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Dream Team… American Nightmare?

Posted in Blogs, News on February 9th, 2010 by Troy Miles

I can look back and pinpoint when things started to really change. It was 1992, the first year our professional athletes participated in Olympic basketball competition.  The world was “catching up” to our collegiate representatives, so we had to re-establish our dominance with a swift kick of Bird, Magic , Michael, Charles and the other Dream Teamers?  Well… was this act of national hoop security (insecurity) enough to accomplish our  mission…?

Coming back to the present, is the American basketball model still superior in the world? We did win the gold – even though Spain ran a virtual  lay-up clinic against us in the Final. What’s certain is they (Spain) accomplished a lot with far less to work with than our crew; and truthfully, there was more than one team that fit that description during the Games.

Without question we were dominant in ’92. Our boys in red, white and blue dominated the world (play) like never before.  Every game was replete with high-flying and razzle-dazzle, but also filled with exceptional fundamental play. The games were blow-out victories before they even started. But the world was no less awed and amazed by the performances. However, the networks (ESPN a major player) at home needed to sensationalize highlight type plays to keep our interest in these lopsided affairs.

Like scientists unearthing new technology, our European counterparts captured the nuts and bolts of how to play basketball at the highest level- the right way. Our kids got treated to Sportscenter and  learned how to become “And 1” players. No offense to And 1 players or Sportscenter… I love watching their artistry.  But tragically, our kids learned to dunk like Mike, but not how to think like Mike; to dribble even better than Magic and Stockton, but not handle the team like them.

This generation of players- by and large, has gotten caught up in looking good, as opposed to really being good. Sure there are guys that can play, but the overall IQ of the american ballplayer is down- not to mention applicable skill sets for “clean” play.

These players operate based on Do-How as opposed to Know-How. They are highly capable and often physical freaks of some sort. Too often however, their inadequate comprehension or application of fundamentals limits their chance for consistent success. Know-How will win the series against Do-How almost always. Now of course, Know-How combined with Do-How…that would be ‘Jordanian.'” — The Virtual Game of basketball

Oscar Robertson — The original “Mr. Triple Double”

Our kids are going to continue to lose their status in the world as long as they continue to operate as Do-How artists.

 Don’t get me wrong, nothing against foreign-born players – I love players  period. If they can play, I want to see them play. It’s just that I would also like to see more american ball players optimize their overall games like they used to in the golden times of “Know -How.”  If  the american  Pre-Dream Teamers went up against the american Post-Dream Teamers… I’d have to go with Oscar and “Goliath!”

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