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Greeced Lightning

Much like my hero Larry David, I find that I am humbled on a daily basis. Today's humbling is related to Team U.S.A. and the fact that I was wrong about their supremacy.

Team U.S.A. is now out of contention for the gold after losing to Greece, 101-95. Greece will advance to play Spain for the title, and the U.S. will battle Argentina for third place.

For all my talk of the balanced roster of Team U.S.A., it's clear that this team is in fact quite young and still a little wet behind the ears.


Success in basketball is often achieved by doing all the "little things," like fighting for loose balls and hitting your free throws. Team U.S.A. shot less than 60% from the stripe against Greece and that's just pathetic.

Say what you want about today's players being more athletic and capable of dazzling crowds with their abilities, but close games still come down to possessions and free throws.

Ball movement is another key to success in basketball and it's clear that today's player prefers the stagnation of one-on-one play. That's great. You can break down the guy who's guarding you. You showed him up. Good for you. But scoreboards keep track of the number of points you've scored, not the number of ankles you've broken.

LeBron James led the team in assists with only 5 and that's just not enough. Great teams beat you with their passing. Great teams make you look slow as they swing the ball from strong side to weak side and force you to guard them over the entire length of the floor. Great teams get countless lay-ups because they just know the game better than you do.

While clearly full of potential, Team U.S.A. is not yet a great team. Winning at the highest levels requires more than good showmanship. In time, let's hope we figure that out.