Since the Dream Team launched international basketball into the moon, the heart and soul of American Olympic dominance has been on the hardwood. For 10 years, red, white and blue was spray painted over a 29.5 circumference and bounced around the court before it was able to dry. Football may be America’s bread and butter, but basketball was its Olympic meat and potatoes.
That was until it all spiraled into a pool of gasoline. In 2002 the US team competed and lost in the World Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana. The team placed sixth in international competition, and it was the first time that an international team was able to defeat a US team composed of NBA players. As embarrassing as the loss was, the defeat was labeled a fluke and supporters pointed to the many NBA stars that declined to play.
But in 2004 Olympics “The Nightmare Team” took the court in Athens, Greece. Nine starters from the qualifying team declined to play, and the team brought home a bronze medal and cold, grey shame. American Olympic dominance on the court was officially cracked, and the its aura of invincibility shattered.
American basketball became and international symbol of American arrogance, and the whole world enjoyed watching the ground coming to kiss the yanks in the jaw.
An overhaul was needed to amputate the invading infection, and the entire program was revamped. Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski were placed as the heads of US Basketball, and the program started to ask participants to agree to a three-year commitment. Since the patch up, two gold medals have followed, and America seems poised to once again reign supreme in international play.
Yesterday U.S. basketball announced its potential roster of 20 NBA stars for the 2012 London Olympics. The roster is deep. Really deep. 20 players are in consideration to play but that number will be whittled down to a 12-man roster with alternates.
Here’s the pool: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Tyson Chandler, Eric Gordon, Rudy Gay, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Andre Iguodala.
Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge have also been added to that list.
Buzz is already worming its way through the Internet and people have started to throw the term “dream team” out there again. It seems like America finally has its hoops swagger back.
Here’s our 12-man roster:
Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Howard, Paul, Durant, Rose, Love, D. Williams, Melo, Chandler and Aldridge
With our starters being: Rose, Kobe, LeBron, Love and Howard.
Griffin, Gordon, Westbrook.
Following the 149-day lockout, David Stern has decided it was time to reinvent himself as the second coming of Vince McMahon, the egotistical evil boss of the WWE.
David McStern made his debut last weekend. Making his entrance to a chorus of boos and jeers, McStern confidently walked into the ring, stole the microphone from a shocked Kobe, and then verbally slapped the former MVP square across the face.
“You think you can create a super team with CP3? Here’s what I think of your super team… YOU’RE FIRED!!”
McStern then wrestled his way out of the arena. Throwing fans and players through windows and walls before calming himself down with some eggnog and an episode of Beavis and Butthead.
So in case you missed all the action, Stern rejected two trade attempts to move Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. On both occasions, the league (the Hornet’s current owners) demanded more assets to an already stacked haul for the Hornets. The Lakers soured on the league’s steep asking price and backed off from the proposed trades.
The fizzled trades were labeled fiascos, and accusations have been thrown at Stern for misusing his power as commissioner.
Now another attempt has been made to move Paul to L.A. The Clippers proposed a trade for Paul earlier this week, but the League once again snubbed the deal and demanded more assets be added. Although the league rejected the Clippers first offer, the team is trying once again to try and snag the Hornet’s all-star guard.
According to reports from ESPN.com, it’s believed the Hornets (David Stern) are insisting that the Clippers give up Eric Gordon, Minnesota’s 2012 draft pick (which they own), another first round pick, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman, and Eric Bledsoe. All for CP3.
Stern has been iron fisted in these negotiations, and many analysts and writers have interpreted his actions as being the will of other owners.
The NBA seems to be making these trades impossible based on the demands of billionaires from Cleveland, Charlotte, and Portland, and Stern seems hell-bent on making himself a caricature and puppet for these billionaires. These owners want competitive balance and mediocrity, while fans and NBA lovers want excitement and super teams.
So while CP3’s future is still in limbo, here’s to hoping that McStern chooses not to suplex another trade.