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More On The Olympic Team

As you know by now, the men's Olympic team cam perilously close to choking
against Lithuania. Here's
a great article about the game, and the team.
Also, the women played
for the Gold last night and won.
The men play France on Sunday, and
thus Crawford Palmer is assured of at least a silver medal.

Why have the men been so weak? Well, the article has some suggestions. So
does our reader, Matthew.

Dear DBR Guys,

Your coverage of the US men's basketball team has been right on the money.
These guys aren't very impressive but, it many ways, it isn't the fault of
the players or Rudy T. The whole strategy is flawed. The problems with US
basketball before the pros stepped in had nothing to do with talent. Never.
Not once.

We (the US) ALWAYS brought superior talent to bear during international
competition. The reason the rest of the world caught up with the US in the
first place was because of continuity. Most of the the guys on these other
teams play and practice with one another far more than any NBA or
collegiate mix-n-match player ever could. That why the college guys started

We brought in pros, jacked up the talent quotient, and started blowing guys
out again. It was great, but the solution really had nothing to do with the
underlying problem. Just like pouring nitrous into a car, the effect of the
pros was stunning and immediate, but was destined to soon burn out. I always
thought that the rest of the world would catch up sooner rather than later,
and, and indeed, they have.

National teams where 85-90 percent of the teammates practice and play
together on a consistent basis will always be more competitive. Eventually
even the NBA talent gap will wither in the face of it.

My soultion would be to take the top four or five college teams and offer
them the option of representing th US in the olympics. This would make the
US consistently competitive AND is more in keeping with the spirit of the

I mean, honestly, a good Duke, Arizona, or UNC team could go in and, if they
didn't lose their heads from hero-worship, whip this incarnation of the
Dream Team rather easily I believe.

Thanks again for the great coverage!