Is the Dream Team about to Become a Nightmare Again?
Brandon Anderson
207

OK — but you ignore the fact that 2004 (and, worse the 2002 FIBA tournament) happened because the infrastructure wasn’t in place. The new structure really builds a barrier against your “What if 2016 was 2004” scenario and has created a “next man up” environment where guys already experienced in FIBA ball are ready to play and the coaches up and down the pipeline are running the same kind of stiffling defense, running and read and react offense that the Senior National Team is running. We now have a program akin to the ones that produced the golden generations in Argentina and Spain but our pool is 10x deeper. Your piece, and many Olympic basketball pieces recently, completely ignore what happens in the off Olympic years at the FIBA World Cup where we have been sending similarly “inferior” teams to compete against the World’s best and crushing everyone. Of course in a single elimination tournament we can be beat, that would happen even if we sent our best. In fact, it’s kind of interesting that we’ve gotten tested more when we send our Olympic A squads then when we send our FIBA World Cup B Squads. Maybe the A squads aren’t actually our best teams in the team sense of the word. The 2000, 2002 and 2004 and even 2006 in the first Colangelo/K year had lots of close games and a bunch of losses. In 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, the only time we’ve had any kind of gut check was in the Olympic gold medal games against Spain. Every other game has been a fairly easy W.

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