Wednesday, August 13, 2008

USA Hoops Still Could Be USA Oops

Must-read from TrueHoop's Henry Abbott on the '92 Dream Team vs. the '08 Redeem Team.

It hits on something that has been plaguing USA Hoops at least since 2004 and seems to even today: They continue to run USA Basketball as a marketing initiative first, an a winning product second (even with the 3-year commitment and other various modifications).

If they truly put together the team most likely to win in international competition, it would have a much different make-up -- fewer superstars, more guys whose games translate. For god's sake: Jump-shooters. And the fact that their best jumpshooter -- Redd -- sits on the bench most of the game speaks volumes.

They should win gold, regardless. Unfortunately, a gold won't help fix the institutional issues. All it will do is enable the existing philosophy to thrive -- right up until the next iteration of USA Basketball loses in 2012. The rest of the world is only getting better.

-- D.S.


Ken Dynamo said...

why shouldnt they be run as a marketing event? id rather they be there to popularize the NBA then to win a gold medal. what does a gold medal prove, that better basketbal players are born in the US than other countries? that america is better than other countries? i care not for olympic gold, nor would i hope do the US basketball team members, who get their salaries paid by the NBA, not by international exhibition games. let the other countries win. they care more and it will increase basketball's popularity in their country, hopefully leading to better players from those countries and thus better competition in the NBA.

i care about north american pro sports, not jingoistic diversions like olympic basketball.

BobbyStompy said...

From the column today...

"USA Oops: Sure, USA Oops can pound Angola, but what about nemesis Greece, up next? If 3s are the problem, why isn't Michael Redd getting more minutes, let alone shots? Fans are now getting a taste of classic Coach K: Getting out-coached, despite a huge talent advantage."

How do you define 'outcoached'? Winning by 30+?

Redd hasn't played because they haven't needed him. Now, after bashing USA Hoops for the past few weeks, you're putting yourself in a position where if they get gold, you'll just gloat about how they might lose in the next Olympics. This is insane. Let the games play out before you cement your opinions on this squad.