Rosenberry Crunch: USA win at FIBA not to be ignored

Story by Sam Rosenberry

As I mentioned in my last column, football is here. This past weekend proved my theory that people were playing football, thankfully.

That would have been embarrassing for me if nobody played.

In a quick regional summary, Wisconsin football pulled off wins and Minnesota football had a pair of tough losses.

Also, and maybe more importantly, the Blugolds took down a ranked opponent, which is really cool. You should take a look at Kris’s article on the matter in this very paper. It’s a full-service operation we run here at The Spectator.

With all this football, you may have not noticed something. There was a basketball tournament ending this weekend: The 2010 FIBA World Championships. I know, pretty sweet, right?

The USA was able to win the thing too. Even sweeter!

I know that it didn’t feature ESPN’s favorite son Lebron James or even Kobe Bryant. Which is odd because how can anything be important without those two? It’s unimaginable how the tournament was able to even carry-on. Do those suckers at FIBA even know how to spell basketball?

Well, though it may be hard to believe, it was actually a cool, and important tournament for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, we, that is The USA, hadn’t won this in 16 years. That’s a long time folks. Brett Favre was only in his 20th year at that point. It was great of the team to finally get the win.

However, it’s pretty bad that it took this long to win it again.

I blame it on three things.

The first of which is the emerging international talent over the last decade or so. Players like Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobili have made it awful hard to win.

International teams were also more cohesive as teams.

The lack of effort is the second reason for this drought. Many think of NBA players as lazy and selfish; fans regularly vote NBA stars as the athletes who try the least hard in pro sports.

I also blame poor lineup decisions. We had flashy dunkers and superstars, but not guys who would play defense or who could shoot three pointers. Eventually this got them an embarrassing sixth place at The 2002 FIBA World Championships, which were held in the United States. Ouch.

We then got third place at the 2004 Olympics. Double ouch. Our lack of caring and poor team-orientated lineup finally took away Olympic Gold.

These were hard pills to swallow.

We created basketball using nothing but peach baskets and Dr. John Naismith’s magic, and now we are sucking at it? It was dark times indeed.

Fortunately for U.S. Basketball, we rebounded in the next Olympics and finally, in these World Championships.

We used lineups that included a nice mix of offensive talent, defensive tenacity and utility players.

It also helped that players felt silly for losing and started to care more. U.S. Basketball seems to be back on top now.

The second thing this tournament taught us was how much of a machine Kevin Durant is. This guy can score from anywhere plus he seems to be a guy who generally tries hard any time he hits the court.

We’ll just ignore the fact that he can fit his body into a soda can.

Finally, the tournament showed us once and for all that Coach Mike Krzyzewski is the best coach alive today. He can coach college kids who just want to please their coach and NBA players who don’t care about coaches.

He can lead both to championships too. Sorry all two trillion of you Duke haters, but Coach K is the man.

Perhaps this FIBA tournament went right over your head because you were in a dazed, drool-drenched stupor due to NFL opening weekend. I don’t blame you either because I feel that this whole NFL thing has a future.

I assure you though, you missed out on an important basketball event.