NOTE: This piece is really old and, since it was written, the author has actually changed his tune to some degree. I don’t know, just keep that in mind…
This article is not really about the collapse and utter disgrace that is the United States Basketball Team. No, that would be far too easy. Those guys suck and I bet they know it. Instead I’d like to go after all the ridiculous supporters and absurd apologists who have been backing that despicable, lackluster effort. From Coach K to the countless TV personalities to the average fan who has been tricked into believing that the rest of the world has just caught up to our players; there are rumors that need to be dispelled and truths that need to be recognized. Basically, I just need to vent. This is what I’m feelingÃ¢Â?Â¦
-Shut the hell up, Coach K
If I have to hear one more Coach K interview where he brings up every excuse in the book for his team’s horrendous loss to GREECE without the words “we fucked up” in it, then I am going to shoot myself in the head. Take some responsibility Krzyzewski! You we’re brought in to do one job: bring back a gold medal in the World’s (this year) and the Olympics (2008), and that’s all. I don’t need to hear about how long the Spanish team has been practicing together.
-Pick and Roll
Greece beat LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and company with the oldest move in the book. Someone on TV said that this was akin to a Little League team beating the Yankees with 37 consecutive bunts. I’m not sure but I think it was Michael Rapaport on The Best Damn Sports Show. Good comment; I’m happy to steal it. He also said that the original Dream Team could suit up, spot today’s squad 20 points and still win. Michael Rapaport is a funny guy.
-International Play is Different
Oh yeah, that looked like a completely different game?!? What? Why are all these so-called experts saying this crap? You take a bouncy orange ball and you shoot in a hoop. The team who does that more than the other one wins. Don’t give me this crap about the inverted baselines fucking up our clearly superior athletes. That is a dumb excuse and I have no time for it.
-They’re More Experienced
Really? Are you trying to tell me that any of our players weren’t holding a rock when they were pulled from their mother’s womb, because last time I checked that wasn’t the case. Are you telling me that urban Europe cities are playing more basketball than kids in America? Give me a break. Sure, they’ve got a bunch of guys in their late 20’s who practice all year long with one thing on their mind: to beat the U.S. every two years in these tournaments. I understand that. That doesn’t mean they should, though. Hot damn. If anything, that should be motivation enough.
I don’t care that they lost. I swear to God, I don’t. I just don’t understand why they can’t admit that they fucked up. I wish Coach K would have just said thisÃ¢Â?Â¦
“You know what. I’ve been coaching for a long time and I know basketball. But that group of kids right thereÃ¢Â?Â¦ (fighting back tears). They have no heart. They stinkÃ¢Â?Â¦ (more tears) They could have won every game by 50 points, but they don’t care. They got beat by a fat guy and a cheap Steve Nash imitator playing the pick and roll. And that is indefensible. I quit.”
[At which point, he would have stormed out of the room, visibly shaken and crying uncontrollably.]
That was basically the only response that would have satisfied me. I was so excited by the original Dream Team when I was a kid. It was genuinely thrilling to watch those guys kick ass all over the world. I never thought I’d see the day when a new incarnation of the U.S.A. Basketball Team would take a collective dump on that legacy. It makes me sick.