Team USA and the NBA Part 2

Let me clarify some things.

There seems to be some confusion that TeamUSA’s lack of dominance at the Olympics is a reflection on the NBA. It’s not. It’s exclusively a reflection on the NBA’s inability to put togethera team that is suited for the Olympics. Don’t blame the players. Fire whoever put the team together. As I said in the last blog entry, this is the 2nd time (The World Championships being the first) where we suffered for lack of a3 point shooter. This should have been a no-brainer. The 3 point line is more high school than NBA. Put guys in there that can hit that shot and no other team has a chance.

2nd. I love the irony of how every problem TeamUSA has flies in the face of conventional NBA wisdom. When was the last time you heard teams criticized for not having shooters and only having a low post threat? It’s the exact opposite of everything we hear about the Mavs, and that cracks me up.

3rd. Anyone who thinks NBA players over there don’t care or aren’t trying is an idiot, plain and simple.

4th. Does anyone believe that the Olympics offer any marketing value to a sport? In fact, isn’t it the opposite? If a USA team does well in a sport at the Olympics and catches the hearts and minds of the US, has that ever carried over with any durability once the Olympics ended? The list is long of sports that thought momentum from the Olympics would lead to success and popularity, only to crash and burn

On the flipside, I haven’t noticed baseball suffering this year. PGA ratings were up in the face of the Olympics and the NFL continues to really, really struggle without a spot in the Olympics doesn’t it?

5th. None of this changes my mind that we shouldn’t have NBA players in international competition. As big a story as the TeamUSA’s problems, are the attendance problems and the ratings of the Olympics. This is a business event that is marketed to our patriotism. Congrats to NBC for what they have accomplished in their marketing and results, turning a profit on a billion dollar investment. A smack in the head to the NBA for providing our most valuable players, at risk of injury and full subsidy by our teams, to enable a competitor to sell to the same advertisers that could be buying from the NBA and our partners.

77 thoughts on “Team USA and the NBA Part 2

  1. NBA city….
    http://sergica.miniville.fr/env

    Comment by sergica -

  2. It’s a real shame that American basketball (on ALL levels) isn’t what it was and…NEVER will be! The problem(s of USA basketball may be seen and or defined differently by different people yet, the root cause is the same. Let me say that I’m quite patriotic and have NO problem with “the free marketplace” or capitalism in and of itself. After all, in a real sense,It’s our lifeblood! Nonetheless, If someone can find a way to minimize the underlying market forces that fuel and pander to the overemphasis on individual ego aggrandizement in culture at large, then the problem COULD be fixed. They’re really only reflecteive of the negative changes in society in recent decades (in contrast to the positive ones). I’ve read a lot of good articles about HOW to fix the problem. the one’s I’ve liked talk about creating a balance. I.e., to bring the welcomed athleticism (yes…welcomed) of the last 25–30 years more into balance with the team elements that (more or less) dominated prior to that time. But, with the devolution of our culture (examplified with individualism-gone-amuck coupled with rampant, out-of-control greed), the future prognosis is NOT positive. These are the roots of the problem itself as I see them. But, don’t fret, Europe and the world will catch up in THESE categories before they (genuinely) catch up with us in the game of basketball itself! It’s about pandering to some of our baser instincts–individually and corporately and, consequently, should be seen as a more or less inexorable force. Good bye sportsmanship, ego sublimation, etc. It was nice know’in ya!

    Comment by dennis -

  3. Aus didn’t almost beat the US. Despite the trouble the men had playing together they still beat your team that has played together for a long time. I think you guys need a lot more work.

    Comment by Oz -

  4. I watched the Olympic basketball down here in Australia – naturally we saw lots of the two Aussie teams – but what I saw were two American teams that weren’t teams.
    A certain US female player’s attitude frankly sucked bigtime and the guys were just outplayed by teams that were strategically sounder and who played with a better attitude.
    If Argentina can win Gold, how good were the rest?
    The Aussie men’s team has how many NBA players? and we nearly beat Team USA.
    The issue isn’t the selectors, it’s attitude. The player’s attitude. The Team USA guys looked cocky and arrogant. All show, no go. A little humility guys, please.
    It’s embarrasing when arrogance falls flat on its face, hey!
    By the way, I love the observation that the NBA is an “and1” show; how true, how true.

    Comment by James -

  5. I would have to agree to some point with Mr. Cuban with 1. Coaches should be able to pick THEIR teams and 2. Professional should not be a part of the Olympics
    As a person in Marketing a no-name team sells like with our hockey team back in 1984 you fell in love with them. Many of the professionals we view as very talented men and women but the romance is gone. When I watch swimming I look at these people that have worked so hard in practice and in qualifying. The basketball stars arrive and I guess in a false arrogance we assume we’ll win.
    To bring back the Romance you must get rid of the professionals.

    Comment by Jessica -

  6. I wonder if the rest of the world takes into account the fact that team usa is quickly thrown together a mere month before the olympics, and that they aren’t really beating a true american “TEAM”

    Comment by NBA -

  7. Team USA’s loss to Argentina was an embarrassment, and should be a wake up call to King Stern. The loss of prestige because of the group of rag tags we sent to Greece hopefully will translate into economic losses for Stern and all his pompous owners (read Cuban). What we have seen is that shooting skill and organized defense (read, white guys) can beat the snot out of our NBA stars.

    One solution I have not seen mentioned: for the World Championships and the Olympics, require the winner of the NBA to play as a team representing the USA. Even if such a team lacks the NBA stars, their ability to play together will fare better than this group of crybaby underachieving stars we called Team USA in Greece 2004.

    Comment by Formerly from Dallas -

  8. The World Cup qualifiers and finals are populated with each country’s best soccer players; their clubs let them go play for their country. It’s worked that way for decades; what’s wrong with letting NBA players do the same? (not to mention those suckass whiners in Major League Baseball)

    Comment by rone -

  9. Instead of changing rules to increase scoring why is there not an emphasis on the total player? 8-9 high school kids got drafted in the 1rst round. The only reason these kids are drafted over a 3-4 year college player is because of the NBA’s emphasis on athleticism.
    (Lebron is an exception – he is a great athlete and complete player.)

    We can argue all day long about the lack of fundamentals and shooting, but the bottom line is TEAM USA (and most NBA teams, particularly the MAVS) play horrible defense for the athleticism it has. Poor team defense high lights the lack of offensive fundamentals because teams always find themselves attacking a set defense.

    Team USA could win – easily – using all 12 players and playing a Rick Pitno style full court pressure game. Coach Larry has not made the adjustments to the talent level – and playing enivronment (this aint the nba) – to take home the gold.

    Comment by Dave Warner -

  10. I totally agree with like what Benny T. said. I’m not an American, but I love NBA and USA basketball.

    So, I would like to cheer up the current players to do your best and I believe they can get it done. They don’t need 3-point shots to win if they can keep making the mid-range shots confidently.

    Comment by S. Chiracharasporn -

  11. Carmelo has a right to be pissed off…With how he led the nuggets into the playoffs in the final stretch of the season hes proven he can carry the team, just give the kid the green light and the ball.

    Comment by tom -

  12. Did anyone catch Rick Bucher’s column where he called the NBA the best basketball in the world and European teams boring? Exactly the reason young players cannot shoot or pass.

    A response to Mark’s column:
    http://www.basket-ball.com/basketball-article-13632.html

    Comment by Brian McCormick -

  13. You may be right on everything but it doesn’t change the fact that the PLAYERS want to play. Even if the nba agreed with you how can you tell the players what to do in the offseason. They can do what they want in the offseason. You cannot force them not to play, it’s their choice.

    Comment by david -

  14. More worried about their own investment than what’s good for USA Basketball. Don’t you want to see our best players playing against the best players from other countries? If you’re worried about marketing dollars, don’t you think you can market your player even more if he’s on the Olympic team?

    Comment by John -

  15. Before you go accusing others of being jadded, take a look a good hard look at yourself in the mirror first. Your preconcieved notions and harsh and final judgements of NBA players makes you look as jadded as they come. There is a term for people like you, but it’s a “ghettoized” term, so bare with me…it’s Player Hater.

    Comment by Benny T. -

  16. I’ve sat here and read several of you say that you will find pleasure in watching our Olympic squad fail this year, and that rooting for the other teams makes watching Olympic basketball more interesting and fun. WHAT?? Even though our squad consists of NBA players, this isn’t about the NBA…or shouldn’t be, in my opinion. This is about Our Country, and anyone who wants to watch his own country loose because of their distaste for the organization (NBA) the players make their living from is just plain unpatriotic and misguided. Having productive discussions on how we can improve our Olympic squad is healthy, but to slam Team USA because you don’t like the NBA is nothing but unproductive and negative, and should be looked down on. No matter the individuals or teams, if they are representing the USA in the Olympics, or in any other international competition, they should be supported and cheared for. Shame on all of you American’s who willfully wish failure on Our Teams!!!

    Comment by Benny T. -

  17. Mark your 4th point is ridiculous. I have a great respect for your thoughts and ideas, but I’m hoping that this is just a case of you speaking without thinking about what you’re saying. You said:

    4th. Does anyone believe that the Olympics offer any marketing value to a sport ? In fact , isnt it the opposite. If a USA team does well in a sport at the OLympics and catches the hearts and minds of the US, has that ever carried over with any durability once the Olympics ended ? The list is long of sports that thought momentum from the Olympics would lead to success and popularity, only to crash and burn

    On the flipside, I havent noticed baseball suffering this year. PGA ratings were up in the face of the olympics and the NFL continues to really, really struggle without a spot in the Olympics… doesnt it ?….

    There is no way that the Olympics are having a negative marketing value on any sport showcased in the games. How can having a countless number of people from across the globe seeing your sport and players be bad for that sport? In fact, I would argue that the marketing value of the Olympics are the reason that there is any interest at all in a majority of these sports.

    The major league has its own reasons for not sending its players to the Olympics, namely they’re in pennant races, and the NFL isn’t affected by the Olympics because, well, there isn’t an event for them. The current successes of these leagues are due to many other factors that we don’t need to get into. But I assure you that their success has nothing to do with a lack of presence at the Olympics.

    Comment by Wade -

  18. As a side note, after reading Richard Jefferson’s line from team USA’s win over Greece, and comparing to his stellar performance in the loss to Puerto Rico, I would like to congratulate the New Jersey Nets for signing one of the most overrated players in Olympic history.
    Jefferson v Greece
    0/7 Field Goals
    0/4 3ptrs
    2 rebounds
    1 assist
    1 turnover
    21 minutes

    Jefferson v Puerto Rico
    3/16 Field Goals
    0/6 3ptrs
    5 rebounds
    1 assist
    4 turnover
    26 minutes

    Combined he is averaging a shooting percentage of 13% from the field, and 0.00% from 3pt range, averaging 3.5 boards and 3 turnovers. And he has started both games? Is that really worth $78 Million?
    Keep up the good work cube. After watching Dirk in the USA exhibition, am really looking forward to the Mavs next season.

    Comment by MFFL -

  19. I’ve changed my mind… yesterday I posted my thoughts that the problem was in the selection. Then I read your 4th point and disagreed b/c I factored in marketing with the selection process. But your statement, “If a USA team does well in a sport at the OLympics and catches the hearts and minds of the US, has that ever carried over with any durability once the Olympics ended” made me change my mind. For the US that’s been proven true. Maybe the selection committee and NBA did the best thing for the league. They put together a team that at any game could win big or lose big. Get the world thinking that they can compete with NBA players and the global market the NBA’s been looking for comes knocking at your door.

    Comment by Sean -

  20. I think one of Mark’s complaints in the past is that the NBA is structured to coerce teams into retaining contracts and getting rid of veterans with higher minimum salaries. Maybe an Olympic team made up of NBA veterans who arent’ currently associated with a team, but who’ve proven they can ball in the past gets put together, possibly with some undrafted college talent. All these players should be hungry for patriotic reasons, as well as to try and prove to NBA scouts watching that they have what it takes to survive in the NBA.

    Comment by Nick Reed -

  21. “There seems to be some confusion that TeamUSAs lack of dominance at the Olympics is a reflection on the NBA. Its not. Its exclusively a reflection on the NBA’s inability to put together a team that is suited for the Olympics. Dont blame the players. Fire whoever put the team together.”

    Cuban Mark,

    I agree with you on this one. Why blame these guys when it’s not their fault. Atleast they are there trying to bring home the Gold. I understand why other NBA players don’t want to play in the Olympics.

    1. Fear of Terrorism

    2. Fear of Injury

    3. Fear of losing to Puerto Rico

    4. Fear of drinking the water

    I think we shouldn’t be so hard on our guys though. I was watching ESPN last night and I can’t remember which commentator it was but he was talking trash about our guys inching past Greece. Who does he think he is? He’s fat and can talk really fast about other people playing sports. What has he ever done for the game of basketball. We won last night and yet he still criticizes.

    It just really bothers me how people can be so negative towards a group of guys who are struggling and trying to bring their game and team up to a positive level.

    Comment by Johnny C. -

  22. To a certain degree I agree with your post. I do agree that USA is trying, I don’t think that Richard Jefferson goes out there goes 0-7 and just doesn’t care. He cares. Anyone who thinks that he isn’t trying to make a jumper is crazy. However I don’t agree with your statement that you think if the US just adds a player who can shoot the ball, the other teams would have no chance. In the world the international teams have a great sense of team basketball and have developed guards that the USA cannot just outpressure into forcing turnovers, for proof look at the games against Italy and Puerto Rico. Germany did not even have a terrific guard yet they almost won. I think those days are gone of how we use to dominate. The answer to this problem is partially what you said, add a shooter. But also not to make a team solely of stars. A starting five of Tim Duncan, Rasheed Wallace (who’s game is awesome for international play), Brent Barry, Kirk Hinrich, and Tayshaun Prince. These guys not only are among the best defenders but also would not make silly mistakes or miss many free throws.

    Oh ya. I can’t believe you traded Najera. Sure you got your center but he provided your team with so much heart which will be missed. Good luck with that trade.

    – Joel (Bulls fan)

    Comment by Joel J. -

  23. Mark Cuban, I love what you did to Dallas Mavericks when you came aboard a couple of years ago congrats. On to the subject at hand, I find it sickening that these players having $60 million, $70 million contracts and they can’t hit a wide open 20 footer or much less 15-20 foot jumper.

    I guess you can say that they are worth it because they are showmans, crazy ankle breaking crossovers and big strong bodies to go to the hole. But when it comes to a simple wide open jumper, I don’t think they are worth those contracts.

    Comment by Harrison -

  24. It is compltely a reflection on the NBA. The NBA no longer has the best skilled basketball players. After Jason Kidd and Mike Bibby, try naming a great American point guard who can knock down shots off the top of your head? Quick, name a handful of great American shooters? Voshon Leonard, Michael Redd, the Berry Bros, etc. They are role players at best.

    The NBA is a league driven by superstars. It is a league of 1 v 1 isolation play. Americans know how to penetrate and defend the dribble. But, they are lost defending the dribble when the sole purpose is to create an open jumper, not a shot for the dribbler.

    The NBA is reaping what it has sown. I said before the 2003 NBA DRAFT that players like Kyle Korver, Josh Howard, Travis Hansen, Carl English and Jason Kapono would be overlooked because they were actual basketball players with ready to play skills, not superstar potential. They don’t make you go wow and they barely pass the look test. But, they make plays and can shoot.

    Team overlook players like Jameer Nelson who can flat out play because he needs to be 2 inches taller. What a joke.

    As long as the NBA is all about athleticism, size, potential and dunks, the teams will flounder in International play. American players do not at any level learn the team game, the nuances, proper shooting form (just look at the mechanical flaws of the players this summer), etc.

    The NBA is getting exactly what it deserves because it sent a perfect replica of the NBA to the Olympics.

    Comment by Brian McCormick -

  25. You may have a point, but USA basketball fans simply are not going to over-analyze the Olympics like the Canadians do in Hockey.

    Comment by RR -

  26. Canadians have gone through much of this “international game is different, we have the best players but don’t win, etc.” business over the last decade or so in hockey. The parallels in many ways are eerie, and well worth looking into. The influx of Europeans into the NHL draft was a huge issue in the late 90s, for instance.

    But strangely, after some huge disappointments (e.g. the mens’ team not winning in the Nagano Olympics) the country radically changed the way it handles international competitions. And I do mean radically.

    First, they appointed a “general manager” responsible for personel selection for each international team. They do this for the annual tournaments like the World Junior’s and for the multi-year ones like the World Cup and the Olympics. This GM basically acts like the GM of a major franchise. He scouts for player selection, both on Canada’s team and to identify the strengths/weaknesses of other country’s teams. He selects the coaching staff. He is in charge of the whole process.

    In Salt Lake City, after Canada tied a (much) inferior team, he gave a (now-famous) rant to the media about how the refereeing was biased against his team and how everybody in the world wanted the team to fail. The talk worked: the team didn’t have even a marginally close game the rest of the way. He took *responsibility* for the whole process.

    Second, the country as a whole — politicians, editorialists, and average fans — made it clear that losing wasn’t acceptable. Sure, international rules are different — the size of the rink is completely different! So what? We expect our teams to return with a gold medal each and every year in each and every tournament. Always.

    Third, a wide array of developmental programs at the youth level were changed to help address the skill-deficiencies that had become evident at the international level. In hockey it was primarily skating and passing that had been under-emphasized for greater defensive and physical play. The bigger ice-surfaces in international hockey made this far more apparent. So now young players (e.g. age 6 and up) here get lots more training on those issues.

    Fourth, being a member of the team was treated and regarded as a *privilege*, not a right. At any one time there may be three or four players in the NHL who would be assured of an invitation: the Shaq, KG, TD, and Kobe of the NHL, basically. The rest of the team? They go to a *TRY-OUT CAMP*. That’s right. Professional players get together with the coaches and go through drills and practices for a few days to get to know each other and for the coaches to see how they would fit together. There have been players who played themselves into positions on a team during these camps, and players who played themselves out of positions here too. This works because team membership is treated as a privilege.

    Fifth, and finally, there was a concerted effort to decide on a style of play — from the GM down to the coaching staff — and to choose players that would fit that style. Recently one of Canada’s defencemen for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey withdrew. The coaches selected a young-ish player who had attended the try-out camp. In explaining why they selected this guy, they explicitly described how his game was suited to both the style they wanted to play and to the structure and flow of the international game.

    One final example of this approach at work: in Nagano, the Czech Republic had the single best player in the world on their team (Jagr). He was dominating the NHL, and was a threat to score just about every time he stepped on the ice. Team Canada knew that the Czechs were probably semi-final matchups, so they took a defensive specialist with them. For that one game, he matched up with Jagr and held the guy scoreless the entire game. That’s like taking a Bowen or Artest on your team so that you can handle Arroyo or whomever else happens to get hot.

    Comment by Itatsumaki -

  27. Absolutely a great deal! FINALLY a big man that can rebound and play some DEFENSE! Sorry to see Eddie go, but the off-season suddenly takes great shape! A lot of maneuvering to still do, but is a Kidd deal still do-able???????

    Comment by RR -

  28. Mr. Cuban, please tell me that this is true!!
    You are going to give up Eduardo Najera, Christian Laettner, and two future first-round picks and cash, and are getting back Dampier, center Evan Eschmeyer and guard Dan Dickau!!
    I’m pleading with you to make this deal happen! Love Eddie, but IMHO, Howard makes him expendible, Dampier allows DJ and Pavel to mature, Dickau is a nice piece of development material, and Eschmeyer is…good for taking your money – jk! With Terry/Harris/Dickau at point, Daniels/Stackhouse/Stephansson at off guard, Finley/Howard at small forward, Dirk manning the power forward all by his lonesome (which he has done nicely), and a forward/center rotation of Dampier/Booth/Bradley/DJ/Pavel/Eschmeyer/Henderson, my Mavs sports pants are going crazy!! Nice job!! Mavs in 6 against Miami in 2005!!

    Comment by John -

  29. Mr Cuban, tell me this is not true! http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=1861620
    You are going to give up Eduardo Najera, Christian Laettner, and two future first-round picks and cash, and are getting back Dampier, center Evan Eschmeyer and guard Dan Dickau.

    Mr. Cuban, please look at the gem you came out of the draft with (Harris) and what Najera has added to your team off the bench. Eric Dampier is NOT worth it. Please look at his year by year stats.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/statistics?statsId=3117
    Can he give you a good reason why he suddenly got so much better last year? C’mon, it was a contract year, not one makes that kind of random leap in skill after 8 years in the NBA. I know the Mavs need an inside presences, but this is too steep of a price to pay.

    I’m pleading with you Mr Cuban (and honestly i am not even that big of a Mavs fan, although I like the way your roster is shaping up and getting younger) this is not the way to go. If you feel you have to get dampier try to cut it down to 1 first round draft pick (max) and make Mr Dampier’s contract exceedingly incentive based (maybe he needs that incentive to play his best ball). Please at least consider what I have said.

    My 2¢.
    Chris

    Comment by Chris -

  30. Big Country. Steve Francis. Vancouver Grizzlies. Vancouver Grizzlies uniforms. Zone defenses. Building a team usa designed to sell jerseys instead of win games. Picking Taye Diggs, uh, Emeka Okafor as its 12th man. *Still* harboring a grudge against Steve Francis. Hire this man to run the bobcats! Hornets!

    Comment by Greg -

  31. I hope this is not a NY Post type rumor. We might finally have a CENTER!!!

    Comment by dave -

  32. Could you please repost Part 1.
    Thanks

    Comment by SR -

  33. STOP PICKING TEAMS FOR PROFIT AND START PICKING TO PLAY BASKETBALL.

    Do you think that Team USA knows anything about the other teams or do you think they just thought they would turn up and get handed the gold medal?

    I can’t wait for the Aussie’s to take on Team USA. We will probably get flogged but it would be great to win.

    Molly

    Comment by Molly -

  34. Comparing basketball to boxing and baseball doesn’t hold because:

    1. The Olympics interfere with the MLB season.

    2. Olympic boxing is really a different sport than pro boxing. They are judged on different criteria with different equipment. Most importantly Olympic boxing is focused on points and safety, while pros are out to knock each other out. RRJ and De La Hoya would lose today, because they don’t train for that style of fighting. Amateurs do it to make a name for themselves.

    Comment by Steven -

  35. “Can’t we all just get along”

    Comment by Rodney King -

  36. I’ve long stated that the professional game in America has too much style and not enough substance. It doesn’t translate well to the FIBA game. We’ve taught the world basketball, but taught it poorly at home. One of the many ironies is that it was a U.S. loss to Puerto Rico (college kids Laettner, Mourning and Jimmy Jackson at the 1991 Goodwill Games ) that prompted the use of U.S. NBA’ers in the first place. (Interesting that when the American baseball team lost a few international contests to Cuba, we didn’t send Bonds, Jeter and Clemens to Sydney, and when U.S. boxers get shut out by Cuba, we don’t ask Roy Jones and Oscar DeLaHoya to again don the red-white-and-blue.

    BCB

    Comment by Bijan C. Bayne -

  37. Maybe Larry Brown should have considered removing the player’s names from the back of their jerseys.

    Comment by soccer4ever -

  38. We should have just sent the Pistons. Does anyone really believe that they wouldn’t be doing better than this rag-tag group of almost all-stars that have never played together before?

    Comment by jeff -

  39. It may not be a reflection on the NBA in general ( the NBA belongs to the whole world now), but to the rest of the world it is a reflection on American NBA players’ ability. Maybe we didn’t run out our best team, but we are still judged on the performance of these players.

    The truth is that we can do so much better, with or without the pro players. Its not just basketball either. The “professional sports” goal that is in every level of amateur sport today is killing the purity of ; just competing because we want to WIN. Every high school soccer mom has the “pro dream” as the top priority for her boy or girl. I hear it every weekend on the courts and on the field. Its sad and warped. Player that will not play on their school team their Sr year because their scholarship is already booked and only their Club team deserves their play …

    We in America have a different path to glory for our athletes and it is catching up to us. It get exposed in competition like World Championships and the Olympics. We need a new focus on athletics and it is going to take a whole generation to change the mentality.

    Its been great to watch sports like fencing, Air gun, and Trap. These people play for glory.

    I hated watching Steve and Dirk play during the summers, as a Mavs fan I felt like they were taking away from their Mavs play for the coming year, but I do appreciate their pride and a national systems that promotes competition for glory instead of pure money.

    We can do so much better than this.

    Comment by Craig Kauffman -

  40. Let’s go through this step by step:

    >> There seems to be some confusion that
    >> TeamUSAs lack of dominance at the Olympics >> is a reflection on the NBA. Its not.

    Oh, but it is. This is the perfect example of why the NBA stinks. It has become a league of non-fundamental players, who are WAY too into themselves, do not even VAGUELY comprehend team play, and don’t want to do the little things, like hitting free throws, that make a winning team.

    >> Dont blame the players. Fire whoever put the
    >> team together.

    That’s nice. Don’t blame the people who are on the court, who ostensibly are some of the best players in the league, ONLY blame the league. Wrong. Blame the committee, yes, but also blame the players. They have displayed a disgusting lack of committment to playing as a team.

    >> 2nd. I love the irony of how every problem >> TeamUSA has flies in the face of
    >> conventional NBA wisdom. When was the last >> time you heard teams criticized for not
    >> having shooters and only having a low post >> threat ?

    There is a reason for this. Because the international game is what basketball is supposed to be. Less of a collision sport and more like what the Mavs DO play, a game of fluidity and grace. Tim Duncan is an IDEAL center for the international game, unfortunately, the rest of the players are FAR too useless in team based basketball, where you can’t go one-on-one all the time. It is a very simple concept. ONE-ON-ONE BASKETBALL STINKS.

    >> 3rd. Anyone who thinks NBA players over
    >> there dont care or arent trying is an idiot. >> Plain and simple.

    Are they trying? Yes. Do they care? Yes. Are either of these qualities in the same amount as their opponents? No. If you don’t think that is the case, you are an idiot. Plain and simple.

    As far as your last statements, about marketing and participation, is the Olympics about marketing, no. It is about the nobility of competition. Pure and simple, there are people who will bastardize it, yes, but that is why the majority of people still watch the Olympics, because they actually feel like all the athletes aren’t spoiled brats, and they are actually competing for the love of their sport. For middlemen like you, who cannot compete and are too jaded to watch for the reasons it is televised, yes, it is just numbers and money, but for SPORTS FANS, we enjoy watching sports.

    As for the NBA players going or not going, I would prefer they not go. They are a joke. NBA players are NOT emblematic of athletes playing for the love of the game, they are NOT emblematic of what true team basketball is and most importantly, I don’t want their childish attitudes, petulant behaviour and complete lack of character to represent me. The ONLY caveat I will make to this is Tim Duncan. He conducts himself with grace on and off the court, is not a ghettoized, me-first jackass and he can ACTUALLY PLAY TEAM BASKETBALL instead of just trying to see how big a contract he can get, despite not being able to shoot free throws, defend or shoot perimeter jumpers.

    In short, go Team Other.

    Comment by Paul in Dallas -

  41. Mark, your points 4 and 5 are reasons to the rest of the world why the US team is losing. It’s all about money and product first to some people.

    The NBA game is markedly different to the Int game. BUT, everyone has been saying the NBA players will clean up… until their pre-tournament games that is.

    It seem Charles Barkely is the only guy that really saw this coming and went on the record (years ago) predicting this very scenario (both the actual results and the publc/media backlash).

    Your point 5 is just ridiculous. I understand you are an NBA owner, but seriously who gives a shit? We should frown at the NBA for letting players REPRESENT THEIR OWN COUNTRIES IN THE OLYMPICS? That’s retarded…

    Comment by Karl -

  42. Oh yea and EMEKA OKAFOR! WUT A FUCKING LOSER! why the heck would you invite him???

    Comment by Asad -

  43. The fact of the matter is Stu Jacksons should be fired as he put together the current team. Adding players like Shawn Marion, Stephon Marbury, and Amare Stoudamire are totally fucking up our chances to win GOLD! He shouldve put in Rasheed Wallace, Michael Redd, and Chris Webber/Brad Miller. The more I think about this issue, the more I realize that David Stern wants team USA to lose, so the International players think they can compete with NBA players which gives him the chance to open up an NBA league in EUROPE! Just something to think about..

    Comment by Asad -

  44. I like your points Mark!

    Point 1 – VERY TRUE. If fingers need to pointed, it should be pointed at the selection committee. Many of these players have similar skill sets, which isn’t necessarily bad, but its a HUGE problem when you overlook an important skill as outside shooting. There is no need to make replica’s of the Dream Team, or even assemble an all-star team. They need the best team suited for International play.

    Point 3- I really agree with this one. Lamar Odom and Iverson’s performances were examples of that. AI playing with a broken thumb and Odom playing while sick and very weak. Those guys are pouring their hearts out. I feel bad for them because they’re in an unfair position. Even if they win the gold, how is the public going to react? The probable reaction would be “So what? We’re expected to!”. Not a lot of gratitude for guys who WANT to be there.

    Point 4 – Good point, never thought about that. The NBA game and the International game are so different that I’m not sure if marketing value can be offered. The NBA markets individuals on a majority basis, International/Olympic basketball is all about TEAM.

    Point 5 – I can DEFINITELY see your point here, but i’m sort of torn on this issue. I like seeing NBA players in the Olympics as they are valuable assets to NBA teams. However, as a fan, its fun to see NBA players in the olympics. They should probably make some changes to selection process however. They need guys who want to be there. Its a slap in the face to see all these players rejects invitations. Why not have the players step forward first? Secondly, why not mix players from the collegiate level? Instead of having an Okafur sitting on the bench, wouldn’t a JJ Reddick be so much more valuable?

    Comment by David -

  45. Mark I have great respect for you, but I think what you’ve written here is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever read.

    I would write more but the comments made on the below post reflect my views 100%

    “grow some balls”
    Posted Aug 17, 2004, 12:28 PM ET by CJ

    Comment by Eddie Freeman -

  46. We should just send the And1 Mixtape players. That way there would be no confusion over what is wrong with the team. We would lose but look good doing it, and be proud doing it.

    Just imagine the game:
    Walton: And Hot Sauce breaks the press … oh wait … what is he doing?
    Other Guy: He is taking the shirt off of the Greek player.
    W: Wow, I’ve never seen that … and now he just bounced the ball off of the Greek player’s head…wow
    OG: Now he appears to be doing some sort of break dance.
    W: Yes, that is a variation of the robot. He just threw the ball into the crowd … amazing.

    Final score Greece 80, USA 64. Similar results, but certainly more entertaining.

    Comment by Steven -

  47. According to the Ticket, who’s hardly ever right and always wrong, Dallas is going to trade Laetner and Najera to Golden State for Dampier and Eschmyer. If this is true, then well done. Well done. Dampier isn’t Shaq, but he’s the best available center in the league. And the MAvs are hardly giving up anything. Najera’s energy is nice, but it’s inconsistent, and not as important as a starting center night in and night out. Laetner is a nice backup, but we never needed him here. If this is true, the Mavs fans finally have something to cheer about after a long, hard, summer…

    Comment by Tim -

  48. All you need to know about the general perception of NBA players and the NBA today, is there are a lot of Americans (in a time of war none the less) that are openly rooting for USA Basketball to lose. Many Americans are so disgusted with the NBA and their players that they are rooting against The United States of American in the Olympics. That is the NBA circa 2000.

    Wake up owners and fix your product. It starts with the employees/players you hire to be the face of the NBA. Then change the rules to open up the game. The 2 most enjoyable teams in the NBA to watch the last few years have been the Mavs and Kings, yet playoff time they entertaining solid brand of basketball is rendered ineffective thanks to rules designed to benefit defense over offense.

    The NFL goes to great lengths every off-season to tweak the rules to keep the advantage titled towards the offensive side. When the defensives appear to be catching up, they tweak it some more.

    The NBA needed some major tweaking about a decade ago. Widen the Lane, call the game tighter, do what it takes to sway the game back towards the offense.

    Stiffer penalties for arrests and players acting like delinquents wouldn’t hurt either, especially of the monetary variety.

    Comment by Chris Hill -

  49. The US team is a reflection of where the NBA has been headed:
    -Drafting younger guys with no skills (other than dunking)
    -Poor free throw shooting
    -Poor three point shooting
    -Prefer one-on-one plays
    -Overpaid, underperforming (e.g. “wake-up call,” you represent the USA and NBA, you shouldn’t need a wake-up call)
    -Thuggish (AI rap album and police problems)
    -No concept of team

    Most of the team represents what is wrong with the NBA today. I am enjoying watching them get embarassed.

    Comment by Steven -

  50. Poor Larry Brown… I remember him riding your ass about how important the Olympics were to the marketing efforts of the NBA. And, yet, HIS face will be always remembered as the coach assoiated with the demise of USA BBall on the world stage. And now, he’s all burned out, stressed, and might have to miss some of the NBA season. Maybe the answer is a better COACH, like K or Majeris?

    Comment by al -

  51. … the international game is more entertaining.

    The NHL (if we see it again) is a better product than the NBA, at least. But both suffer in comparison to their international counterparts.

    Mark, do you think people will sit through Shaquille O’Neal’s sumo wrestling after seeing that the game CAN be played like it’s being played in the Olympics? (I’ll at least give your Mavs credit for being the most watchable team in the your league.)

    Comment by Beau -

  52. You guys are sitting on the wrong side of the fence. If you would just cheer for the other teams, you would enjoy Olympic basketball.

    For years, I’ve painstakingly sat through NBA games watching players ball hog, loaf on defense, and throw up ill-advised shots. I keep coming back, hoping things will change.

    I hate the NBA, and I hope they don’t even medal. Underdogs make sports interesting. Go Puerto Rico!

    Comment by Entertainment News -

  53. Team USA would be better off if they had a tryout process that started early in the year, invite collegians, Americans playing in Europe and then say that any NBA players who want to come tryout are welcome to do it. Then have the tryouts start in mid-March (after most players are done with the NCAA’s). Pick maybe 20-30 of the non-NBA players out and have them practice and play together and as NBA seasons end those players can try out. I’d hire a coach from Europe, and give him zero “help” in selecting his team. I think that scenario gives us the right mix of star players and role players, and most of the guys on a team like that would be thankful for the opportunity to play and want the gold as badly as the other nations players do.

    Comment by Chris -

  54. Of course these guys can’t reflect the NBA. How much training and game time do these guys have with there respective teams…a lot. Team USA consists of good players that don’t get enough time of playing together and getting to know each others strengths as a team.
    A team can not be composed of talent alone. In order to make a great team you need “team work”, several players that can play the court, not just there position. It’s just like a fantasy team, you want good players, but if you don’t know how or when to play them you lose.

    Comment by Chell -

  55. They shouldn’t put together an all-star team. If you can get KG, Kobe, Shaq, T-Mac, etc., that’s fine. Those guys will overwhelm the competition. But, if they don’t want to play, don’t just go to the 2nd tier. Go to guys like Michael Redd (who should be there anyways), Brad Miller, Fred Hoiberg, Rasheed Wallace. Those guys are solid and can shoot the oustide shot. This team is a disaster. Everyone is a slasher.

    Comment by NBA Rumors -

  56. Alright so Mark says that NBA Players should not be used.

    Most of the posters argue in one way or another that the players don’t care.

    So here, I’ll solve everyone’s problem:

    Have Team USA be non-professionals. (That solves Mark’s problem). Have the Olympics be the equivalent of the NFL combine. This will let amateurs and college players (note I do not call them amateurs because who doubts they get paid?) fill their need to get attention. Plus they’ll have something to prove, which also solves all the others posters posts.

    The only question is, when is Mark going to interview me?

    Comment by Greg Wilson -

  57. Alright so Mark says that International Player should not be used.

    Most of the posters argue in one way or another that the players don’t care.

    So here, I’ll solve everyone’s problem:

    Have Team USA be non-professionals. (That solves Mark’s problem). Have the Olympics be the equivalent of the NBA combine. This will let amateurs and college players (note I do not call them amateurs because who doubts they get paid) fill their need to get attention. Plus they’ll have something to prove, which also solves all the others posters posts.

    The only question is, when is Mark going to interview me?

    Comment by Greg Wilson -

  58. If they wanted to stick with youth, they could have asked Kyle Korver to be on the team to shoot 3s.

    Comment by Greg -

  59. A smack in the head for the NBA for getting smacked in the head by a bunch of foreign dudes playing the game we invented. A smack in the head for putting together a team that lacked fundamentals and chemistry. And a smack in the head for worrying so much about the Olympics getting to borrow your investments for free. Is the marginal dollar lost worth coming off like a big baby who has to share his toys. The NBA has some competition in basketball dominance and now you suggest they should take their ball and go home rather than face the challenge. That is what is wrong with the NBA, they’ve forgotten that winning is the definition of success in basketball. Too much focus on entertaining has deteriorated skills. Let “and 1” cater to the fans who want to see show offs, and concentrate on playing great basketball. Trying to fill both niches is exposing you to embarassment. Your core fans want to watch winners, not pussies who shy away from the international challenge.

    Comment by CJ -

  60. Mega Guy, is it your site?🙂
    ————————–
    Doldon Smith from *\/* phentermine (http://www.phentermine.tv) *\/*

    Comment by Phentermine -

  61. Believe it or not my 70+ year old mother is a HUGE B-Ball fan and is extremely knowledgeable about it. While watching the US team getting embarrassed we had a discussion about this exact subject. I said “WHY AREN’T THERE ANY THREE POINT SHOOTERS?” and she replied that all they had actually recruited declined to play. I find that extremely hard to believe. Send Damon Stoudamire for goodness sakes. Maybe they were worried about the Peepee-tests. Surely if they had made an effort they could have found at least 2 or 3 three point shooters. THEY HAVE A SHORT 3-POINT LINE IN THE OLYMPICS!!!! These guys don’t let you go to the basket. They don’t mind taking hard fouls. Kicking and popping seems to be the only thing that really makes sense to win at this level and we have no one to do that on the team. I think Mark is right on the mark on this one.

    Comment by Shunk Wugga -

  62. Since they put Shawn Marion on the team, it really is the people who put the team together fault. Basketball is about chemistry, and chemistry is just simply not there! Mark you should no from having Toine on the team last year. The Kings understand by putting Webber back into the rotation, when he wasn’t ready and messed up everything! Did you see Peja in the playoffs? Did he even play? Chemistry is what helps. Look, the US team has the next two Jordan and Wilkens with James and Anthony. Think about it. Remember the All-Star games with Jordan and Domonique? Those two are too young to coexist with each other. Carmelo’s disgust at the end of the game was written all over his face. He didn’t clap when they were trying to make a run, he didn’t even pay attention in the timeouts, he just kept his hands in his pants and moped around. In ten years they will be the best two players in the league, and they will also be in their early 30’s, watch how, or if they play together how they utalize each other’s skills. They have Marbury at the point, with two ex-teammates that have said things in the media about him. Then Marbury and Jefferson don’t mix, they were about to fight in the playoffs.Please don’t think that players forget these things because they don’t. They tell the media what they want to hear because thats their way of being “professional.” Go out to one of the places were the players are hanging out, let one of them get real oily, and let them spill the beans, they don’t like each other! Chemistry is neeed! Remember, “one bad apple spoils the bunch!”But really they put Shawn Marion on the team, that’s why they are going to lose! Shawn Marion? Slava Marion? Shawn Medvadenko, sounds the same to me!

    Comment by Ken-Yon Hardy -

  63. You say to “fire whoever put this team together” because there aren’t any three point shooters. Or because they didn’t construct the team the right way. So, you’re contending that every player on this team was their first choice? You think the first thing TeamUSA said was, we HAVE to get CARLOS BOOZER on this team? Blame the players who “invented” reasons why the couldn’t play in these games. Basketball in the US has given quite a bit to these guys in their lives, and when it was time to give something back….they are MIA.

    Comment by Matt -

  64. The problem isn’t so much that we don’t have “outside shooters” on the olympic team. Rather, we dont’ have basketball players. Now, we have dunkers, and guys who can make sportscenter highlights, but that’s it. And this is the problem with the NBA that nobody can see.

    These games will be a huge wakeup call that the NBA is not the home of the best “basketball”. It was embarassing to watch our guys try and score. They’d recklessly try and penetrate only to have the zone defense collapse on them. Then, they’d be forced to try and kick it out which would inevitably lead to a turnover.

    I’m tired of hearing about the three point line being shorter. It doesn’t matter. Plain and simple, the medium range jump shot is a lost art form. All our guys know how to do is dunk.

    I’m going to enjoy watching them embarass themselves during these games. The NBA is dead.

    Comment by Dennis -

  65. From a fan’s perspective, I think having the best player’s in the country is great. After all, fans want to watch the best players in a given sport.

    However, I agree that, from an NBA owner’s perspective, there is just too much to lose (in terms of injury and marketing dollars) and nothing really to gain by sending NBA players to the Olympics.

    I think if this were any other business, people wouldn’t be so quick to blame the owners for trying to protect their very substantial investment.

    Comment by sMoRTy71 -

  66. I believe men’s and women’s soccer have benefitted from Team USA’s recent success in the Olympics.

    I agree with your 5th point. There is a whole bunch of talent in the college game, and others that didn’t fit the NBA mold. Team USA could field a very competitive team without any NBA players. Especially if they were able to work out together for more than a couple months.

    Comment by Joshua Flanagan -

  67. To quote:

    “2nd. I love the irony of how every problem TeamUSA has flies in the face of conventional NBA wisdom. When was the last time you heard teams criticized for not having shooters and only having a low post threat ? Its the exact opposite of everything we hear about the Mavs, and that cracks me up.”

    Really? That cracks you up? Have you watched international basketball, Mark? It is completely different from the NBA game. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense that a certain strategy that works for one doesn’t work for the other? Outside shooting is probably the most important facet of the international game. In the NBA, it is not.

    Don’t you think that the criticism the Mavs have faced has been fair? Haven’t your results spoken for themselves? Every year you are beaten in the playoffs by a team with an interior presence. Sacramento with Divac and Webber. Remeber that big deal about how many layups they had? Then the next year they take you to 7 games, 5 of them without Webber. You get by them only to get knocked out by Duncan and Robinson, probably the best front court tandem in the league at the time. Then again, Sacramento. Year in, year out, the Mavs can’t seem to find an answer to the interior games of their playoff opponents, and you think this criticism in unfair?

    International and NBA basketball are two different games. Makes perfect sense to me that different approaches should be called for in each.

    I also take issue with you saying that anyone who believes that the NBA players over there may not be giving 100% effort is an idiot. I believe some of those players probably are giving their all. But, the fact is this: Dwayne Wade said after losing to Puerto Rico that they came out “flat.” This is the Olympics! How do you come out “flat???!!!!” They should be more motivated for these games than any they’ve ever played because some things transcend the almighty dollar. They are representing their country on the grandest of all stages, and they are “flat?” I can see nervous. I can understand overmatched (which is hardly the case). But flat? You are correct. Obviously whoever put this team together made some serious errors if they came up with even one guy who couldn’t get motivated playing for, common NBA vernacular aside, the only true World Championship.

    Comment by Kevin Stockbridge -

  68. Qouting Mark Cuban:
    “On the flipside, I havent noticed baseball suffering this year. PGA ratings were up in the face of the olympics and the NFL continues to really, really struggle without a spot in the Olympics… doesnt it ?….”

    I just wonder how much the MLB and NFL have been gaining in international popularity during the last decade compared too basketball?

    Thought so…

    My bet is the NBA easily makes 5 times more from international marketing than the other leagues. You could try to argue that the olympics had nothing to do with the rising popularity of basketball globally, put you would look like an idiot, plain and simple.

    Comment by Birkir -

  69. I will agree with a lot of what you say. It is difficult to figure out why these players are getting so much more blame than the committee that put these players together. At least these are the guys that actually stepped up and wanted to be there.

    But I do disagree with you in the sense that we should not use NBA players in the Olympics. Although I don’t know what it is like to write millions of dollars worth of paychecks to these players, and I do understand that these are million dollar investments for you, but watching that game made me sick to my stomache. Call me crazy but I think that we would still have a lot better chance with our NBA players even if it is a situation where its like our “second team” than we would with our best college players. Maybe the committee should have taken a second glance at the NBA this year. The team that won the championship did not have the most talent in the league but they actually played like a “team”

    Comment by Scott Wandzilak -

  70. “There seems to be some confusion that TeamUSAs lack of dominance at the Olympics is a reflection on the NBA.”

    There is no confusion. These are NBA players that get paid millions to play this game. They are the best in the world and they got stomped.

    ” Anyone who thinks NBA players over there dont care or arent trying is an idiot. Plain and simple.”

    2 words -Puerto Rico

    Comment by jt -

  71. We need shooters and crafty players. The Olympics aren’t for showing off the NBA’s youngest and greatest. Let Larry Brown or whoever is coaching this thing has his pick of the NBA to CONSTRUCT a team from the groud up that can compete. Do NOT let the NBA Marketing Dept choose players based on “Most Jerseys Sold in 2004.”

    Comment by Scott Griffith -

  72. Absolutely. Olympic atheletes may be financially rewarded, but ther eis no question that thier love of the sport & desire to excel is their main motivation.

    Comment by DiscountAV -

  73. This is the link that Brian meant to post in comment #59:
    http://www.hoopsvibe.com/nba/nba-articles/is-basketball-still-america-s-game-ar13632.html
    It question whether or not Basketball is still America’s game.

    Comment by Romain -

  74. As far as your last statements, about marketing and participation, is the Olympics about marketing, no. It is about the nobility of competition. Pure and simple, there are people who will bastardize it, yes, but that is why the majority of people still watch the Olympics, because they actually feel like all the athletes aren’t spoiled brats, and they are actually competing for the love of their sport.

    Comment by runescape money -

  75. I’m pleading with you to make this deal happen! Love Eddie, but IMHO, Howard makes him expendible, Dampier allows DJ and Pavel to mature, Dickau is a nice piece of development material, and Eschmeyer is…good for taking your money – jk! With Terry/Harris/Dickau at point, Daniels/Stackhouse/Stephansson at off guard, Finley/Howard at small forward, Dirk manning the power forward all by his lonesome (which he has done nicely), and a forward/center rotation of Dampier/Booth/Bradley/DJ/Pavel/Eschmeyer/Henderson, my Mavs sports pants are going crazy!! Nice job!! Mavs in 6 against Miami in 2005!!

    Comment by runescape money -

  76. Don’t blame the people who are on the court, who ostensibly are some of the best players in the league, ONLY blame the league. Wrong. Blame the committee, yes, but also blame the players. They have displayed a disgusting lack of committment to playing as a team.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  77. Don’t blame the people who are on the court, who ostensibly are some of the best players in the league, ONLY blame the league. Wrong. Blame the committee, yes, but also blame the players. They have displayed a disgusting lack of committment to playing as a team.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

Comments are closed.