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Team USA Wins FIBA Americas Gold! Now What?

After drubbing the assembled competition in the FIBA Americas tournament, Team USA has to wait a year to mine for the pure gold they really want from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. I really enjoyed watching the games over the past couple of weeks, but couldn't help thinking what kind of success I should expect next year. Team USA should expect to win but it won't be this easy. Fortunately, Chris Sheridan was way ahead of me and breaks it down nicely.

The key for me has been the team play that developed out of a collection of glaring individual egos. They put it together for a few weeks against relatively weak competition. But what happens if they hit some adversity? Team USA won't run up against a more talented team, but they'll have to beat plenty of very good teams that will expose any USA slippage in the international game. You have to expect a game or two where the refs hamstring the USA with foul trouble. Again, when adversity strikes who can step up and battle through to win regardless of the situation. The key is keeping Kobe, LeBron, Melo, and Kidd healthy and maintaining the same signular-minded focus they had in Vegas. They all shared the top priority of winning. I just hope if winning is in doubt during a game in Beijing that the individuals won't start trying to protect themselves to avoid embarrassment. That is the only way they can lose and believe me, there will be plenty of embarrassement to around.