This quandary came to me during last night's Sportscenter when Greg Anthony and Tim Legler were both asked who would win between the Pistons' starting five and the current crop of Eastern Conference All-Stars. Both chose the Pistons since they have a team chemistry that you just can't give to five players you just stick on a team, regardless of how talented said players may be.
Thus brings up this question. Would the United States be better off sending the NBA champions to represent in the Olympics or stick to the current system?
I'm also posing this question, because any team with Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Allen Iverson has the potential to be a trainwreck of massively epic proportions. Would the United States be better off sending a cohesive unit like the Detroit Pistons to future Olympic games?
The NBA is too international for this too work. It would work for the Pistons, but what about the Spurs? Parker, Ginobili, and Nesterovich aren't American so they lose most of their starters for an international competition.
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I think this could work. If the championship team has too many foreign players, then go down to the next team. Have that team be the groundwork, but feel free to add other players to the team (if they would help the team as a whole).
In the real world, WWE believes that no matter what our race, religious creed or ethnic background in America, we all share the common bond of being Americans. American-Arabs are a part of the fabric of America, and they should be embraced by all of us.
You couldn't just use the NBA champs. Say the Pistons beat the Spurs The starting 5 is intact, sure. The second five loses 3 guys. So if you bring in guys from the Spurs, you get Bruce Bowen, Nick Van Exel, Michael Finley, Antonio McDyess and Maurice Evans as your second five.
There has to be more of a balance to the US team, but I don't think trying to use an NBA franchise is the way to go. They have to do what other countries do, start with an extended squad, have camps and cut people to get the right team with the right players at the right positions with the right chemistry. Set the program out 18 months + in advance, so the guys who WANT to do it will set the time aside.
I agree that using the NBA Champions in the Olympics is not the way to go, because the NBA is too international for that to be fair, really, for any team that could win a championship.
And no, I didn't look up all the rosters before I said that, so shuddup.
But I don't think the Olympic team should be twelve All-Stars, either. There has to be a mix of superstars, solid players and role players. This strategy of simply trying to find the best 12 players in the NBA willing to suit up for Team USA isn't gonna cut it anymore. If you don't establish who the go-to guys are, everyone's gonna want to be the go-to guy.
As for the NBA Champions... I miss the McDonald's Invitational, in which (I believe) eight league champions from around the world, including the NBA, competed in a single-elimination tournament. If we are to have the NBA Champions compete in a formalized manner against non-NBA teams, that's the way we should do it.
But I'm not 100% convinced that's a good idea, either. It'd probably hurt David Stern's ego too much if the San Antonio Spurs fell to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Originally posted by ekedolphinIAs for the NBA Champions... I miss the McDonald's Invitational, in which (I believe) eight league champions from around the world, including the NBA, competed in a single-elimination tournament. If we are to have the NBA Champions compete in a formalized manner against non-NBA teams, that's the way we should do it.
Kind of a Champions League for basketball...I'd dig that. It's too bad that the NBA won't ever put themselves aside enough to truly make that happen, though, as you probably have to put some rounds in during the season, like they do with soccer.
I like the fact that they are requiring a three-year commitment for guys that want to play for Team USA. I just think if they took they thing more seriously, playing more tournaments and exhibitions and treating it more like a TEAM instead of a once-every-Olympics-novelty we'd be back on top for a long time.
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