The U.S. Olympic Basketball roster was recently announced, and already the debate has begun over whether this year’s squad can end the gold medal drought that has lingered on since the 2000 Olympics due to some questionable roster selections.
“You know, if I squint my eyes hard enough, you kinda start resembling J.J. Redick…”
Here’s a list of the announced roster:
Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Michael Redd, Deron Williams, Dwayne Wade, Jason Kidd
Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Tayshaun Prince, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony
The biggest concern that sportswriters seem to have is that we’re going too small and relying too much on athleticism and will have trouble defending the pick-n-roll against bigger teams (see: Loss to Greece in semi-finals of 2006 FIBA World Championships) and in turn, will also get into early foul trouble (FIBA’s fouling out is the same as college, 5 fouls as opposed to the NBA’s 6-foul rule)…Where else did we see this before? Oh yeah, those past few years where Duke failed to get beyond the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament!
My biggest gripe is actually with regards to the Jason Kidd selection. Sure, he’s fundamentally sound but he’s just a little too old and slow and appears to be past his prime. We may have been better off taking Paul Pierce, I dunno why he’s been black-listed as a result of the 2002 FIBA World Championships debacle (where the U.S. placed sixth and the wall of invincibility finally crumbled to the ground). Pierce would also give us another pure shooter whom can be counted upon to knock down a few perimeter shots when needed because as of now, Michael Redd and Kobe Bryant are the only two who seem to provide such firepower.
Either way though, my eyes will be glued to the TV set come August 10th when Coach K’s “Duke National Team” makes its debut against China…Which reminds me, what the hell was the IOC thinking not putting Iran in our group? Everybody knows that nothing makes for better TV ratings than a matchup between two nations with political tensions against each other.