When the clock struck zero for the Olympic basketball final between the United States and France, USA basketball officials must have heaved a sigh of relief. Gold had arrived. The Americans propelled Kevin Durant to 29 points and lost 83–76 to the French in the first game of the Olympic tournament. Only the brilliance of the gold medal can outweigh the absurd mistakes made in preparing the team. And it wasn’t some mistakes.
The American basketball team will always inspire curiosity, attention, and reverence from the public. Although some vehicles insist with the nickname “Dream Team”, the current group is far from it. And, let’s face it, “Dream Team” is 1992, with Bird, Magic, and Jordan. In court, this has not been the case for a long time. More precisely, since 2002, at the World Cup, where even after playing with NBA players and at home, the United States finished in a sad sixth place. History repeated itself at the 2004 Athens Olympics with young talents like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade sourced bronze medals.
Returning to the present, USA Basketball actually surpassed the “razor’s edge” in this preparation. Previously it was with the permanence of coach Greg Popovich. Despite being one of the NBA’s greatest coaches and officials, the legendary San Antonio Spurs coach has a profile that is more aggressive and far from that of the current generation of NBA players. And every time the American team has a coach with this profile, it gets messy. George Carl and Larry Brown have this profile and failed in 2002 and 2004. Brown really is. One of the masters of pop. And there was no shortage of signs that things were not going well. Early in the preparation for the Olympic Games, there were leaks in the press that some players were not satisfied with the team’s plan of attack and that “it won’t work here for the Spurs.” In the end, the coach’s ability won out. Ball with Kevin Durant most of the time, and worked with an emphasis on defense at the end of the game. This final adjustment was very popular with Damien Lillard, to say the least.
Another absurd mistake was the assembly of this team. Let’s start with defining a superstar. From a very young age, superstars like LeBron James and Steph Curry showed no interest in participating in this Olympic cycle. In another “Razor Edge” moment, if the Brooklyn Nets aren’t knocked out of the playoffs, will Kevin Durant really go to the Olympics? What if he was injured? And who will go? Paul George? Chris Paul? This team wouldn’t have gone far without Durant. The grumpy “birthday boy” was the leader and face of the team that brought the medal but did not inspire sympathy or enthusiasm from the Americans themselves. Had it been done, maybe the focus would have been something else. And that USA Basketball sinned. Durant needs a second-in-command who can draw attention to him and let KD do what he knows: play basketball. When KD has to play and be the face of the franchise, it doesn’t work out. It’s not Durant’s fault. away with. that goes. This is his personality. It was up to USA Basketball to bring a second to “load the piano” on and off the court. Lillard and Drummond Green were not these figures.
Of course, we can’t forget the madness of the departures of champion Jew Holiday and Khris Middleton, from the Bucks, and runner-up Devin Booker, from the Sons. The players had less than 72 hours to rest and play on the court in their debut against France.
Despite these setbacks, America maintains basketball’s hegemony. If defeat teaches, then also victory. The Olympic cycle begins now and the Americans will have to rethink a lot if they are not to suffer unpleasant surprises in FIBA competitions.
There is no medal more deserving than the bronze medal won by the Australians. Luka Doncic, 107-93’s victory over Slovenia shows that the road to an Olympic medal is long, harrowing and far from being immediate. In 96, Australia had Luke Longley in the NBA and Andrew Gage as basketball’s greatest exponent. That’s all. Today it is one of the most interesting leagues in the world, with young NBA players like Didi doing a sort of “internship” before moving on to the league, a team that includes such talents as veteran Mills, Joe Inglis of the Utah Jazz, and Dynamo Mattis Thiebull. Huh. An absurd relationship with the 76ers, and their fans. Deserves to win and I am looking at Australia.
Muchas Gracias A Pau and Marc Gasol from Spain, and Luis Scola from Argentina. The giants who have dominated FIBA courts in recent decades have bid their teams goodbye with all the praise possible.
Much is asked about the next Olympic cycle for Brazilian basketball, and if we have any chance. We have to be very realistic in this regard. Today we have young generation with outstanding talents who need to play more and more with the national team. We’re talking backbone with Georginho, Lucas Dias and Lucas Mariano, all from Franca, Yago from Flamengo, and the talent we have in the NBA today. We have Raulzinho currently under contract, who has renewed with the Washington Wizards, and Cristino Felicio, who is in a contract year at the Bulls. Leo Mendel, Benite and Marcelinho Huertas completed the cast. The X Factor, who could really turn this team’s fortunes around, could be Bruno Caboclo, who just closed with So Paulo.
However, we only have three years until Paris 2024, and the technical level of the men is much higher. If Argentina loses to Scola, they have great players like Campazo. Canada, if it works out, is a force to be reckoned with, and Central American teams, such as Puerto Rico, always complicate matters for Brazil.
The damage done in the past decades is now being felt, and the present reality is harsh. How to sell a team to an audience that is only interested in an Olympic sport if victory is guaranteed? How to Attract Sponsors When You Have a Growing Shadow of the NBA?
On Air, Another Audience Champion
This Tuesday (10), debuts on Netflix Documentary “Untold”One of the most shocking moments in NBA history. The first episode will detail the infamous “Malice in the Palace”. For those who don’t remember, there was a normal fight in the game in 2004 between the Pacers and the Pistons. Ron Artest, the main person in the mess, is one of the interviewers.