Thursday, September 28, 2023

When defeats are no longer an exception for the United States

Two sentences can be summarized the passage of the US team through the World Cupwho had to face Canada today in search of bronze, which will be no consolation for either of them. “It’s not 1992 anymore.”said Steve Kerr, the multiple NBA champion who has yet to win in his first appearance on the US bench. “Same sport, different game”said BostjanNeighbor, former NBA and FIBA ​​basketball player. Both sentences attempt to explain that the Americans didn’t win the gold medal, as if that were most often the case, when in fact the exact opposite is true. In fact, they have only won four titles in five finals since 1982. In five more editions they fell by the wayside. In other words, losing is no longer an exception.

Probably, Many still believe that the United States can win simply because its players wear the NBA label attached to the back. The problem is not so much that they present bad teams, as was not the case in this World Cup, but rather that they play as a team, under different rules and against rivals who have long since stopped showing them respect want to beat them because they know they can. While the European teams mainly try to showcase their best weapons in each tournament, The United States is prioritizing the Olympics and this is preventing it from maintaining the stability necessary to push through its proposal. and getting used to a style of basketball they only encounter every other year.

In this year’s squad, Kerr gathered players who were already All Stars or will soon be All Stars, but as on other occasions they paid for this lack of adaptation to the environment, for being alien to tactical proposals full of variants and in which collective feeling for the game. And since in the physical area, Europe and the FIBA ​​world have greatly reduced the distances The United States can only win if their talent, their ability to put the ball through the basket, make the difference.. However, it is worth remembering that four of the five members of last season’s NBA’s top quintet and eight of the final 24 All Star participants are ineligible to play for the United States.

However, far-reaching changes are already being announced or predicted for the coming year, a trend that is not only justified because of the defeat against Germany in Manila. For example, from the team that won the World Cup in Bilbao in 2014, only four players repeated at the Rio Games two years later. And from the team that finished seventh at the world event in China in 2019, two players remained for Tokyo. Availability, if not special desires, have determined the reaction of the great stars of the NBA, which was only unanimous in 2008, when this spirit of redemption was born after the failures of 2004 and 2006.

Now The new calendar forces USA Basketball to send teams of blue-collar workers and worthy basketball players to the FIBA ​​and World Cup windows is less of a priority than ever. To think that the big stars of the NBA, Lebron, Durant, Curry, Lillard, etc., will sacrifice another summer to once again demonstrate their hegemony in Paris is perhaps too optimistic, especially since most of them passed with flying colors are in their 30s and probably don’t feel the need to flaunt their physique and reputation or win any more medals at this point. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to give another chance to a large part of the young group that took part in this World Cup and has already received the necessary information about what it takes to win in the “other basketball”. If they are stars, there could be a half-dozen or more in this Steve Kerr-led group in future All-Star lineups. But as the coach of the Golden State Warriors emphasized, the distances have been shortened, “and the game is now on.” Basketball plays a very good role in many parts of the world.” That is not their merit, but the merit of others.

World Nation News Desk
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