1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Already it begins: The bitching about USA Basketball

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Starman, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Right. If what Arenas said is an accurate reflection of what the players really think, the team will be just fine.
  2. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    I agree 100 percent with what Starman's saying.

    No other country in the world has near the level of talent we have in a multitude of sports -- most namely basketball and baseball. That said, these teams have grasped the team concept more, and in recent years, they have accomplished more with less while we've accomplished more with less.

    The No. 1 goal for these tryouts should be to find the best 12 guys who will work together. And only those focused on winning every possession, every quarter and every game should be selected. We don't have to go out and lay a 45-point facial on those Maradona-loving bitches from Argentina; we just need a team that's focused on winning again and players that are willing to accept any role in support of victory.
  3. JR

    JR Well-Known Member


    I might agree with the basketball part but the baseball part is debatable.
  4. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    Don't let one stinking win get to your head. :D
  5. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Again, bullshit.

    Every time this team takes the court it should be looking to absolutely destroy, if not humiliate, whoever they are playing. Winning is the bottom line. USAB needs 12 guys with an absolute killer instinct who are willing to go out and play as a team and won't let up until the game is over. If the rest of the world doesn't like it, fuck 'em because I guarantee you they'd do the same to us if they could. Thing is, they can't unless we let them. Which we did in 2002 and 2004.
  6. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Back to basketball.

    I dont know enough about international basketball to comment on American superiority but I agree with the author of the article: win every possession, every quarter is a misguided strategy for several reasons:

    As they say, a tournament is like a sprint. In the opening rounds, you have to feel out your opponents and establish a rhythm to your own team.

    The "we'll kick everybody's ass" attitude can backfire--especially if you lose in the first round to a weaker opponent. It can seriously hurt team morale and take into question IMMEDIATELy the coach's strategy.

    If the stated goal is to win the tournament, then a loss along the way won't have the same devastating impact. It'll give teams a chance to re-evaluate their play in light of the competition that's remaining.

    Sorry, the "we can pound everyone's ass" smacks of hubris.

    e.g. in SLS in 2002, Canada got off to a HORRIBLE start in the hockey tournament. One putrid loss to start against Sweden, then a tie against the Czechs (I think that's who it was). Everyone had written them off by that point. But since their goal was to win the tournament, not dominate every game, they didn't take their eyes off the prize.

    And other than our gold medal, the only other game people remember is Belarus beating Sweden--who took their opponent too lightly and of course Tommy Salo's "duck and cover" move.
  7. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    I disagree JR.

    The idea is to win it all, and the surest way to make sure you win it all is not to lose. Plain and simple. If you go 16-0 during the regular season and lose in the Super Bowl, you simply didn't win them all. Would it have made a dfference if you'd lost one regular season game? Maybe not. But certainly winning those 16 games would go a long way toward you actually winning the Super Bowl.

    Any time you settle ... for a tie, for a loss, etc. ... you're doing wrong. If you play well in every game, are conditioned right and have no injuries, winning every game is more effective than losing a couple and hoping for an x-point loss by Sweden against Suriname.
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Entering every game with the mindset that you're going to do everything possible to kick the other guy's ass doesn't mean you don't respect your opponents. It means you're going to bust your ass and do what it takes to win. You don't get ready for the elimination round by working on things in pool play. You get ready for the elimination round by preparing in pretournament practice to go out and manhandle every single opponent.

    That doesn't mean you will drill everybody you play and it doesn't mean you've failed if somebody puts up a fight either. Also, the chances of playing a shitty game and getting knocked off by Lower Slobovia in pool play is much greater if you treat it like a scrimmage than a real game. And losing a pool play game can screw you come elimination game.
  9. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    Sorry, JR, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one.

    For comparison, Team Canada in hockey is not Team USA in basketball. In hockey, the Czechs have quite a few good players. So do the Americans. The same can be said for Sweden as well as Russia.

    When it comes to basketball, how many other teams have more than one guy in the NBA? Argentina has 1. Brazil has 1. Italy has 1. Germany has 1. Maybe Canada has two or three. China has 1.

    No other league in the world is close to being as good as the NBA is in basketball. And the NBA is dominated by American players. As such, there is no reason the USA shouldn't dominate and destroy teams like Puerto Rico. Yet, in the last Olympics, PR came out and tore them up.

    It is a certain sense of hubris to say that you have the best. However, it is absolutely the case here. It isn't a small step down to the Chinese team. We're talking a giant step down. I'ved watched Chinese league games. They are ugly as hell.

    The best team in the world should be the US. This shouldn't even be a question. The team should be dominating games and beating opponents by a comfortable margin. The rest of the world has not caught up.
  10. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    The U.S. baseball team apparently had that same, let's only focus on the end mentality, and look where it got them. If you play to win, from beginning to end, you stand a better chance of actually succeeding.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    In fact, it means you TOTALLY respect the opponent. It means you are going to play as hard against Lower Dogturdistan as you would against Argentina or Lithuania or Russia, or the Miami Heat or the Dallas Mavericks.

    The way the US has approached international basketball since 1992 has been the ultimate in disrespect: "We can send less than our best players, condition them to play at about 60% of full throttle, play a style which totally negates the natural abilities of the players, and still expect to win."

    It's time to send the best players who want to play and tell them to play as hard and as well as they can. Every minute of every game.

    And, make it clear to everyone -- I think this has already been done -- that this is NOT a vacation trip. Nobody will be allowed to coast or float through games. If you don't want to play hard, stay home.
  12. nafselon

    nafselon Well-Known Member

    Major difference between Team Canada in hockey and Team USA in basketball. For one thing, the most average hockey team bcan be very good with an amazing run by a goalie. The 1980 US Hockey team was barely above average and should've been run out the building by the Russians, but Jim Craig stood on his head and the Russians did very un-Russian like things.

    There's no one player the rest of the world has that could completely stop the opposition in basketball. Sure there are Jordans, etc. who can take over a game, but it isn't the same affect as a goalie who can stop everything.

    As for this mentality, it's great, it's what this team needs. To this date most of the members of the only Dream Team still say their pre-Olympic practices were the most intense basketball they had ever played. And they knew no one could so much lay a finger on them, but they all shared the killer instinct and the fact that guys like Jordan, Bird, Magic, etc. hated to lose at anything, much less basketball. Hell Jordan and Bird couldn't even decide who was going to lose the game of horse in a McDonald's commercial.

    This team needs to be focused on winning every possession of every game to the point of where the opposition knows it's over before they get to the knockout round. Not saying they will win every possession of every game, but the effort has to be so great that the opposition will eventually submit because they can't match it for the entire 40 minutes. Sad thing is I still don't see the mix. I think Lebron, Wade, Arenas, etc. are great players, but I'm not convinced that these guys hate losing like the group 15 years ago. They are all great competitors, but are they true winners. I'm happy that Paul and Hinrich are the point guards, that's already a major upgrade over the point guard situation before.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page