Friday, September 01, 2006

USA Hoops Stinks!

Chris Sheridan was so wrong: USA Hoops wasn't going to lose in the World Championships title game to Spain and/or Argentina.

They weren't even going to make it that far. Greece! Greece!!!

This is an even BIGGER debacle than the implosion in Athens in 2004.

Why? Because fans were scolded that the USA hoops braintrust knew what it was doing this time, yet the team STILL lost.

(And didn't just lose, but lose to the most random of teams – not an NBA'er among them, a detail which should scare the bejeezus out of anyone who thinks USA Hoops has some birthright to be the world's best.)

USA Hoops fulfilled its destiny all right:

As "USA Oops."

-- D.S.


P.S.:
This just confirms that Coach K is a mediocre game coach, at best. Oh, sure, he's a "leader," not a coach. Actually, now that's blatantly obvious.

P.S. 2: Wow, of all the days to begin without my column on ESPN.com... this is precisely the timing of a huge story that would have let me be the first on the site with an obliterating indictment of USA Hoops management.

46 comments:

Adam from everywhere WI/IL said...

I blame JJ Redick for being hurt.

Also, why wasn't Reggie Miller asked to play? I bet he's still the best 3-ball shooter in the universe....

Jake C said...

Just thought I'd post/copy over the response from earlier for you.

"I think you and I, along with many others, knew this was coming. Coach K finally even admitted it was likely his fault they lost. He has never been able to coach in tough games (just ask Jim Calhoun)."

Which is exactly what you explained...couldn't agree more.

Coach K is the most.overrated.basketball.coach.ever.

Jake C (VA Beach)

Mikepcfl said...

I am having Quickie withdrawal!

Don't you think Team USA could have used Gilbert Arenas' outside shooting? Good move Coach K!

Brian Chicago said...

Dan,

I just wanted to let you know it is weird without reading the Daily Quickie on my unofficial 8 am break. Hopefully someone else picks it up and can let it continue. Cnnsi.com’s Scorecard Daily section seems like a perfect fit

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Come back!!! This is weird!

Brien said...

Dan,

USA Hoops, as an organization, doesn't stink. They made one serious mistake, tactically, and that's not putting more perimeter shooters on the team.

What stinks are the shooting fundamentals of the so-called "biggest stars on the planet". 59% from the free throw line??? We put a bunch of Shaq-wanna-bes out there on the charity stripe.

I absolutely hate what has become of the NBA. When people rave about their team shooting 44% from the floor, something is WRONG. Skilled players should shoot at least 50% without breaking a sweat.

The world has figured out how to beat "dream teams" ... it's time we joined them.

Brien

Mike said...

I'm lost without the Quickie!!!

USA Hoops is horrible! Good thing football is about to start...

Anonymous said...

1. This teams Michael Redd so badly or how about Steve Kerr even? Coach OK choking in the "Final Four" again. There is the extremely likely possibility that USA will end up medal-less.

2. On a side note, I immediately went to my DQ bookmark before I realized it. Dan, you've messed with my morning routine!!!

Anonymous said...

Dan,

Love the column, but you're a moron if you think Coach K. is not a great game coach. The man is a winner, pure and simple. No other way to look at it. Greece went on a fantastic scoring streak. It's the kind of thing that happens in a single elimination tournament.

Should Team USA have lost? Of course not! Is Coach K partly to blame? Of course he is. Does this mean he is not one of the greatest coaches to ever? No fucking way. It's easy to pile on after a man puts up a loss. You should be better than that...

Geoff said...

I guess the next step to right the Team USA basketball ship is to send the defending NBA champs to play, or something. Sending our best players doesn't work anymore.

H said...

Yes this was definitely not the day to go without a quickie. There was a lot of good stuff last night to talk about today. *sigh*

Clinton (Indianapolis) said...

Once again, the USA does not put the BEST TEAM on the floor. I don't know if it's possible to do that anymore, because the NBA does not translate well to the international style of hoops. I always felt the rest of the world would catch up to the USA in basketball, but I didn't expect it so SOON.

Kurt (Farmington, CT) said...

Coach K is too soft to coach basketball. Give him a team with no All-Americans and he won't do shit.

The NOVA Report said...

"This just confirms that Coach K is a mediocre game coach, at best. Oh, sure, he's a "leader," not a coach."

We should get Billy Donovan out there!! At least he knows how to buy the best talent around.

Anonymous said...

TEAM USA's best chance is to eliminate NBA players from the team. I have long felt that college hoops is a far superior game. Too much 'showtime' in the NBA and not enough strong fundamentals. Let the NCAA champs represent the U.S in international play or put together a college hoops all-star team. I guarantee we'll put a better product on the floor if we go that route.

chris (ct) said...

You can't blow a 12 point lead period, but certainly not to the likes of Greece! On Mike and Mike they were saying how Fran Fraschilla was saying this was a step in the right direction. I guess it is after the last world championships, but I agree Coach K is not a good in-game coach. As Jake said, and as a UConn alum, I can tell you Jim Calhoun ALWAYS out coaches K.

Speaking of UConn by the way, the crowd at Rentschler Field was awful last night. Get off your hands and make some noise on 3rd down for God's sake. It's all the big donors going to be seen...eating their prawn sandwiches. Give me a break, it's pathetic.

Sorry about the rant...had to get it out.

KB (Baltimore) said...

Of all the days not to have a quickie. I think that for a team that has been playing for a few weeks this isnt that bad but I think the NBA needs to realize that it might not be best to send their players to play in world basketball since its completely different that american basketball. If this team was going to play world basketball for the next two years then there would be hope but they are going to go back to playing NBA ball and obviously that isnt working for this type of competition. Well see what happens in 08 but maybe its time to have a team completely dedicated to playing world style basketball and not spliting time with playing in the NBA.

Richard said...

I miss the quickie. Anyways, you also missed out on another story. Did you see that tennis match last night etween Agassi and Baghdatis? I havent watched a tennis match in 5 years, but ha was incredible. I think everyone in America wants Andre to win this thing, and I'm really looking foward to a potential match with Andy Roddick.

Rafael (Blacksburg) said...

I was shocked by the high score. US lost..and lost by giving up triple digits?? Not pretty.

Kevin said...

Actually, I think this is exactly what Team USA needed. Now we know we have to retool, we have incentive for more players (re: Kobe) to play in '08, and we have guys playing together some. Maybe I'm ignorant here, but I think the US will win gold in 2008.

BlackCapricorn said...

Just kind of shows you the state of the US basketball player's mentality rather than the system. These guys are coddled from middle school on and they don't give a crap about playing for the US- they are just hoping they don't get hurt so it doesn't screw up their RBK show deal. Enjoy your bronze medal guys if you can actually win this weekend.

jeff (kc) said...

I love it! I can't stand Duke and always believed coach K was overrated. He may be able to get the best talent in the country, but that doesn't mean he can coach in game situations. It's amazing that people forget everything when you win a national title. Roy Williams was the same way at KU. Always recruited well, had dominant teams that would choke every single year in a the big game.

I say go back to the college kids and drop the NBA players from USA basketball. The NBA game has become an individual sport, not a team game. If we're going to lose let's at least let the college kids do it so people can have the built in excuse that we aren't sending our "best". DUD to the NBA.

Christian (High Point, NC) said...

The reason this sucks: all the Cassandra sportswriters are going to be smug and self-righteous for months now.

anonymous said...

i still dip my sack on Chris Sheridan for being a hater, whether or not the USA team deserved it.

::DIP DIP::

we need to start playing the Olympics on paper instead. Then the USA would win every time.

CorrND said...

Sad to not have the Daily Quickie, but at least you're providing us a mini-Quickie. Or is it a Quickie-Quickie?!

Kevin said...

Which is bigger, the Worlds or the Olympics? Coach K can't shoot the 3s for the guys, he can only call the plays and put the guys out there. We're seeing the team play together much better than in the past, but we're still lagging in the skills that translate to the international game -- as opposed to the "lets send four guys to one side and have our star drive" mentality that makes the NBA so boring.

Anonymous said...

Dan this loss reminded me of Duke's loss to Georgetown this year were they got backdoored to death and K did not make any adjustments on defense. I am usually one of the biggest defenders of all things Duke and Coach K. But recently it seems that he has been more conservative in how he coaches games. I don't know if it is because he did not have the athletes the last couple of years and his offense consisted of setting a screen for JJ and him shooting not very creative. He may be overrated but he does have 3 National titles, he will probably end up with the most wins ever. I still don't think he is as overrated as Dean Smith who had way more talent over the years but only won the title twice and both times it was because of a mental lapse by the other team.

Anonymous said...

Somebody please tell me why the "international rules" are different from the NBA rules, and why we have to play by these rules? If the USA invented basketball, and the USA's NBA is considered the premier place to play basketball, then why don't these international teams come and play big boy basketball using our rules. If Greece is so good, why don't some crappy NBA team sign the entire squad to win the title next season?

Joe (Dayton) said...

Dan your the first person I thought of when I saw this when I woke up. My fiancee woke me up on her way out the door at 7am to let me know.

Anonymous said...

joe(dayton) you need to get a life

Curtis (Indy) said...

The problem really dates back to David Stern. He had a vision of what basketball should be. How it should be about dunking and flash and his perception that, that's what fans want. But the problem is a team that just knows how to play basketball and is reasonably talented is always going to beat a team of athletes with talent. It's why many fans have turned their attention away from the NBA it's because it's not real basketball anymore. USA will continue to fail the further the NBA goes down the tubes and trust me it's not going to get better it's going to get worse. It's so engrained in the youth systems that there is no end in sight. You could more shooters on the court and that would help, but it doesn't help them play defense right or be in the right spots on offense.

Joe (Dayton) said...

I probably do, the only reason that came to mind was Dan's dislike for Coach K. He felt all along at K would get outcoached in this thing and well he did.

I think he was one of the few who wasn't convinced Coack K would turn this around quickly like everyone expected.

I still think we will win the Gold in China

LudaKris said...

Thats right Dan....say it how it is, with noone telling you otherwise. Way to NOT SELL OUT. We often chastize individuals for selling out, but you have done the opposite, best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Coach K picked the players. Coach K picked the offensive and defensive schemes. Coach K trained the team and made (or didn't make) all the in-game moves. How is this loss not significantly his fault?

Maybe the reason our big men didn't play is that he didn't have Wojo there to coach them.

Anonymous said...

Dan I still wish you would say why you hate Duke and Coach K so much besides them "being on TV more than Leave it to Beaver re-runs"

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

Ok, ya damn Coach K haters. Enough! He wasn't the one heaving up ugly 3s, he wasn't the one who shot 59% from the line, and he wasn't the one that couldn't play defense (pick and rolls all night, 63% shooting, are you kidding me?).

The guys just sucked out there. What's K supposed to say? Play better defense? Stop airballing from 25 feet? What the hell?

Nico said...

Come on, you guys love calling yourselves "World Champs", but when you actually have to play other countries and lose, suddenly it’s not important. It’s not our game,
it's the worlds fault, FIBA rules, horrible refs (actually true, but not worse than NBA officiating), send the college kids, stop competing if you can't win? What's that? This is your game, how can you not care? How can ANY pro baller not want to represent their country? If Manu or Gasol pulled a Kobe, he couldn’t go back home…
Some of you got it right, it is Stern’s fault, and sending the NBA champs would probable translate in a championship. The reason team USA has no chemistry is because you start from scratch every time, a new team for every event. Argentina has had the same team for years, the same for Spain, Greece, etc.
The NBA is still the best league out there, but it’s been headed in the wrong direction for years, if Stern really cared he could turn it around, and hoops world domination would be yours again.

Anonymous said...

Shammy didn't have the option to sell out or not, he was fired....

Anonymous said...

Goes to show the Lack Of Heart heart possessed by American NBAers

Anonymous said...

Not surprised at all by this result. Greece were recently European Champions and the US has to realize that the world has caught up to them. They play "TEAM" basketball, a skill which is sorely missing in today's NBA players who can't hit a shot inside of 10 feet.

SpeedyJohn said...

If I recall correctly, the Hawks beat the Spurs one game last season. Does that mean the Hawks were a better team than the Spurs? So, Greece beats the USA in one game...a game in which Greece shoots lights-out. I don't see how that equates to catastrophic failure for USA hoops. As for those questioning the heart of this USA team's players--do you have some special powers of perception the rest of us don't? How can you possibly know what's in their hearts. Seemed to me they really wanted it, but had a bad night. My guess is that if the USA played Greece again tomorrow, Greece would NOT shoot 60-plus percent and the USA would end up putting on a show.

SpeedyJohn said...

Meanwhile, as I return to planet Earth...The plain truth is you can't expect to take 12 players who have never played together and expect to build them into a TEAM in just a few weeks, no matter how talented each individual player might be. The USA may NEVER win another international title simply because we as a society (not just in basketball) place such a high priority on INDIVIDUAL accomplishment. It would take an extraordinary group of players and coaches, each willing to sacrifice (or at least delay) his own future success, to commit several years to TEAM USA. Even if such a group were to be assembled, would we as fans really care? Or, would we still pay more attention to the NBA?

perezgaston said...

If you didn't see this coming ... get your yearly physical done and have them start with a head exam ...

1 - I agree that this team needs to blend ... a month together won't cut it ... Beijing will be the real test if this team is kept together ... although changes are necessary

2 - Coaching is a factor ... Coach K is a motivator ... my pick to coach this team ... Phil Jackson he's a proven winner and a motivator ... the triangle offense for Team USA to breakdown all those zone defenses they see would be a big upgrade

3 - Players ... Team needs more straight up defenders ... not ACC alumni (ex: Battier, Jamison, Paul) ... and 1 or 2 quality Centers ... other teams run layup drills every game it seems ... Who are the shot blockers on this team ?

GP

Anonymous said...

Coah K haters, please shut the F - up! This is NOT Coach K's fault. If Team USA had taken the Gold and somebody posted here that Coach K deserves all the credit for the win, you stupid SOB's would go ape shit and provide a loooong list of reasons why Coach K "had nothing to do with it" and how "it's the players that win games", etc., etc., etc.

All you Duke haters make me laugh. All they do is succeed and all you can do about it is hate them from the sidelines. Truly sad...

FuckingBrian said...

There's an NBA player on the Greek team. Vassilis Spanoulis was just brought over by the Houston ROckets. Granted he hasn't played in an NFL game yet, but he is on an NFL roster.

tarran said...

No shame in losing to a solid team. Any good team can be beat in a one and out contest against a hot team on any given day. The only shame is in missing so many free throws and 3's. Team USA needs the 3 "S"s more Seasoning, more Shooters and better Scouting. They need to know what every player/team likes to do and divise ways to counter what they like to do best.