Saturday, August 28, 2004

Olympic basketball ain't what it used to be

The US team lost three games in this Olympics and, as the sports talking heads have mentioned as frequently in the same breath as Kerry has mentioned his service in Vietnam, that's one more than the US team had ever lost. (And we waz robb'd in '72!)

The excuse I heard the most on-air, prefaced with 'this isn't an excuse', was that these guys couldn't practice together as much as they should have but couldn't. Brown flailed about in finding other good reasons (re: placing blame anywhere but at what he sees in a mirror.) I haven't watched or read enough to get a well rounded impression of players attitudes, though I did hear one which sounded like "We need to play better and harder." That's the kind of comment I like to hear.

Basketball junkies will have many more detailed reasons to present and in more negative sounding terms, I'm sure. (Bronze just isn't good enough in Basketball.) I am curious to see how much will relate to learning/executing fundamental and team play concepts. International basketball concentrates much more on these aspects and international players are getting much, much better.

Will the NBA owners notice and will there be a flood of foreign players in the next few years? (I do not count Puerto Rico.) I think they have and it will be profitable. If I am right, American players will be looking at not just more and more competition for mega-contracts but a lot more bench competition, too. After all, the supply will be going up while the demand remains about the same. (Can anbody say 'outsourcing.)

Kids, learn your fundamentals and team play if your dream is the NBA.


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