What should we think about USA Basketball in the Olympics?
Is the outcome terribly important? Nope. It should barely matter to Americans.
The 1990s Dream Team – which included Karl Malone and John Stockton – was a big deal. USA teams had previously excluded professional players. That showed in the Olympics. So, once and far all, the U.S. sent its best in 1992 and the results were overwhelmingly.
These days, players are showing up with injuries and excuses not to play with the national team. So while the Americans are almost certainly the best team in the Games, it’s not America’s best. No Stephen Curry, no LeBron James, no Russell Westbrook, no Blake Griffin. (And no Gordon Hayward.)
Team USA has been up and down, beating China by 57 and Venezuela by 44, but then just getting by in wins over Australia (10), Serbia (3) and France (3).
But Americans shouldn’t worry either way.
It was long ago established that America has the best basketball players in the world. Sending a watered-down team to the Olympics doesn’t change that, win or lose.
American fans should just enjoy watching. But worrying? You only do that when the best of the best take the court. This is more of an exhibition thing.