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Monday, September 15, 2008

N.B.A. Superstars Barely Beat Spain.

On August 24th, 2008, the Associated Press wrote "Culminating a three-year mission to end years of embarrassment, the U.S. team survived a huge challenge from Spain, winning 118-107 in the gold-medal game Sunday."

To the players, fans, and many Americans, it would appear that the pecking order of N.B.A. superiority was restored in international basketball.

In fact, listen to what high-school graduate, multi-rich super-star LeBron James said at a press conference attended by the entire team. This non-college graduate remarked "Much respect to Spain, but the U.S. is back on top again."

Let me figure this out. After gathering the so-called best players of the N.B.A., including former rape suspect, and three-time N.B.A. champion Kobe Bryant, over-hyped, over-paid, finger-nail biting Lebron James, college drop-out Carmelo Anthony, and numerous other assortments of drop-outs and/or former crime suspects, the alleged best team in the world led by only four points with under 21/2 minutes to play. So much for domination.

"We played with great character in one of the great games in international basketball history, I think," said over-rated U.S. coach (Duke University) Mike Krzyzewski.

What Spain demonstrated is that true basketball is a game of wit, desire, and hustle. The Americans were lazy down the stretch and relied too much on pure athleticism (not surprising since half the team are drop-outs), instead of chessmanship.

The importance of education cannot be over-estimated. Given its roster of superstars, the U.S. team was outplayed but Spain could not overcome the lucky draw of athleticism on that particular night. In a game of the best of seven, there is little doubt the U.S. team would be in serious trouble.

So, Lebron. Grab a book. Do some research. The U.S. team is a long ways from "back on top again."









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