Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  September 4, 2006

Just a few thoughts while celebrating Los Angeles’ 225th birthday. (She doesn’t look a day over 200.)

• I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of this humble little blog than while reading the comments on the last post, discussing USA Basketball’s future. It is some of the best conversation ever on this site (and that has me more pumped for the season). So let me bring a couple other thoughts into the conversation. First, from Roland Lazenby’s latest blog post:

As much as this loss hurts and embarrasses a U.S. team that once dominated international basketball, it may actually serve a greater purpose — to remind the American stars how much they must work to build team chemistry and to reinforce the idea that there will be no more cakewalks for American teams in international competition.

The Dream Team is just that, a distant dream in the rearview mirror of American basketball.

Now, every major international competition will be a dogfight. The Greeks, Argentines and Spaniards all showed that they are all quite capable of running with the USA’s best athletes.

Then there is Henry over at True Hoop, who says USA attitudes need some adjustment:

This is an incredibly important tournament for all of the players here except the Americans. None of these players grew up watching the World Championships on TV. For the Americans, it’s an after-thought. It has a tiny fraction of the importance of the NBA title…. That’s not an excuse, but it is a practical problem.

• Are we ever going to see an athlete transform before our eyes like Andre Agassi, who went from “image is everything” 20 years ago to substance in the last few years? I’m going to miss watching him play.

• I’m working very hard at not crowing about Notre Dame football right now (yes it was close, but that was a quality win in Atlanta Saturday). Instead, I just log on to Blue-Gray Sky three times a day now.

• For those jonesing for a little Laker/NBA action, well, is there anything better to look back on than this?