Sheridan: The World Cup mattered, and Team USA did America proud


MADRID — Team USA’s bus was parked in the narrow street outside the Palacio de los Deportes, and a crowd dozens of people deep — folks from Espana, Serbia and America, too — broke into a chant of “M-V-P” for Kyrie Irving as he exited the arena and made his way on board. He heard them, and he let them know that he had heard them. Kenneth Faried got a lot of love, too, and gave some back with that whiter-than-white


Sheridan: How Team USA Could Lose to Serbia in Gold Medal Game


MADRID — The Red Foxes dance team held their practice right after Team USA held its practice, and many of the American players stayed around to watch. And why wouldn’t they? The Foxes, from Ukraine, are an extraordinary confluence of genetic brilliance with a ballerina meets pole dancer sexiness. Not one of them is shorter than 6 feet tall. The should call themselves the unicorns. They are a pleasure to watch, and a number of the American players did just that before posing


Sheridan: Serbia coach on Team USA: Prove you are better


MADRID – “Until they show us for 40 minutes that they are the better team, I am not going to say they are the better team.” Consider the gauntlet thrown down. The thrower was Serbia coach Sasha Djordjevic. You may never have heard of Djordjevic, but he was a pretty good point guard back in the day. And way back in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics, he played on a Yugoslavia team that was the first squad to play a competitive game


VIDEO: Team USA’s Opponents Are Gone in 60 Seconds


During one of Team USA’s exhibition games prior to the World Cup, international basketball aficionado Fran Fraschilla had a simplistic but telling observation. Fraschilla said that no team at the World Cup will have as many NBA players than Team USA.  That is a big advantage. Another big advantage Team USA has it that it can afford to let down for brief stretches of games. Other teams cannot. Lithuania coach Jonas Kaslauskas had firsthand experience with that dynamic in Thursday’s semifinal. After playing


Sheridan: Gotta hand it to Coach K for US dominance at World Cup


BARCELONA — Quite the bizarro scene in the post-game press conference after Team USA destroyed Lithuania in the semifinals of the World Cup. There was a reporter from Slovenia who had been going back and forth with coach Mike Krzyzewski over the past several days — he wanted to ask questions that Coach K did not want to answer, and Coach K told him he’d answer his questions over a glass of wine when the time was appropriate. So the guy from


Sheridan: USA-Lithuania Preview; Beware the Bigs, and the Shooters


BARCELONA — Two years ago, when Team USA was jam-packed with superstars at the London Olympics, they played Lithuania in the preliminary round. Forty minutes later, they were fortunate to escape unscathed. The final score was 99-94, as Lithuania stuck with the Americans until the final minute. It was the only competitive game for Team USA until the gold medal match against Spain. That version of Team Lithuania had a bona fide alpha dog in Linas Kleiza, who is not competing this


Sheridan: Derrick Rose rediscovers “attack mode” for Team USA


BARCELONA — Attack mode. Derrick Rose had lost it. Now, after a long one-on-one meeting with Coach Mike Krzyzewski, he has rediscovered it. And all that talk about how he was hurting rather than helping Team USA should disappear, too. It was a sight to behold Tuesday night in a 119-76 victory over Slovenia, the Derrick Rose we had grown accustomed to seeing a couple years ago before the two knee injuries. The guy who exploded to the basket and always was


Sheridan: USA-Slovenia Preview: Wear sunglasses. Or a blindfold


BARCELONA — A reporter from Slovenia asked DeMarcus Cousins a question Monday: “Do you know where Slovenia is?” Cousins snapped back: “Do you know where Alabama is?” Touche. The reporter was undoubtedly pursuing the storyline of “They don’t respect us, they don’t know us, they don’t even know where our country is located.” It is as predictable of a storyline as you could imagine, but Cousins was not taking the bait. So make that two big days in a row for the big man