I hate to say I told you so, but after the first day of Team USA training camp in Las Vegas, I wrote that Kenny “The Manimal” Faried must be the first guy selected for the roster and everyone else should come thereafter. My reasoning was Faried’s motor, toughness and energy level with intangibles such as putbacks and garbage points would be invaluable to this team. In Sunday’s come-from-behind victory against Turkey, Faried led Team USA team with 22 points and
There he goes again, the ball miraculously still in his hands, blowing past a player that up until that very moment was a hero in his home country, and now has to settle for second place in the heart of his nation’s fans. Only the replay will tell just how in the world he found the angle to flick that layup in, with dizzy, confused defenders only finding the ball as it drops to them after falling through the net. Kyrie
You probably know by now that Kevin Durant isn’t playing for Team USA. They could have used him Sunday, when his absence exposed virtually all of the warts of this American squad. On the same day ESPN reported that Nike will match Under Armour’s offer of nearly $300 million to Durant, Team USA showed how much it really missed its true alpha dog in an unconvincing 98-77 win over Turkey, which gave every medal contender a blueprint for beating the Americans. In a
We will spare you too many of the gory details of Team USA’s massacre of Finland. Here’s all you need to know: The Finns were 0-for-17 from the field in the second quarter. If you watched the entire game, congratulations. You have proven yourself worthy of throwing away two perfectly good summertime hours from your Labor Day weekend that could have been spent doing something more enjoyable, like watching paint dry. Day One of the 2014 FIBA World Cup is in the books,
The 2014 Basketball World Cup is finally here. And you need to take it seriously, because everyone else does. Thanks to NBC and the other fall-in-line media outlets, most Americans believe the Olympics is the premier international basketball event. Globally, nothing could be further from the truth. With 24 teams and no automatic bid for the host, the World Cup is twice the size of the Olympics. It doesn’t share the spotlight with track or swimming. And most of the players will
In years past, Americans have considered the Olympics to be the only relevant international basketball competition. Stateside, the other quadrennial tournament formerly known as the FIBA World Championship went largely unnoticed until Team USA embarrassed themselves in 2002, losing three times in Indianapolis and finishing sixth after never having lost with NBA players. The rest of the world sees things differently. Other basketball federations have been viewing the World Championship as the more important international competition. Also, because the very best Americans play
As a veteran of the game, Kobe Bryant has seen his fair share of players adapt over the years. It’s easy to see how he’s picked up on traits from his peers and also rivals in his quest to becoming the great player that he is today. Having recently turned 36 years old, and coming off a season where he was limited to just six games, Bryant would be wise to take measures to revamp his style of play.
The latest version of Team USA that is preparing to defend its title at the World Cup of Basketball in Spain is much bigger than previous editions. But is it better? Previous American squads were built around perimeter players such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, none of whom are here this time around. The stud of this squad appears to be Anthony Davis, who was entering his senior year of high school when the last World Cup was