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Team USA

This looks like a pretty solid roster to me, given the number of players who (for understandable reasons) didn't want to participate. I feel the team is a little thin in terms of real point guards and could use some Mike Bibby. And what's Luke Ridnour doing? I thought he was around to provide token whiteness but Brad Miller and Adam "The Great White Hope" Morrison have that covered.

The real scandal here is that Mike D'Antoni isn't the coach. This is a team of NBA players who are going to be playing by international basketball rules. D'Antoni has had success coaching NBA players and has had success coaching teams playing under international rules. Coach K is, well, neither of those things. Is the idea that if they players don't get paid it must be like college? That doesn't make much sense.

Also no Iverson. Arguably, a penetration-heavy scoring point guard is way less useful to Team USA than he is to his NBA squad. But Gilbertology's on the team and if he's not exactly the poor man's Iverson then he's certainly the somewhat less prosperous man's Answer. Of course by 2008 that may well not be the case. But Antawn Jamison? Team was composed by hardcore Wizards fans, I guess.

March 1, 2006 | Permalink


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AI deserves to be there almost solely for his role in 2004. I'm not sure I've prouder of one of our guys than him willing us to win the Bronze after the disappointment of losing in the semis.

Oh, Bruce Bowen and Luke Ridnour?

Posted by: Pooh | Mar 1, 2006 2:14:41 AM

I'm not sure that any of the inclusions are too odd -- 22 rather than 12, only Americans, and a slice of the elite won't go. That makes the idea that people with projectable characteristics for international play -- a pass & 3 PG, a defend and shoot the 3 perimeter stopper -- could get to training camp entirely reasonable.

And that also makes Jamison, whose sudden 3 point shot and ability to post up in transition as a quick 4 who can run the floor, a quite logical decision.

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 1, 2006 7:17:22 AM

Well, it doesn't look like what I would've chosen; [shrug]. I'd be interested to know what people were invited but turned it down. Especially, there's a number of people who I would've asked before Ridnour (I mean, not to stick with Whitey, but how about Hinrich?!), and even though he'll be pushing into old-ness by the time of the actual Olympics, I think Colangelo's crazy (which he might be) if he didn't ask Sheed. I'm not crazy about the bigs on this roster - but I'm not sure I ever would be. And yeah, D'Antoni should be the coach.

Posted by: Quarterican | Mar 1, 2006 10:03:57 AM

"Also no Iverson. "

Time for BubbaChuck to get yet another another F.A.M.E. tattoo on his slender frame. I'll let you work out what that acronym stands for your self

And hopefully it will provide some more motivation for Iverson to rip up the league this year and next.

(A bit slow getting the acronym? It's "fuck all my enemies")


"But Gilbertology's on the team and if he's not exactly the poor man's Iverson then he's certainly the somewhat less prosperous man's Answer."

I've got nothing against the relentless advance of Gilbertology, but it is indeed odd not to include BubbaChuck along side him.

Too many kids. Too few vets.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 1, 2006 10:56:11 AM

um... exactly what has Mike D'Antoni ever won that would make him a better coach for team USA than Coach K? Last I checked Steve Nash wasn't playing for team USA. Which do you think is a better indicator of coaching ability, being the best coach in the Italian league or being the best coach in US college basketball? Maybe it's just me, but I'd take the NCAA.

Also, so D'Antoni was successful coaching Italian players -- so what? The point here is that the coach needs to be able to get _American_ players to play as a team, players who have had the NBA-style of play drilled into them since they were four years old. That's what coach K has been doing for twenty years (Elton Brand is a perfect example) and that's why he's the right man here.

Also Kobe, LeBron, etc. (to say nothing of Brand, Battier, and Redick) are dying to play for Coach K -- he's a draw for the top players. D'Antoni, to put it mildly, is quite clearly not.

And D'Antoni's on the staff anyway, so what exactly is the big deal? There's no "scandal" here.

Posted by: right | Mar 1, 2006 11:01:57 AM

Right, there are so many things wrong with what you just said. First of all, I'm the biggest Duke bobo there is, but saying that Duke plays anything resembling NBA style basketball or that players who leave Duke are NBA ready flies in the face of the great weight of the evidence.

Second, a reason that we've been less succesful in international play of late is that various rule differences (wider lane, shorter arc, no illegal D) make NBA-style post/pick'n'roll based basketball less effective. Meanwhile, D'antoni has been succesul coaching under that ruleset and has been succesful coaching NBA players.

Or am I being subtly trolled here?

Posted by: Pooh | Mar 1, 2006 12:18:32 PM


Are you kidding me? No small part of Coach K's success in recent years has come from the fact that he gets the best players. Does he have coaching ability? Sure. But his recruiting ability is even better. Moreover, it's barely clear that he can prepare anyone to play against pros; for years, the knock on Dookies was that they couldn't play in the NBA. Finally, Coach K is a Red, and likely to snap and kill someone when he sees so many fer'ners around him.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Mar 1, 2006 12:24:05 PM

No Shaq, no Ben Wallace, no Tim Duncan, no Kevin Garnett. Brad Miller? This is a team of power forwards and would-be Michael Jordans. It's got bigtime talent, no doubt, and thank God this time they brought a born three-point shooter (Lewis), but the international squads with legitimate seven-footers are not going to be intimidated. Is it coincidence that all the great American big men decided not to play? Or too much pressure? Tim Duncan didn't look to be having fun last time around...

Posted by: Kit Stolz | Mar 1, 2006 1:13:05 PM

Yeah. For all that those international bigs are known to be outside shooters, they're...uhm...big, quite many of them. That's why the outcome of the whittling process worries me (and why I wish Sheed were there)...I'm not convinced Dwight Howard can chase Nowitzki-esque fellas around the perimeter, and last year's playoffs notwithstanding, I don't relish the idea of The Matrix trying to get up in the grill of some 7'1" Lithuanian. But Shaq and Duncan and Garnett didn't want to do it. Oh well.

Posted by: Quarterican | Mar 1, 2006 1:19:48 PM

The deadly mid- and long-range shooters I would have preferred to see on the team all seem to have bailed: Michael Redd (on the training roster but unavailable for the actual competition--and I don't know why they're including players on the training roster who they know aren't going to be available for the competition), Richard Hamilton, or Ray Allen (turned them down).

But what is Chris Paul doing there instead of Ben Gordon (42% 3-point shooting this year as compared to Paul's 30%)?

Posted by: Alexander "Benjamins" Hamilton | Mar 1, 2006 2:26:50 PM

Well, shooting is big, but it isn't 100 % of the equation. Paul is so much better than Gordan at everything else that Gordon's edge in outside shooting doesn't tip the scale.

Posted by: Steve | Mar 1, 2006 2:38:47 PM

What is the deal with Ridnour? Although he has improved his play quite a bit this year, I don't see how he made the list.

Posted by: a | Mar 1, 2006 4:29:49 PM

I like that this is made up of young guys - I think older players are too liable to break down (or just be unable to play really hard) after having played a full NBA season. But the pick of Ridnour is really odd. I mean, Seattle just traded for Earl Watson due to the fact that they're unhappy with Ridnour, right?

At least there are no Nets. Phew.

Posted by: Al | Mar 1, 2006 5:16:43 PM

BIG quality win for the Sixers in Houston.

Look out New Jersey. Since the all-star game, the Sixers have looked good as a team for the first time all season. Iguodala, Korver, and Ollie have finally found some roles that make sense.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 1, 2006 11:43:07 PM

"At least there are no Nets. Phew."

It's really true. You don't want any of your players going unless they're in their early 20's.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 1, 2006 11:44:12 PM

Isn't Ben Gordon a British citizen?

Posted by: next big thing | Mar 2, 2006 1:06:32 PM

According to his NBA bio he moved from London to the U.S. shortly after birth. It would surprise me if he weren't a U.S. citizen.

Posted by: Alexander "Benjamins" Hamilton | Mar 2, 2006 1:48:58 PM

A saga of lies and deceit

The foreign policy of the U.S. gradually became a saga of lies and
deceit, of greed and vanity, of ignorance and insensitivity, of
selfishness and cruelty, of victimisation and injustice, of bribery and
exploitation. And mankind learnt, through the U.S. experience, that
affluence and power, combined with ignorance, human insensitivity and
selfishness, was the greatest WMD that humanity would ever experience.

It was this WMD that destroyed human civilisation on earth.
Fortunately, for the human species, by this time, the international
search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, also headquartered in the
U.S., had discovered our planet, Eurotopea, as one where the atmosphere
and other conditions conducive to life, were similar to those on Earth.
Mankind also developed means of travelling to Eurotopea.

That is how our ancestors came here. We must continuously remind
ourselves that we do not do a U.S. here, for there is no other planet
to escape to that we know of as of now. That is why this lesson becomes

The ten cardinal sins of the U.S. that destroyed human civilisation on
Earth are given below. (The term "assassins" is a corrupted form of
"U.S.'s sins"). The examples given below are only illustrative and far
from exhaustive.

1. Double standards: The U.S. continued to trade with, what it called,
rogue nations, while preventing other countries around the world from
doing such trading. It invoked the charter of the United Nations (U.N.)
when such an action was in its interests but it totally ignored the
U.N. and acted against its mandate whenever it wished to do so.

The U.S. had the Earth's largest stock of WMD - nuclear, chemical and
biological - and was the only country ever to use nuclear weapons,
and the first one to use chemical weapons; yet it did not want any
other nation to have any such weapon even for self defence, unless it
had full control over the nation or a strategic alliance with it, as
was the case with Israel and Japan.

The U.S. helped the governments (as in Chile) that violated all human
rights when it suited it, but it did nothing against countries (such as
South Africa during the days of apartheid) that violated basic human
rights with a vengeance.

2. Lies: Exactly 500 years ago, the U.S. waged a devastating war
against Iraq in which a large number of innocent men, women and
children were killed and disabled for life, on the pretext that Iraq
had stockpiles of WMD and was harbouring terrorists, knowing fully well
that none of this was true. By this time, the U.S. came to be regarded
as a model of spreading around the world inaccurate and false news
through its control of the press and media.

3. Establishment of a nexus led by the U.S. between its own government,
other pliable governments around the world, the multinational
corporations (MNCs), and bureaucracy: The U.S. became the greatest
bribe-giver in human history on Earth. It corrupted governments and
bureaucracy all over the world, with enormous harm to the common
people. It supported unethical multinational corporations like Union
Carbide that led to the famous Bhopal Gas Tragedy in 1983, and Monsanto
that (for example) attempted to control seed production in countries
such as India through marketing seeds of doubtful quality for the
Indian conditions.

It helped the multinationals, by controlling international
organisations, to find a market in developing countries for those
products that had either been banned or were considered inferior to
similar newer products in the U.S. and in other developed countries
that were its allies. Not only that, it prevented the production of
these products within the developing countries by "bribing" the
authorities concerned. An example would be the oral polio vaccine for
which the market ceased to exist in the U.S. and other developed
countries by the end of the 20th century; it was, therefore,
recommended to be used in the developing countries in preference to the
safer, better and more effective injectable polio vaccine that was
being used in the developed countries.

4. Exploitation: It forced, through bribery of one kind or another,
pliable governments and bureaucracy around the world to agree to
signing international agreements such as GATT, TRIPS and UPOV which
were heavily weighted in favour of the U.S. and the other developed
countries at that time, and equally heavily weighted against the
developing countries. The purpose of these agreements was to allow
exploitation of developing countries by the U.S. and its allies in such
a way that the U.S. eventually acquired total control over the destiny
of the people of the developing countries and their enormous and
enviable resources such as oil, mineral, and plant wealth.

5. Aggressive behaviour and lack of sensitivity: Between 1945 and 2003,
the U.S. bombed China, Korea, Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, Congo, Peru,
Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, El Salvador,
Nicaragua, Iran, Panama, Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Sudan,
Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. Not only did the U.S. invade Iraq in 2003
without any viable reason whatsoever, it also ensured the destruction
of one of the most precious heritages of mankind in terms of
manuscripts and artefacts dating back to several millennia. This act
put to shame the burning of the Alexandria library by the Romans, some
two millennia earlier.

6. Murders: One of the declared policies of the U.S. was to murder
world leaders that were inconvenient. One well-known victim of such a
policy was Allende of a small country called Chile.

7. Surreptitious control of agriculture: The U.S. realised that
agriculture was the major means of sustenance of a large number (say 70
per cent) of people in the populous developing countries such as India
and Nigeria. Therefore, to obtain control over these countries, one
only needed to control their agriculture which, in practical terms,
meant controlling seed and agro-chemicals production. The U.S. used
every possible means - illegal, immoral or unethical - to acquire
this control. Its companies attempted to market in the 1980s, totally
ineffective agro-chemicals in India, through high-pressure advertising.
If these fake chemicals had been used to the extent to which the U.S.
companies wanted them to be used, the agricultural productivity in the
country would have gone down to a level which would have demanded
dependence on the U.S. for supply of food.

8. Violation of international law and of human rights: The U.S.
violated the provisions of at least 15 articles of the international
convention concerning prisoners, in its prison camp in Guantanamo Bay
in the later half of the 20th century.

Even in the early part of the 21st century, the U.S. continued to
provide a large subsidy to its agriculturists against the provisions of
WTO which it had itself created. It waged in 2003 a war against Iraq
that was illegal and against all international norms.

9. Creation of terrorists, guerrilla warfare, fundamentalists and
dictators: The later half of the 20th century on Earth was
characterised by the emergence of terrorists, guerrilla warfare,
fundamentalists and dictators, and the U.S. was responsible for them
all. It, with the help of another country called the U.K., created
Israel, throwing out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were
living in that area for thousands of years. That led to the evolution
of terrorism as Palestinians had no other recourse to fight the above
inhuman and illegal action. Later, the U.S. invaded Vietnam and lost
badly there, but only after Vietnamese had invented guerrilla warfare.
The U.S. created terrorists and dictators like Osama bin Laden of
Afghanistan, Ayatullah Komeni of Iran, and Saddam Hussein of Iraq; it
is amusing that, in the later years, the U.S. waged war against the
same people that it had brought to power when it suited its interests.

10. Victimisation and intolerance of dissent: The early 1950s in the
U.S. were characterised by the emergence of a doctrine called
McCarthyism which called for liquidation (de facto or de jure) of
anyone suspected of any contact or relationship with any other person
suspected of having any connection or sympathies with any communist
organisation or ideology.

Posted by: anyone | Mar 5, 2006 2:12:12 PM

i'd just wanna know what this last bunch o'bullshiae has to do with this topic..

Posted by: gdf | Mar 19, 2006 3:45:03 PM

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