Congrats to USA Hoops, but I don't think that USA Basketball has created anything especially sustainable. That's the lead of today's SN column. And here's today's DS.com director's cut:
Kobe likely won't be back in 2012. Neither will LeBron or D-Wade. Same with Coach K. They're all taking their success of "redemption" and leaving behind a legacy of... what, exactly?
The 3-year "commitment?" Anyone who watched the gold-medal game knows that the 3-year commitment isn't as important as finding the right on-court tactics and right personnel.
In 2008, USA Hoops got by with sheer talent -- particularly at the top (as predicted, Kobe was the ultimate difference between gold and failure). But that isn't replicable.
But Kobe, LeBron, D-Wade and Coach K can all walk away proclaiming they did their job and reclaimed basketball gold for the USA. I think the job has only just begun.
Meanwhile, who else thinks the Giants will call Michael Strahan about a comeback, now that the D-line is down one Pro Bowl player before the season even starts...
And in MLB, how about Rich Harden as co-Cy with CC Sabathia? Because Harden is just as impressive...
I'm starting my week-long college football preview in the SN column (continued here, of course). Today's topic: Top storylines for the season, and it won't surprise you that No. 1 is "BCS Mess...again?" But it also includes "This season's Hawaii," "This season's Kansas" and "This season's Tebow." (And, no, it's not Tebow.)
Complete SN column here, with more coming later.
UPDATE: This post on Gawker about the Nike-China-Blogger-Liu situation is a fascinating breakdown of a pretty fascinating side story.