golden plate". To think that players like AI and Arenas almost begged to be part of the team and were turned down just to make sure LBJ, Wade and Melo get theirs ???