Friday, July 27, 2012

Four Brief And Obvious Points About Whether The Current US Olympic Team Would Beat The 1992 Version

First... what do you expect the current athletes to say? "No, sorry, we suck. We'll be just thrilled if we get a medal in this thing. I mean, have you seen Spain? They have Gasols. PLURAL. Not just one, two! No way we can overcome that. And even if we do, Argentina is just laying in wait, with Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and a bench full of crazy Spanish-German hybrids from the escaped Nazi scientists eugenics dreams. I don't like our chances. Plus, we all hate each other so, so much, and have such me-first egos, we'd be lucky to beat a gritty high school team. And by gritty, I mean white."

Secondly... if the current team can't beat the 1992 version, that means the sport is in decline, and we should all stop watching it. Right, OG Team? We should just tune in to your rerun games and stay loyal to guys who no longer play. Since the epoch, the zenith, the absolute pinnacle of hoop was achieved when Charles Barkley shoved some scrawny scrub from the sub-Sahara. (Oh, and by the way? Mythologizing a team that rolled like tanks over cavalry is the surest sign yet that history is written by the victors' geishas. At the time, I remember being bored to tears by their games, and a little embarrassed for the opponents. And not being alone in that assessment.)

Third... the current players have better equipment. Better shoes. Better diets, more money, more court time, with 24/7/365 hoop since about the time that they could walk. They also draw in players from six continents, and they are good enough to play in the NBA, rather than just in their own countries.

Other than a greater tendency to thug it up, hit mid-range jumpers, why, beyond the irresistible tendency to lionize guys who can't miss any more shots since they don't play anymore, should the 1992 team be better? (Um, because they had better bigs. But the simple fact is that the '12 team will play James at power, and he'd be fine there in any era.)

Fourth and final, can't we all agree that a greater percentage of Americans today are rooting for the US team to lose? Half of the country or more still hates LeBron James; nearly everyone hates Carmelo Anthony. (No one remembers that John Stockton was a dirtbag, Karl Malone a redneck, Charles Barkley was vilified at the time, and Larry Bird hated everywhere but Boston; once they put on the flag, that all washed away.)

Older people want Pride to Goeth Before A Fall. If they lose, it's the only way to get a game with actual drama; plus, you get to see angry millionaires pointing fingers at each other, which is always good fun. Oh, and isn't Coach K at the helm of this ship? If it weren't for the presence of Andre Iguodala on this ship, I'd be totally down with the US going down, really. Anyway with me on this?

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