Chris Sheridan, you should shut up. All of this stupid buzz about USA basketball being a failure and a disappointment needs to end. Critics of USA basketball all have this belief that USA players, from the NBA, are the best players in the world and should be infallible. Oh really?
Just like our economy is perfect, and our diplomacy is always right, and whatever our president says goes?
This undying faith in the infallibility of ourselves is scary. For one, we aren’t indestructible. We aren’t the best. We used to be, until we messed it up with this arrogant attitude of ours.
Maybe we should realize that we haven’t changed, and the rest of the world has worked harder because of us. Certainly we could understand this concept — being a free market economy that encourages competition. Did we expect to have a monopoly on all talent and all championships worldwide?
Are we that naive?
Last night I stayed up late yet again to watch USA lose to Greece. Our players fell victim to poor coaching, in my opinion. Coach K has done a great job with creating a good environment, but they needed a pure coach last night not a mentor.
If you dissect the game, it came down two a couple of things:
- Greece adjusted by utilizing the pick and roll offense
- Coach K didn’t adjust to that — ever
So you really have to ask a couple questions:
- Why were all of our best rebounders and shot blockers on the bench? You sit Dwight Howard and Elton Brand?!?! Are you retarded? No wonder Greece had more offensive rebounds in the second half. No wonder their point guards had clear paths to the basket.
- Where’s the fricking zone? From an NBA coach, maybe I could understand obliviousness and a reluctance to play zone, but what is this stupid belief that, “oh yeah we can guard them one-on-one”, even though in the NBA nobody has figured out the pick-and-roll either except for teams that have played together for years? And from a college coach that actually understands zone defense? Unbelievable.
- What is this Lebron James 1-on-5 bullshit? Don’t we have point guards to bring the ball down? Lebron, please, don’t play 1-on-5 on a zone defense then start complaining to the refs when you can’t penetrate from the top of the key. You’re stupid.
- Where’s the full-court press? We saw it once in their 20 minute run. You have so many players and 20 minutes to catch up so why not press early? Use your depth. Drive them crazy. Don’t just sit back against the wall — fight! God, where’s the fight? Players should have just pressed on their own if their stupid coaches didn’t tell them to.
Overall, it was a good run. I think they will learn from this and move on. I’m sure when they watch the tapes they’ll realize their lack of adjustments and complete obliviousness, which lasted just about 20 minutes — during that time Greece went from 12 down to up as much as 14.
Next time I think they’ll react a bit quicker. It’s okay to go to a zone, guys. Just play the game and stop playing scared. A big part of that might be supporting our team better, and offering constructive criticism instead of the, “you’re a disappointment to your country” routine that is completely uncalled for and detrimental to progress.
They played a good tournament, man. Played hard except for a 15-20 minute stretch when their coach failed them, and they let their youth and nerve get to them. Let’s not crucify them for it.
USA Basketball isn’t perfect, and they don’t have to be. As soon as we start ditching the idea that we are infallible, we can learn how to be better. If we don’t, we will fail and point fingers.