Not Exactly A Fair Fight … But Close?

LONDON – Anyone searching for the biggest difference between the basketball competition at the Olympics 20 years ago in Barcelona to now need only scan the rosters and check off the list of NBA players each team can claim.

When the Dream Team suited up they had twice as many active NBA players (11) than the rest of the field combined (five). Fast forward to the competition that kicks off here Sunday and there are 41 current NBA players (59 total when you count former NBA players) on the different rosters and just 12 of those players (we’re counting No. 1 overall Draft pick and Hornets rookie Anthony Davis, since he’s already signed his rookie contract) are on the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team.

In fact, when the U.S. tangles with France in their opener Sunday, it will mark one of at least several times when potentially all 10 starters on the floor are current NBA players.

“It’s a different world in that respect,” Carmelo Anthony said. “I didn’t really think about it like that.”

A different world with different factors that aren’t lost on U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski, an assistant with the gold medal winning team in 1992.

The U.S. team is facing a France team that boasts not only Spurs All-Star point guard Tony Parker, but also quality NBA players in Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum, Clippers forward Ronny Turiaf, Spurs swingman Boris Diaw and guard Nando de Colo and Wizards center Kevin Seraphin.

“Parker is the first key,” Krzyzewski said. “Diaw is a very important guy for them and he’s really their best passer, that point forward they run a lot of their offense through. Batum, his shooting is outstanding. And then their athletic ability to run up and down the court, we’re not going to out-athlete them like we have with some of our opponents.”

Not if their exhibition win over Brazil, a team with a similar complement of NBA players on their its roster, is any indication. Because there are guys who are role players in the NBA who are difference makers in the international game.

“Just look at Nicolas Batum,” U.S. point guard Chris Paul said. “He’s great player, really a great player. And I feel like the NBA holds him back in a lot of ways just by virtue of his circumstance. He can’t do in Portland what he really can do.”

And France is far from the toughest competition the U.S. will face in this competition. It might not be a fair fight yet, but there is no doubt it’s getting closer in some instances.

15 Comments

  1. Sane Miami Fan says:

    No wonder Miami fans have a bad reputation; its because of idiots like you lbj.

    Yes I 100% agree that Howard is a fantastic player but 1) it will be nigh on IMPOSSIBLE to get him and 2) he wouldnt fit in to our system. With the likes of Lebron, Wade, Bosh and now Allen, Howard would simply not get enough touches offensively, and additionally to use him best we would need to slow down our offense. IMO the dream (however similarly impossible) addition would be Chandler as he is highly competent defensively, and doesnt require much on the offensive end.

    *end rant*

    In relation to USA basketball, a quick question I pose to everyone. What do people think about starting D-Will against Spain instead of CP3. I personally prefer CP3 as a PG however I think that D-Will should get the nod in that instance as he would be better defensively against Huertes…

  2. Law064 says:

    LMAO only Miami fans would make dumb comments in a USA bball blog. USA will get gold bottom line. The 92 dreamteam would still dominate this era of the Olympics. The competition is a lot better but vs MJ Magic Bird and company the margin of victory still would be 20 plus

  3. Joel says:

    @lbj That is impossible to happend…..
    1º – Orlando wants a good deal for them
    2º – they want a team that takes howard to take Hedo contract too(miami doesnt have money not even for 1 of them)
    3º – Haslem, turiaf, anthony? really… they want some young guys with good potencial, not old and bad players
    4º – Turiaf already signed with the clips

  4. Roy says:

    The ’92 dream team was lucky that time because they are competing with less talented and less athletic player on the other side of the floor.

  5. lbj says:

    that’s what I keep on telling about. howard will not resign to orlando he wants to get a ring so he will play with the king. “Lebron”. howard will be traded in exchange to haslem,turiaf,anthony and future round picks.

    PG: Wade
    SG: Allen
    SF: James
    PF: Bosh
    Center: Howard

    6th man: Battier
    Strong Reserve: Lewis,Chalmers,Cole,Miller and Juwan Howard

    Back to back championship

    • Amitpal says:

      Dude what is wrong with u. Howard is not going to Miami and that’s final. The bobcats have a better chance of getting him then Miami does. Stupid heat fan. only team of getting Howard, lakers, rockets, nets, and okc has a small chance. Dallas through free agency and that’s it.

    • Jorda says:

      @LBJ, trollololol… you leave the same comment on every story, and it’s getting stupid

  6. Amitpal says:

    Yeah I dont think the dream team would win these olympics by 40 points a game like they did in 1992. They would still kill most teams but Spain and France and teams like that could at least mak it a little interesting. Im not saying a 3 point game but maybe 15 point or so which isn’t that bad compared to how they beat other teams.

  7. bash says:

    i wish Ewing won a ring

  8. txema says:

    in 1992 the so called Dream Team didn`t play against Yugoslavia

    • john says:

      So what? Do you actually think Yugoslavia would win? Croatia, which was once part of Yugoslavia lost by over 30.

  9. Bev says:

    Interesting.

  10. IIvviiccaa79 says:

    “it’s not a fair fight yet”?

    didn’t USA already lose their international official games with NBA players?

  11. Travis says:

    This should be an interesting battle between the U.S and France. They have to stop Parker if they don’t this will get interesting!

  12. really says:

    cp3