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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Nightmare Team

The USA "Dream Team" lost in Olympic basketball today to Puerto Rico. Badly. A commenter at Matthew Yglesias named Dana Blakenhorn sums it up nicely:

Don't play defense in America
Can't hit the 3 in America
Get by on rep in America
Puerto Rico beat America

I found it telling that during the final minute of play, TV analyst Doug Collins said something along the lines of, "What a change for [US Coach] Larry Brown, who just two months ago was celebrating a world championship with the Detroit Pistons..." Immediately, I thought: world championship? It's always struck me as obnoxious how the NBA champion is referred to as the "world champion" without having played any teams from outside the continent. The fact is that during the last true "world championship" of basketball, in Indianapolis in 2002, the US finished sixth. Unless the United States can regain its position of international basketball preeminence, I suggest that Collins' phrase be retired from use in describing the team that wins the NBA Finals.