basketball

Olympics 2012

A Perspective on

The USA Men’s Basketball Team of The London Olympics 2012

          I have heard some compelling arguments for the allowance of NBA professionals in The Olympics before, but they could be cutting their own throats by slaughtering an opponent the way they dispatched Nigeria yesterday in a meaningless game leading up to medal games: If the reasoning to allow NBA “professionals” into the spectacle was because other countries train & develop their basketball teams in a non-amateur way, then pressure should have been brought to bear on that problem to ensure that only “amateur” athletes of all countries be allowed to compete in the games.

          But what the USA Team did to beat Nigeria by such a huge score is ridiculous! No, those who might argue in opposition to me are correct _ I agree with you that you never want to tell an athlete, or a team, to play at less than their level best. But they brought future actions against “professional” athletes allowed to compete in The Olympics upon themselves. The NBA changed the rules of the game because of Wilt Chamberlain being so much better than everybody else on the court; the NCAA changed the rules of college basketball because of Lew Alcindor’s superiority, making dunks illegal! Rule changes are inevitable after dispatching a team in a meaningless game by a score of 156-73 !

          That the USA took 46 3-Point Shots is amazing!  Are you kidding me?  Carmelo Anthony made 10 3-point shot alone!  Startling.  And he came off the bench!  That they made 29 is jaw dropping crazy!  Okay, Kobe Bryant starts the game with 14 points, finishes with 16: I get it, Coach K went to “the bench” of players still better than almost anybody on the planet!  The argument driving into work today I found humorous: Coach K is probably fuming mad that they gave up 73 points!  Really?  To give up an absurd amount of points to the other team is more absurd than running up a score to beat the opponent by more than double their point tally?  They are “amateur” athletes!  Their spirit was likely broken when they were down by 20, 30 – at some point the effort they were giving turned to apathy, annoyance, maybe even anger.  Did any of their players tell their coach they would prefer to remain on the bench, since the game was pointless?  I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that: Would you?

          Swimmers like Michael Phelps can accumulate an absurd number of medals: A basketball team will provide their country maybe ONE medal! And basketball isn’t even in the medal rounds yet. This game was merely for seeding, right? So, who cares? Parents, politicians, fans… of amateur athletics – that’s who cares. This is offensive. That basketball helps pay the bills to ensure that The Olympics remain profitable is a good reason for this exhibition to occur; but, is it really a fair “competition” if such a wide disparity of ability exists? The invitation to change the rules is being made by the team with everything to lose by being so inconsiderate of others on such a world stage. Being discussed is only allowing those under the age of 24 to participate: Will that then eventually effect the other sports fields? Or just basketball? be careful what you ask for! Jordyn Wieber was knocked out of this year’s gymnastics finals due to a rule change – only 2 gymnasts per country could advance! How unfortunate that the former Olympic CHAMPION would be unable to perform, even though her scores by the previous, long-term rules would have easily allowed her to advance.

          This was not a smart thing for the USA Basketball Team to do if they hope to be able to continue performing in The Olympics in the future – not smart at all.

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  1. runsvold
    4 August 2012 at 11:36 pm

    So, then, Lithuania gave them a scare, or did Team USA relax after the Nigeria game?

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