USA Basketball: Back On Top … Next Up?

LONDON — USA Basketball chairman and managing director Jerry Colangelo doesn’t play the “what if” game. He refuses to even entertain it, whether it’s in regards to the program he runs, the games the teams play or the future of the game of basketball around the globe.

He is simply not interested in delving into the hypothetical world of what would, could or should have been. And when you are the architect and steward of an operation that has won 50 straight games on the world stage, it’s probably wise to deal strictly in the here and now.

So you’ll have to excuse Colangelo for not being as nervous as some were in the final minutes of the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team’s gold medal triumph over Spain Sunday at North Greenwich Arena, the 107-100 final score was the closest in an Olympic final in 40 years.

“What if Marc Gasol hadn’t gotten into foul trouble?” someone asked from deep in the back of a scrum.

“There are always a lot of what ifs,” Colangelo said. “What if Carmelo [Anthony] had hit two or three shots and a couple of other things had happened, it might have been a 20-point lead. I don’t buy any of that. People speculate all the time about that issue and others, and I would like to say we disproved it.”

Colangelo didn’t even have to say, “what if Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Derrick Rose were healthy?” He could have, but he didn’t. He didn’t need to. Colangelo has shut down all of the critics, domestic and foreign, since taking over the program.

No one was sure they’d get a buy-in from the best and brightest stars in the NBA.

They did.

No one was sure Mike Krzyzewski, a Hall of Fame college coach but a man who had never coached pros before, was the right fit.

He was.

Krzyzewski finished his tenure Sunday with a 62-1 record in international games and the rare Olympics (2008)-World Championship (2010)-Olympics (2012) trifecta.

The only real question for Colangelo, now that the core of this current group could be breaking apart with Krzyzewski, Kobe Bryant and perhaps LeBron James, Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams all departing the program: where do they go from here?

“Right now is too soon to make any decisions,” he said. “We need to decompress from this, and we will do that. Everything will come together over the next few months. I’m looking at the end of December as the time when the future will be clear.”

The talent pool will never be much of an issue, not with the next batch of U.S. stars being identified early and often and nurtured into a USA Basketball culture that has produced gold medal winners at every age level.

Colangelo’s greatest challenge is going to be identifying a successor for Kryzyewski and then praying that he can form the same sort of bond with a cast of superstars that the Duke coach has been able to do with the All-Stars that are fiercely loyal to him.

“Man, it’s going to be tough,” Kevin Durant said. “They’ve got to find somebody that can relate to the players in the right way and motivate you and push your buttons, but also respecting you like the professional you are. Coach K was great for me. And I know these other guys feel the same way.”

When Chris Paul, who played his college ball for Duke rival Wake Forest, speaks as glowingly as he does about Krzyzewski, you get a better understanding for just how revered he is by these NBA superstars.

“It’s tough for me to say it [from these] lips,” Paul said of Krzyzewski, “but I love that guy. I love him.”

Depending on what happens with the age-limit rule discussions between now and the end of December, Durant, the leading scorer and rebounder during this gold medal run, will serve as the ringleader for the U.S. Team in the coming years. And he’s right, the search for his replacement is going to be critical.

“Mike is a leader and one of the great communicators you’ll ever find at any level of sport, certainly basketball,” Colangelo said when asked to describe what made Krzyzewski the right man for the job when there were any number of coaches, college and pro, to choose from seven years ago. “He’s committed and passionate, and he bled red, white and blue. And had a military background, and on and on and on … I could go on for a half hour about all the reasons why he was the right coach for our program, and people even doubted that choice. The fact is, he’s done something no one else has ever done, the Olympics-World Championships-Olympics back-to-back-to-back, it’s a record that’s going to be hard to beat.”

The man who attempts to do it will likely have to do so with Krzyzewski looking on from a perch right next to Colangelo.

“Mike has stated he’s done and I accept that if it’s final. If not, we’ll have another pizza and a glass of wine and see what happens,” Colangelo said, a nod to the tactic he used to get Krzyzewski to convince the coach to come back for a repeat shot at gold after the win over Spain in Beijing four years ago.

“Listen, the last eight years have been the incredible, the best eight years of my life,” Colangelo said. “And I know a lot of guys feel the same way. But I’m not a pessimist about the future, I’m an optimist. And coach is going to be a part of what I do [with the program], because I want him alongside me. He’s been right there in the trenches with me since 2005. So, in terms of who [might succeed him], I don’t want to speculate on that. There have been a lot of good candidates and a lot of people I’m sure would love to have it.”

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, both of whom were here in London as a part of NBC’s broadcast team, have been mentioned as possible successors. Any one of Krzyzewski’s current assistants with the U.S. Team — Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillan and Jim Boeheim — could move over a few spots on the bench without any problem.

There are also a number of high-profile college coaches ( Florida’s Billy Donovan being the most notable) already working within USA Basketball’s system.

They have time to investigate all options. The next international competition for the U.S. team is the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain, a tournament the U.S. automatically qualified for by winning gold here.

And while the U.S. is losing a coach, they have a talent base that will be sound in two years, which is more than you can say about the aging core of teams like Spain and Argentina, the two biggest challengers to U.S. dominance going forward.

Colangelo needs the core group of players who might be leaving the program to impart their wisdom and experiences on to those who follow, a torch passing on and off the court, a brotherhood that extends beyond NBA rivalries and professional interests.

“It probably sounds crazy to think that after winning a gold medal this is bittersweet, but it is, in that it is sweet to be able to have this gold medal around your neck but it’s tough because you don’t get this opportunity anymore,” Paul said. “While we’ve been here playing and practicing for a while, I hate that in a couple of months these guys are going to be my enemies. This is the most fun time of my life; ‘08 was all good and well but there was something about our 2012 team that was just special. I hate that this was our last game playing together. It’s something that we’ll never forget.”

Colangelo is counting on it!


  1. D says:

    What was Deron Williams’ shooting percentage? 20% maybe? Did he do anything other than dribble and shoot? He and Chandler didn’t deserve to be there.

  2. chef chonoy says:

    coach K adopts FIBA rules and officiating much better because he’s great college coach..ur dumb to comment coach K is just putting line up on the floor like just a piece of cake hes on this team for 2 decades KNOW your KNOWLEDGE man!

  3. Nuerdo says:

    USA vs Turkey in the next finals, because Turkey will have a better roster than France, Spain or Argentina. Ilyasova, Omer Asik, Enes Kanter is emerging players. Turkey has played a final in 2010 World Championships, too.

  4. cool knicks fan says:

    2016 U.S. Team:
    PG: Kyrie Irving
    SG: Shabazz Mohammad
    SF: Kevin Durant
    PF: LeBron James
    C: Dwight Howard
    Bench: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Rudy Gay, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Kevin Love, James Harden

  5. kobe says:

    dream team vs 2012 team. first of im not saying either way, well i guess i am, dream team all day. but david robinson and patrick ewing down low. with the presence of malone and barkley, you cant beat that. no as far as dream team, magic and bird were all but done at that point. so you cant really count them at that point, but for arguement sake, if you were talking player for player, magic and bird are two of the best ever, magic probaly the best ever. than kobe.

    • D says:

      I agree. Dream Team, no question. Mullin and Laetner were the only weak spots (should have been “Nique” instead of Mullin). The best pure point guard in NBA history at the peak of his career (Stockden) was the eleventh man off the bench. Comparing Deron Williams to him is a joke. The Dream Team bigs compared to who, Love and Chandler? Are you kidding me? Definitely Dream Team.

  6. Fefe (Nets) says:

    @Semaj: Semaj, you said “chasis….let me explain something to you…..this team was good…good enough to beat Spain without…Wade,Bosh,Aldridge,Dwight Howard and Rose all of whom were named to the usa men’ s senior team and who were also injured….do you think Spain would’ve have fielded a team if the Gasols and Llull,Fernandez, Rubio(who was hurt) and Navarro were not able to play?? And will someone explain to me how SERGE IBAKA is a SPANISH CITIZEN?? Correct me if I’m wrong,but wasn’t he born in the CONGO which was under FRENCH RULE? Doesn’t France grant the Congo people CITIZENSHIP ??? He should’ve been playing for France if for anyone….man, with all the FLOPPING AND QUESTIONABLE ROSTER ADDITIONS AND THE WEAK MOVE OF LOSING A GAME IN ORDER TO IMPROVE YOUR PATH TO THE GOLD MEDAL GAME, SPAIN SHOULD BE LUCKY THAT THEY GET TO KEEP THE SILVER”

    I wish to reply to you, being myself a French. Being born in Congo DOESN’T grant Ibaka French citizenship at all (LOL where did you heard that??) As for him getting the Spanish citizenship, it’s very NORMAL: he lived there as a teenager with his family, and also played for 2 years in Spain. That said, him playing for Spain is normal. Of course, it’s very different with some players who get citizenships, even if they have no relation whatsoever with the country for which they’ll play. Ex: JaVale McGee, who MIGHT play for the Philippines, even if he never lived there, played there. He has no family link nor anything related to this country, but he might end up playing for Pinas. McGee is only one of the many examples.

  7. SKZ says:

    This comment is directed at @Semaj, who clearly doesn’t know the background of Serge Ibaka.

    :Ibaka was born in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. Both his mother and his father were basketball players. His father played at the Republic of Congo and with the Congolese national team, and his mother played for the Democratic Republic of Congo. He started playing basketball at a very young age with his first club, Avenir du Rail, using the sport as an escape amongst his mother’s untimely death and his father’s imprisonment during the Second Congo War.

    Ibaka moved to Spain as a young teenager and soon found himself playing with several junior basketball clubs, most notably CB L’Hospitalet, with which he won several tournaments.”

    Lead a little before you accuse people of certain things.

  8. Patrickmarc says:

    I hope NBA season will start at time. I wonder about the wolves, with Rubio and Love, able to go in play -off, and how the lakers will dominate NBA. What else ?

  9. gartzo21 says:

    Just think about that…. If age limit is activated, then what about great older players/legends internationally, who won’t get a chance to play for their country in the olympic games?? Olympic basketball will get like football, it’s not entertaining and certainly not interesting

  10. Han says:

    Officials for the Rio 2016 Olympics has already said the U-23 rule won’t be implemented at Rio. It will be an US-only rule decided by the NBA. If it does go through, USA will lose the gold medal to veterans from other countries and they’ll just revoke the rule for 2020 Olympics. Waste of 4 years.

  11. Han says:

    Unless they make the U-23 rule a little lenient, Davis actually CAN’T PLAY because his 23rd birthday comes before the next Olympics.

  12. NBAfan says:

    Competition means winning or losing. Competition means wanting to maximize your chances of winning. Competition doesn’t mean spectator excitement. You’re looking at it from a spectator’s point of view.

    The Olympics is a display of your excellence in one thing. So I guess you applaud Ussain Bolt for not running his best and always slowing down at the 50 meter mark and still beating everybody in the first couple of heats? Should Michael Phelps been banned because he is so dominant?

    The USA brought in their big guns for Basketball and they displayed just what they can do. Howard wasn’t even there. Blake wasn’t even there (not saying his one of the best, but he could have physically dominated down low).

    Lebron was what? 18 when he joined the league and already averaged 20 pts. Kobe too…and Garnett….

    I’m sure the US will be able to find and develop guys like them in the future especially now that highschoolers can’t enter the league directly anymore..

  13. JCALVINEATON says:

    It amazes me to even read all of this hype and exaltation of the U.S. Olympic Basketball Team and suggesting that it is a big deal that they won the Gold Medal. I have all the respect in the world for the excellence of Coach Mike, and certainly am not foolish enough to imply that our Team was anything less than a group of the very best basketball talent in the world. But that is, and really should be, the only point worth discussing concerning how Olympians are chosen to fill the rosters of nations competing. The age limit idea may restore some sense of credibility to the games, but even that is a far cry from giving the world the grandeur of Olympic athletic competition that would re-energize the level of spectator excitement necessary to make it rise to the level it once had as a global event encapsulating the pride of nationalism in the hearts and common bond of the citizens from every nation in the competition. The day we began to allow Professional athletes to compete in the Olympics is the day we literally ripped out of the hearts of every aspiring young athlete and sport enthusiast in the world who lived with hope, encouragement and dreams for what could possibly happen for them or a friend, or someone else who, as an amateur, living a normal life, going to school, or working hard to support there family, could manage to put in enough devotion and practice to rise to the level of qualifying to make the Olympic team and truly represent THE PEOPLE of their nation in this international competition. I do love Professional sports, and am a long time NBA fan, and take nothing away from the excellence of their game and competition in its appropriate context. It is exciting to say that at the least, although even that is becoming tainted by the big market big money teams buying their trophy and rings. We might as well cancel the 2012-13 NBA season and just get with the finals between LA & Miami. The joy and excitement of the Olympics is gone my friends…and I hate to tell you this, but the vast majority of sports enthusiasts were not even impressed with the Olympic and wold records broken in the last dew weeks. When you send a team of special forces or Navy seals into a small compound to take out a single enemy, the victorious results are expected and it is just doing what they do. But when you send a squad of regular Army infantry in to accomplish the same task, and they do it…this is something to shout about, and now we have some heroes! So, gloat as much as you want Kobe, Lebron

  14. Bok says:

    If 23 & under rule will be applied to USA the it should be applied to ALL participants.

  15. HeatKingsofEast says:

    if the u-23 is being implented at the olympics, usa will definitely be the favorite. all good players of other countries are usually 30 yrs and above

  16. wtf u serious? says:

    Stern is full of BS. he only look for money and destroying the game we love. if you put u-23 rule i can grantee global audience in Olympic basketball will reduce to great numbers. why do you think global fans show up so many in Olympic basketball games? to see US basketball stars. Heck other team players even want to see our stars and want to play with the best. remember kobe was asked to sign on the shoe by other team player? that how big of impact that US superstars are having on global basketball, believe me if stern get what he want he will destroy the Olympic basketball we know of. do you know soccer is the most popular sport in the world but it is not popular in Olympic because of the U-23 rules. so best of the best do not get the chance to compete and no one really care about it. imagine how big Olympic soccer games will be if players like CR7, messi, rooney get to play in their teams. please don’t kill the Basketball popularity from Olympic. if U-23 come in and Davis is the best player in the team i might as well go watch beach volleyball

  17. javon says:

    i think in their primes dream team 12, cant beat the original dream team, the line up of jordan, bird, magic, barkley, stockton, malone, drexler, robinson, ewing, pippen, laetner, mullin, whos gonna guard ewing and robinson even malone chandler and love cant handle that, they will graduate early from the game, maybe lbj will guard mj, as bird will be guarded by kobe, but magic and his strenght in pg position, to much to handle by dwill and cp3, then their is the bench by orig dream team

  18. ricky rubio and spain will crush these usa youngsters next olympics

    • high leaper says:

      Are you sure about that? The only eligible player from ur roster is davis.. kyrie irving will be 24 yrs old by that time.. but i believe the US team will be more dominant if they’ll make that rule.. no more nba veteran players from teams like argentina or spain or there may be a few.. 3-4 years of experience in nba will be enough to beat other countries who are also made up of under 23 players.. but if they’ll do that, it should be applied to all sports not only in basketball,. Just to be fair

    • Retro Silk says:

      o.k. knock it off Sekou!

    • D says:

      If we’re forced to send USA “youngsters” then Rubio can’t play either. Is there even one player on Spain’s team right now that would be eligable to play in an under-23 Olympics in 2016?

  19. Nomena says:

    Its clear that the NBA players want to play for the national team and compete in international competition.
    Its very interesting to see american loving to compete in the international level. Hope that Baseball and american football will follow.

    US Basketball have to think twice before switching to the 23 under rules.
    Yes, like football, basketball is a globalized game …before the 1992 Dream Team showed the world the ALLEY-OOPS, SLAM DUNKS but always number 3 or 4 in the rest of the world. We all know that football is the number ONE in the world.
    If there is no age limit in football, then Spain have to send to the Olympic their players who have just won the European Cup this year. THATS TOO MUCH FOR PLAYERS. There are 12 countries who compete in the Olympic, 16 in Euro and 32 in the World Cup. So the 23 and under rules in the Olympic is justified for footballers.

    As far as NBA players, they play a lot of game in regular season but a very few international competition. And Olympic basketball is more popular than the Basketbal world championship. I dont know if by changing the name as World Cup of Basketball will help to rise the popularity or not.
    Just following what football is not necessary fit for basketball. Yes, FIFA World Cup is huge but they build it since 1930.

    Now, lets compare Kobe Bryant and David Beckham between 1998-2008

    DAVID: Plays 115 times for England. Then 3 World Cups, 3 European Cups, friendlies. For his domestic team, he plays a lot of European Champions league, Club world cup and + 4 domestic league (England, Spain, Italy and USA).

    KOBE: For the USA, 2 Olympics, 16 years of 82 games + playoffs in the NBA

    Its clear that FIBA, NBA love the international experience and they want more prestigious international competition.

    Kobe plays probably his game more than David but David have met many countries than him.

  20. justafan says:

    if its 23 and under, USA has no less of an advantage as much as i dont agree with it, all teams will require the same rules and there are dozens of american players both in NBA and college who would dominate all the under 23 players from any other country, by 2016 who will be on argentina?? or spain? im sure they will have some good players but wow USA is sooooo far ahaid of anybody as far as selection goes.. it just comes down to working together as a team, and no head case individual players.

  21. Lekter says:

    I think the age limit, if they ever do it, will definitely destroy the interest there is in Olympic basketball. I would still watch but in no way will it match having Lebron, Kobe, Durant, Anthony, etc playing in the same team. To me it was a dream come true having Lebron and Kobe in the same team along with Durant and Carmelo and the rest. You never see that in the NBA. It was a pleasure watching every single game they played this summer (exhibition and Olympics) from start to end. I didn’t miss a single minute because I know it doesn’t happen all the time to have all these all-stars playing together. I will miss seeing them playing and winning together.

  22. green leef of d.o.c. says:

    23 and under is simply so other countries will have a chance at gold and then they will change it again and the us will have a re-redeem team for marketing like they did in ’04 by sending mostly scrubs…if nobody else sees it then i am here to enlighten….

    green leef of da organizashen the restoration on amazon mp3

  23. Djchesco says:

    according to:

    Patrick Baumann, Secretary General of FIBA, told media Saturday, “The feeling is that we will not be proposing an under-23 for 2016,” he said. “It would probably be premature right now … to make any changes in the Olympic program. Large parts of the world benefit from this tournament for our sport, and I think we should keep this (format) certainly for a while.”

    He also told media that FIBA would continue to talk with the NBA, USA Basketball, and other basketball affiliations about limiting the age in international competition.

    so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what FIBA decided as will the rest of the world

  24. baller33 says:

    c’mon CHASIS, maybe what you meant is TOP U.S. PLAYERS available,they don’t have howard,d wade. bosh,blake griffin and rose, now these 5 guys together with kobe,lebron,durant,paul,kevin love,d will and westbrook will annihilate everybody,but it did not happen,remember a win is a win,either its 30 pts or a mere 7 pts…no SOURGRAPING!!

  25. John Ashton says:

    Much Love Guys, way to represent … USA, yea baby!

  26. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO heck nooooooooooooooooo u23 rule…..
    Imagine how it would be if Young drafts picks and 1or2 years old nba players instead of NBA superstars playing olympics???
    I dont wana even think about how its gonna be ……….
    Plezzzzzzz FIBA dictator no u23 rule and lets us fans enjoyed the game of basketball by superstars showcasing their talents.

  27. Msrk says:

    Im not joking but new talent players need more practice

  28. Pedro Farias says:

    If rules change for 2016 I will pick up Jeremy Lin for Pg position and Derick Rose for Sg position.

  29. NBAScholar says:

    Lebron said nobody on this team will play for USA if the 23 and under rules comes into play.

  30. RAAM says:

    The US is so far a head of the rest of the world, that they can play with pro players that play out side the NBA and still win over every body else.

    The US team played at about 50% effort and in the final.

    Maybe they should come up with a rule that the US team can play only with 4 players on the court to even things up ?

  31. Cuppa Joe says:

    30 and younger seems more reasonable. I’m more drawn to watching an all-star like say, Derrick Rose or Blake Griffin compete rather than someone who just got drafted like Kyle Irving. Let them develop their talents professionally.

    However I’d still prefer the no age limit because there’s no chance in hell you’d see Kobe or Durant play alongside Lebron. We don’t get this in an All-Star game because it’s always East vs West. This is my draw to watching olympic basketball.

  32. vksantana says:

    For get the age limit it should be the best players from every country. Its not called 23 yrs and under olympics.

  33. BULLSFAN23 says:

    Coach Thibs!! should get a shot at USA

  34. chef chonoy says:

    On team USA: Durant (best scorer] Lebron (team’s MVP) Melo (6th man) Kobe (of/on court leadership)

  35. chef chonoy says:

    rivers and collins are great coaches but coach K will be a big loss for team USA..roster can be replace by the younger talents of NBA

    • Knowledge says:

      The only thing coach K did was put lineups on the floor. No plays or anything…Collins observed the box and 1 immediately, Coack K had no clue what was going on

  36. USAgold says:

    I actually hope they do set a limit, but just keep it to, “three Olympics max”. After all, the Olympics are about representing your country. This way guys like Davis wont go 4/5 times and give way to others, while people like Derrick Rose can still go for the gold (he will be 28 in 2016). More people get to represent while most good players will be back to show the USA’s might.

  37. George says:

    OK…everyone says 23 and under for the NBA Players, does that mean the same thing for others? this is not a NBA decision, this is a FIBA decision. EURO basketball players 23 and younger will get smooooooooked against NBA players.

  38. Jim knudson says:

    The USA will use all these changes as motivation in 2016. Look out RIO!!!

  39. Jon says:

    I really hope they don’t go to the U23 rule. The olympics are the only opportunity for me to see the NBA stars on tv (I’m from Belgium).

  40. ballin' says:

    For the rule change, it’s not that I h8 it but why don’t u just use the “1 & done” rule. Give every NBA player no matter what age an opportunity to play for the Olympics. Once you win one, that should be good enough. If we constantly were switching players in & out of the Olympics, it would be more competitive. We wouldnt need the under 23 rule becuz we would have young stars on the team regardless.
    As for the Dream-Team comparisons, no this team can’t beat The Dream-Team but could we construct a team that could? I think we can.
    Team:CP3,Dwill,Rose,Rondo,Wade,Kobe,Durant,LeBron,Melo,Love(or Griffin or Bosh if u feel like they’re better), Howard,Bynum
    Sure, the Dream-Team has MJ and an advantage down-low but this team would rule the perimeter and have 2 unstoppable players in LeBron & Durant. (When Melo gets hot, he’s near unstoppable to stop also) The mismatches would therefore be in our favor and so would the youth and athleticism…BTW, the Redeem Team also would’ve gave the Dream-Team some trouble.

    • aca says:

      but this team would rule the perimeter – i don’t think they would rule the perimeter because the original dream team have great perimeter defenders such as pippen.

      • DR says:

        Yeah Pippen who failed to successfully guard any star player ever, especially ones who are as fast as Chris Paul, D Wade, Lebron, Westbrook, etc. Pippen couldn’t guard any of the perimeter players on that team except Lebron if he purposely plays slow ball, and Durant because of inexperience. Even Rose and Rondo should be too fast for him.

        And honestly the new team already has a great chance against the Dream Team. They’re much faster and are much better shooters. The team with Dwight, Dwade, etc. will destroy the Dream Team. Dwight alone can guard every center from the Dream Team with no Hakeem or Shaq on the squad and can stop people like Jordan from driving.

        Also no one’s guarding Melo or Kobe on the wing and Durant’s deadly when left open. Plus Wade can slice through the D at anytime and is much too fast for any of them to guard. Dream Team gets stomped into oblivion.

  41. Mr. E says:

    I sure as heck hope there will not be an under-23 rule; Mr. Stern has done this only for the reason of deepening his pockets. Granted, the NBA is a business but you still have a good portion of the players on this team that would would be playing in another 4 years for the Olympics. Changing the system would be changing the chemistry which what Team USA worked for after the 2004 bronze disappointment. James would have another 2 Olympics in him (same as Durant) and few others as well. Build upon the chemistry which is how and why a lot of European countries do well.

  42. vern says:

    One thing I hope they change and that’s having NBC the network of choice. NBC and ABC are the worst. They will interrupt an event if it starts raining too hard just to tell you it’s raining. Interrupting the championship game to show us OJ Simpson driving down a highway was the worst.

  43. Ham says:

    Still have Irving,Wall,davis,harden u-23 much appreciated but if it will change after a year some veterans could have been Unfamiliar how intl, played!!

  44. Willy says:

    Change is good for USA basketball. Get the youngsters, under 23 in and build the game again to another level. I still think the USA will still dominant. Youngsters like Durant and Hardin, etc…

    • silly says:

      except in 4 years durant nor beard guy. ect ect wont be 23 and under.

      • NbaGuy123 says:

        Doesn’t matter man, even if the 23 under rule comes in effect the US still has the right to pick 3 players of their liking. So yeah you better believe Durant is in for the 16′ olympics.

    • chasis says:

      U sure?
      With top players US defeat Spain just for 7 point
      Yes, give to Gasol brothers + Ricky Rubio+ Ibaka + Calderon+ etc the chance to play with guys under 23… nice present ¡

      • Jason says:

        Spain’s guys would have to be 23 and under as well. The rule would extend to all teams in the Olympics. I think that a 23 and under rule would greatly benefit the US because most of our core challenger’s best players are in their late 20s and in their 30s (Spain and Argentina), and their young talent isn’t approaching the level of our young talent here in the States.

      • semaj says:

        chasis….let me explain something to you…..this team was good…good enough to beat Spain without…Wade,Bosh,Aldridge,Dwight Howard and Rose all of whom were named to the usa men’ s senior team and who were also injured….do you think Spain would’ve have fielded a team if the Gasols and Llull,Fernandez, Rubio(who was hurt) and Navarro were not able to play?? And will someone explain to me how SERGE IBAKA is a SPANISH CITIZEN?? Correct me if I’m wrong,but wasn’t he born in the CONGO which was under FRENCH RULE? Doesn’t France grant the Congo people CITIZENSHIP ??? He should’ve been playing for France if for anyone….man, with all the FLOPPING AND QUESTIONABLE ROSTER ADDITIONS AND THE WEAK MOVE OF LOSING A GAME IN ORDER TO IMPROVE YOUR PATH TO THE GOLD MEDAL GAME, SPAIN SHOULD BE LUCKY THAT THEY GET TO KEEP THE SILVER

      • Mark says:

        Yes we did have a lot of the best players but as the article pointed out we did not have, Howard, Rose, Bosh, or Wade, and we also didn’t have Griffin. So I would say we didn’t actually have our TOP players.