Many thought that the team that Jerry Coangelo & Coach K built and brought to Istanbul was a Silver medal team at best, but I begged to differ. I was never worried, not for one moment that Team USA would fail to bring home the Gold. And on the first NFL Sunday of the season, I celebrate basketball, and what our country accomplished against a good Turkey team.
Why I never faltered in my belief in our team? For one, Coach K is a great, great coach, and aside from the X’s & O’s, he manages egos well. What went on unnoticed during the selection process was the idea of building a “team.” Due to the frenzied free agency that took place this past Summer, it was safe to assume that the top names in basketball would forgo making the trip overseas to play in the FIBA Championships. So Coach K swooped up KD, and basically built a Euro style team around him, with some shooters, hustlers, and speed. Take a look at the team the US presented, and all though there were plenty of All-Stars and franchise cornerstones, they all happily took a back seat to KD and the winning cause. And quite simply put, they became a “team”. Once that was established, KD led the way, Odom held it down, and the cast played their part.
It’s similar to when the US lost in Athens (despite winning a Bronze, we chalk it up as a loss), many threw around the idea of just sending the NBA Champions to the Olympics. At the time, the team would have been the Detroit Pistons, the epitome of a team. There’s no question in my mind that the Pistons would have won Gold that year. Of course, in 2008 the Redeem Team willingly formed to take back what was rightfully ours in Beijing. This time around, we didn’t have the luxury of sending the absolute best players in the planet to Istanbul, so Jerry Coangelo and Coach K basically built the 2004 Detroit Pistons 2.0, bigger and bolder. The team was predicated on defense, and our undersized, scrappy, athletic group of kids shut teams down and suffocated them.
The result, we remain on top of the world in the sport of basketball! USA! USA! USA!
September 13th, 2010 at 8:28 am
Terrific performance by team USA in Turkey ! However the sad thing about this all will be that in 2012 (Olympics) many of the guys we saw on this team might not be there for the tournament . Because by then the likes of Wade , Bosh , Stoudemire and LBJ will want in. And that to my mind is somewhat unfair given the fact that they were unwilling to commit to the cause . Instead they went chasing after more money to add to their already burgeoning bank balances merely because of their impending free agency status at the time !
tophatal …………. 🙂
September 13th, 2010 at 9:26 am
I’m not sure if it was because they were so young or that KD is just that good, but the team had no problem playing under him. It was amazing to see how unselfish they were in the FIBA play. Nobody was complaining, and they took the Championship home for the first time since 94! I hope Curry can talk KD into coming to GS! Yeah right haha…
September 13th, 2010 at 9:38 am
They knew that they had to defer to him (Durant) or they wouldn’t have stood a chance of winning the tournament outright .
tophatal ………. 🙂
September 13th, 2010 at 11:57 am
Yeah Durant might have stepped into the #1 spot after this one. He’s amazing!
September 13th, 2010 at 2:23 pm
Durant is more of a polished player than Kobe was in his first three season’s in the NBA . And it shows not just in his skill-set but his maturity on and off the court also .
tophatal ………….. 🙂
September 13th, 2010 at 4:07 pm
He sure has, but will his head swell like Lebron’s did in his mid twenties?!? It doesn’t seem like it will, but with all the press sucking him off lately you never know!
September 14th, 2010 at 11:40 am
I look at this way were he (Durant) say in one of the major markets then that’d be the case that’s why I think he’s happy where is in Oklahoma with the Thunder . He kinda reminds me of Tim Duncan in many ways . He simply goes about his business like the consummate professional that he is and simply let’s his game do all the talking on and off the field of play. Nothing wrong in that is there ?
tophatal ………. 🙂
September 15th, 2010 at 9:04 pm
That’s a great comparison in terms of his professional demeanor. KD is like TD –
September 16th, 2010 at 10:38 am
I’ve no doubt in my mind that Durant will win a championship somewhere along in his future. The Thunder management have gone about doing things the right way and it bodes well for the team in the future !