Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Lessons not learned: Since the first Dream Team took the court in 1992, USA Basketball has been the next incarnation of sports dominance -- following the Soviet hockey teams of the '60s and '70s. Well, the latest group of professional All Stars showed what they're made of last night when they got their butts kicked by the Italian national team.
The U.S. is no longer as dominant in basketball as it was just a decade or two ago. The rest of the world is learning -- they're catching up. Our latest Dream Team isn't really that. It may consist of some of the NBA's greatest players, but they're hardly a "team." There's a pretty good likelihood that the U.S. won't get the gold medal in basketball in Athens. In the movie "Miracle," 1980 USA Olympic Hockey coach Herb Brooks says about the NHL All-Stars' defeat at the hands of the Soviets: "It's not because you weren't good enough."
The American players combined surely have more combined raw talent than any other team in the world -- but that doesn't translate into winning a team sport.
Maybe last night was a wake-up call.
You'd think that last season's NBA finals would have taught everybody something. The Detroit Pistons won because they were a better team.
It would've been wiser to send the Pistons to represent the U.S., instead of these "all-stars."