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phlp_bj
08-03-2008, 08:12 PM
It's August and we've reached the dog days of the NBA offseason. Fortunately, though, this year NBA fans have the Olympics to help bridge the gap between summer and the start of NBA training camps in October giving us NBA freaks something to keep our minds occupied for a few weeks.

During one of my recent weekly radio appearances with Brian Noe on Fox Sports Radio's "The Real Deal," an interesting question was posed about the Olympics due to the fact NBA chatter is typically slow this time of year. The question went something like this: Is it more meaningful to win an NBA championship or a gold medal in the Olympics?

Like most questions worth pondering, this question must be attacked from multiple angles. Many players born in countries other than America take a significant amount of pride in representing their countries and the NBA isn't necessarily viewed as the end all be all. For them, winning a gold medal on the basketball court is something they shoot for all of their lives. However, in America things are a bit different.

When asked whether winning a gold medal would be more meaningful than winning an NBA championship, members of Team USA are almost obligated to say winning a gold medal would be more meaningful simply because if an NBA player answers in any other way he runs the risk of being called unpatriotic.

But is this really the truth? In most cases, the answer is probably not.

For example, how often do you hear talking heads discuss the number of gold medals any NBA player has won over the course of his career when trying to judge his legacy? If you answered almost never, you're exactly correct.

How often do you hear aging 300+ pound centers (and you know who you are Shaq) rap about another center not having as many gold medals as he does?

Okay, so you get the point.

If a gold medal was really in any way comparable to an NBA title, the careers of Charles Barkely and Patrick Ewing -- just to name a couple -- would be framed in an entirely different way. Instead of being looked upon as two of the best big men who ever played the game not to win a title, they would be two big men who won gold medals and therefore were instantly considered to have had complete and legendary careers. However, since an NBA title is the measuring stick for basketball greatness in the United States, both players will always be looked at as not quite as great as they could have been by virtue of coming up short in The NBA Finals.

Again, this is not to imply every country views things the same way, but in America an NBA title is unquestionably the litmus test for greatness.

As a 12-year-old kid growing up and playing basketball it was a lot of fun to watch the original "Dream Team" compete in the 1992 Olympics. And yes, I was "that kid" out on the playgrounds and in the driveway pretending to be Magic Johnson leading the Americans to another 70-point blowout.

Still, what I really dreamed of was some day winning an NBA championship. Sure, it would have been an honor to stand on that podium and have a gold medal draped around my neck, too, but what I really wanted to do was hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy high above my head with tears streaming down my face just the way I saw players like Magic, Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan do on the small television in my family's living room. And chances are my dreams were very similar to the dream of millions of other kids growing up in America.

So while it might be politically correct to say winning a gold medal would be more meaningful than winning an NBA championship -- and you will probably hear more than a couple members of Team USA say something like this over the course of the next three weeks or so -- the truth is getting that ring is really what it's all about. Only the ring can complete a NBA player's legacy, and only the ring can ensure one achieves the equivalent of basketball immortality.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9671

DODGERS&LAKERS
08-03-2008, 08:18 PM
I think that the players will say getting the gold is more important but I dont believe they believe it themselves. That is not why they play basketball. They did not grow up as kids wanting to be like Greg Louganis. They grew up wanting to win rings like MJ.

Anthony Flores
08-03-2008, 08:32 PM
I think that the players will say getting the gold is more important but I dont believe they believe it themselves. That is not why they play basketball. They did not grow up as kids wanting to be like Greg Louganis. They grew up wanting to win rings like MJ.

I agree it's just something you have to say, it's kinda like respecting the coach even if you hate his guts.

JordansBulls
08-03-2008, 08:35 PM
If only one of them and I was a superstar give me the title.

*Superman*
08-03-2008, 08:55 PM
IMO, if a player says he rather have a title, thats like being selfish and disrespectful to the country. Thats why you don't hear it often.

BaRRySandAmaN
08-03-2008, 08:58 PM
Playing a sport/competition for your country and winning the Gold is forever. Being a Basketball player I would love the ring but its hard not to take the Gold Medal which IMO means your the best in the World

Yogi
08-03-2008, 09:08 PM
I'd take the gold.

AllTheWay
08-03-2008, 09:14 PM
The gold if far more important, its not even close. Best in a league or best in the world?

Exactly.

If I was any bball player, Superstar or average, I would want the gold.

This is on a world Scale.

fins08
08-03-2008, 09:16 PM
I want the gold. it is tougher to make the team and u rep the USA

bball1217
08-03-2008, 09:22 PM
The gold if far more important, its not even close. Best in a league or best in the world?

Exactly.

If I was any bball player, Superstar or average, I would want the gold.

This is on a world Scale.

The gold is very important, however so is the NBA championship. This is because the NBA has most (pretty much all) of the international superstars. So, even though I think the gold is important, the NBA championship is very close.

Gilbert>TheRest
08-03-2008, 09:32 PM
id take the championship. how often do u see players cry of happiness when they win gold

AllTheWay
08-03-2008, 09:42 PM
Alot?

NBA championship is nothing on a world scale.

#1Mavericksfan
08-03-2008, 09:46 PM
I'd take the gold

SAVAGE CLAW
08-03-2008, 09:58 PM
Well, when i was a kid i always dreamt of , Starting my Career with Cai Zaragoza, Wining the spanish league, Wining the Spanish Cup, then Win euroleague, then go to my National team and win one year the Euro Championship the next the World Cup and the Next the Olympic Gold.

Then of course going into the Knicks and winning 7 rings 1 more that this certain guy....

If i have to choose one among all of them ill go with Gold and then Euroleague.

_Sn1P3r_
08-03-2008, 10:09 PM
I'd take gold because you're representing you're country and shows you're the best in the world. An NBA championship is important also because it is an important accomplishment of your NBA career.

kimchi'sworld
08-04-2008, 09:18 AM
No disrespect to anyone but I would rather take an nba championship which I feel is much harder for a superstar nba plaer to get and I would dare take the best NBA teams and have them compete against the best countries in the world and would bet that they would win. I will agree that representing your country and winning the gold is more important in every other sport except mens pro basketball
and thats because the us basketball team has many more american born players from the nba playing then the other countries olympic teams combined. I believe they should be putting college basketball players back in like they did before the dream team because theyr'e more disciplined, humble, hungrier and will play more competitive though they won't be as good the pros


The olympics are easier for them to win because they're not facing each other to win a championship. I think the American players would rather be playing for the championship althoug they just wouldn't and shouldn't publicly state it. The list of american born basketball players or citizens that represented team usa with gold medals in the past have not won championships. Examples of players that have never won the title but the gold.

Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chrisitan Laetenar, Reggie Miller, Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson etc.




With the exception of the 2004 Olympics Team usa has won gold in every olympic since pro players we're introduced. The truth is the players would rather be playing for championships (which is the reason many players opted not to play in the 2004 olympics). I don't like saying this but they take (though they shouldn't) the olympics and international games for granted and the result was the u.s. was humiliated (by our standards) in the fiba 2002 and the olympics 2004 which clearly was the motive and reason for many of the players on the 2008 squad to not decline playing because they felt they shouldn't of not gold gold in 2004.

DaddyCool
08-04-2008, 09:34 AM
NBA championship for sure. There is very little nationalism in the U.S lol. It's too diverse ethincally for everyone to be nationalisitc.

Bosh=nextKG
08-04-2008, 09:39 AM
I would rather take the gold becasue to make the Olympic team you have to good. Robert Horry is a dude who jumps from a championship team to the next one. He ain't no superstar but everyone on the U.S. are all stars. So thats the 1st honor, knowing ur a star and then being the best in teh world and winning one of dem gold medals, thats prolly one of the best feelings an athlete can get.

DaddyCool
08-04-2008, 09:41 AM
But in the NBA the talent level is the same. The competition in the NBA is much tougher than the Olympics.