The 2016 Olympics in Rio are coming up, and I haven’t heard anyone talk about the USA Olympic basketball team like we used to. Is it me or is this whole ‘Dream Team’ or ‘NBA Stacked’ team losing its luster? This is the roster for Rio…
Kevin Durant( Oklahoma City); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Paul George (Indiana Pacers ); Draymond Green (Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); and Klay Thompson (Warriors).
Outside of Durant, Anthony, and Irving these aren’t exactly household names like they used to be. Bird, Magic, and Jordan aren’t walking through the door anymore. Kobe is retiring , and Lebron seems over it.
I have noticed more and more superstars that declined to play like Lebron James, Chris Paul, Steph Curry, etc. Now I know it’s a long 82 game season and some of these players are coming off a high(James) and a low(Curry). Too many of these players have been injured for part of the year and need rest. Some of that I completely understand. Part of me doesn’t.
Do NBA players or quite frankly Americans care about this anymore?
I remember as a 12-year-old kid I couldn’t wait to see Team USA play in Barcelona. That was the most ridiculous collection of talent you will ever and never see again. With a team of Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, , and David Robinson, how could we lose? Now I know Bird and Magic were towards the end of their careers, but the rest weren’t. When I saw them dismantle Angola I said to my little brother this team and our country are invincible. The skill and pride they showed me still sticks with me to this day. They made USA mean something on those jerseys. That ‘Dream Team’ will never be forgotten.
‘Dream Team 2’ was a pretty damn good with Charles Barkley, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Reggie Miller, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, Scottie Pippen, Mitch Richmond, David Robinson, and John Stockton.
As I got older around the 2000 and 2004 Olympics I seemed to not care as much as I used to. I feel when I got older it seemed to not matter as much to me as it used to. I liked watching the Olympics, but not loving it as in the past. When I watched Team USA struggle to a bronze in 2004 I didn’t know what to make of it. Part of me was sad , and part of me seemed to not be surprised. I came to the realization that all good things come to an end, and times change.
Here is what happened. After the USA won gold in Sydney teams got closer in games and didn’t lose by 70. There are reasons why. The talent of Team USA has declined since 1992. Its true, you and I know it. There will never be a team composed of that ever again. That team practically had the 3 best players in the HISTORY of the NBA on it. How can you add that every four years? You can’t, my friends. Team USA only get to practice for a few months together. The other countries in the world play as a team for years. They play in more leagues, tournaments, and exhibitions than the USA.
The talent level overseas has developed more quickly then I think few people have realized. You had players like Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, and Yao Ming rise from obscurity. These players and teams watch us play and have learned to adapt to our style of play and their own. Team USA never did that. They never get to shoot from the International 3pt line here, and there are different rules and regulations that they aren’t accustomed to , but should be if you ask me.
To countries around the world the USA on the front of a jersey is a bull’s eye. As a country we Americans get arrogant about sports, because we claim to have the best athletes. Teams want to beat us and its more of a thrill for them then most Americans seem to care. That is something that is sorely lacking in the USA today. Heart, soul, and a thrill.
That is the part that puzzles me. I don’t think Americans care about this like they used to. Too much of a good thing starts to wear off eventually and people get over it. I don’t see the pride and enthusiasm players and fans used to have for the Olympics anymore. It’s honestly a shame, but I get it. People have lives and too many situations going on in their day-to-day life.
This 2016 Team USA team seems like they will be a fun group to watch and I hope fans will get a thrill like I will when they see that USA on the jersey in Rio. They have some great young talent that you need to get used to. You will enjoy Draymond Green’s enthusiasm, Jimmy Butler’s determination, and watching Paul George smile will win you over I promise. I don’t know what the future holds for the Olympic basketball team, but this fan is ready to believe again in something. I hope you will too! Go USA!