They are called, “The Redeem Team,” but there should be no reason redemption is necessary. After the controversy of 1972 and the boycott of 1980, the USA first lost the gold medal with amateur players in 1988 (the amateurs lost by 6 to the Soviets in the semis). This marked the end of the US fielding an amateur hoops squad for the Olympics, as in 1992, the US sent The Dream Team to Barcelona for a coronation as gold medal champions. The US also lost the Gold Medal in 2004. The last time they won the quadrennial World Championship in Basketball was in 1994 (a drought which includes the embarrassment of 2002 coming in 6th while hosting the tournament).
My question is this, “outside of selfishness, why should the US ever lose in men’s basketball?” Every one of the players on the US team for the past 16 years is an all-star; in fact they are so good they did not even bring the Finals MVP Paul Pierce (of the Boston Celtics) to China for the Olympics. This is not really different than teams in the past who have not won.
Yes a ton of credit goes to Coach K for building the team into a united unit, but why does it take him to bring them together? Where is the pride of country for our NBA players to play for the USA and to play their best for the country that has made them unbelievably rich and famous? We are seeing it now, to a certain extent, but can they get past their selfishness to continue to play to their potential in the future?
A “Redeem Team?” I suppose this basketball team’s mission is to redeem the past teams of being remembered for their selfishness. But can USA basketball keep from making redemption necessary in the future?