Originally Posted by Ugo Ferst
I was referring to you saying Narvarro was/is a top 5 european player. Dirk has proven his worth in the NBA so yes, he could come off the bench (yes, he WOULDNT start for Team USA). So there you go. You got me. BTW how did Dirk do against Team USA again?
You're either simply acting as a troll right now or your basketball knowledge is severely lacking.
You know and I know that when a team has a single star player they key in on him. Seeing how Germany is made up of no one besides Chris Kaman and Dirk and Kaman is not much of an offensive threat anyways, a team as talented as USA could/did/will key in on him and put him in double/triple teams. Doesn't take that much to figure it out. And he's probably start ahead of Melo.
Secondly, what Bel and a few others are saying is that the overall talent gap since 1992 when the first Dream Team was entered to 2008 has shrunken significantly. In 1992 you had two teams who could challenge or make USA work slightly harder and those were Croatia and Yugoslavia. Hell and neither could really beat the 1992 Dream Team but they made them work slighly harder than Italy, Lithuania or Angola did.
Today, the US HAD to work hard to win that game against Spain. It wasn't that the US had "the worst defensive game in years" it was that Spain gave them a run for their money. They did what was expected of them the entire tournament and that was challenge for the Gold medal. They hit the shots, they played defense. This wasn't a 30 point blow out. And THAT's the difference today between 1992 and 2008. The US won (the final score is pointless due to the last minute of that game being ridiculous with the FTs) but they didn't win handedly. In 1992 Croatia lost by 30. In 2008, the US was up 2 in the final quarter. That's a big difference.
By saying "there was no doubt" your simply being ignorant of the progress the game has made in Europe. Gasol was considered one of the best players in the NBA for the longest time; Dirk is one year removed from the MVP; Jose Calderon
is considered by some a top 10 PG; Ricky Rubio is considered the next best PG to be coming into basketball; Luol Deng (yeah remember him) is considered a breakout candidate. The game has progressed and the dominance the US has held, regardless of what some may think is slowly slipping away. We're too blinded here because all we're fed is how great Kobe is, or how great LeBron is etc. etc. If not for Chris Paul they don't win that tourney. Period.
I don't think anyone here is saying Spain is the best nation in the world when it comes to basketball (but they did win the world championships which counts for more than the Olympic medal), but again that gap between 1 and 2 is a lot smaller than people think.