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  1. #1
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    A look back at the 2004 Olympic Debacle

    Man time really flies, its been a decade already. I still remember staying up till like 4am to watch these games, getting little sleep and showing up late to what was suppose to be the first day of my promotion. Instead I lost the title and didn't even get my old job back. Good times, anyways, for those of you who dont remember, Athens was where **** got real for USA Basketball. This Bronze showing is what took the power away from the Stu's and Stern's of the NBA and into an actual basketball committee, one with trials and multi year commitments from its players. Where the prior regime had a rep of wanting to boost brand appeal, the new guys valued competition.


    Technically speaking, the US had lost its grasp as the dominant power in the 02 World Championship games, but that was shrugged off as abit of a fluke in what most Americans considered to be the secondary tournament, tho chinks in the armor were evident even back in the 2000 Olympics when it took a few miracles and key games from Vince+KG to win. To Stu's credit, he did assemble what I considered to be the best International team ever fielded, the U.S. Tourney of Americas team. Those were the guys who were suppose to redeem the 02 Squad and continue the winning tradition in the Olympics.... Then everyone and their replacements started opting out, from weddings to rape trials, NBA players were too busy or too scared to enter hostile territory. That said, the replacements were an absolutely awful mismatch of talent and youth.


    Marbury-Iverson was our starting backcourt, teams could shoot over the top easily and neither of them could really stretch out defenses. Marbury caught fire for a single game against Spain but seeing these 2 combine for 6-26 was closer to the norm (Side note: I somewhat pity Spain for matching up against us that game, them vs Argentina would have been a helluva Finals). They were flanked by only 1 true Center (Duncan since Emeka was too young) and a glut of swing men including teens like Melo/Bron for some reason.






    The results;
    In the 3 losses (Vs Puerto Rico, Lithuania and Argentina)
    AI and Marbury shot 23/72

    Not trying to blame everything on these 2, frankly I think we could have utilized both better, but them playing alongside each other as often as they did was something I didn't see the point of.

    In the final game vs Argentina, USA shot 3/11 from down town (watching them, its as if everyone agreed to attack the rack more), Manu himself shot 4/6. Argentina won by 8 and the US had finally tasted Olympic defeat in the NBA era.

    Starting 5:
    Marbury-Iverson-Jefferson-Odom-Duncan
    Primary Reserves:
    Boozer, Marion, Wade

    Amare/Bron/Melo/Emeka (Non factors)






    Looking at the makeup of the roster, could they have won in different roles/lineups or would have scrapped the experiment entirely? What changes would you have made to our Roster selections?


    Keep in mind the following players are unavailable

    Fatigued: Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal and Ben Wallace
    Marriage: Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter and Ray Allen
    Sexual Assault Case: Kobe
    Injured: Jason Kidd, Karl Malone and Elton Brand
    Scared: Mike Bibby and T-Mac



    So aside from them, who would you have sent in 2004?

  2. #2
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    Ill go first

    PG:
    1. Sam Cassell
    2. Iverson
    3. Billups

    Swings:
    1. Paul Pierce
    2. James Posey
    3. Michael Redd


    Nominal 4-Man:
    Odom/Marion/Battier

    Bigs:
    Duncan
    PJ Brown
    Brad Miller

    Code:
    Starting 5      2nd Unit      Closing 
    Cassell         Iverson        Billups
    Pierce          Redd           Redd
    Posey           Battier        Pierce
    Odom            Marion         Battier
    Duncan          Miller         Duncan

  3. #3
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    Yo have to give context about the tournament you guys hosted 2 years before that. You lost to the Serbs("Yugoslavia" back then but it was really Serbia & Montenegro) and the Spaniards and finished 5th! You also lost to Argentina there. It was rather important too.

    And that 2002 was looking great on paper

    edit: Looking back, it seems that the ARgentina defeat int he 2nd group stage was the catalyst. You wouldn't have faced the Serbs in the quarters but the Brazilians and then face the Germans in the semis so it could have been a final game vs Serbia, just like this year. But Serbia was gonna win in 2002. Their squad is useless this year and it's a coaching miracle they're in the final
    Last edited by NYKalltheway; 09-12-2014 at 06:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    i'm ousting brown,starbury and ai,promoting pop to hc and adding billups,and either davis or redd,and feature the young kids(bron,melo,wade)much more than they were

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by abe_froman View Post
    i'm ousting brown,starbury and ai,promoting pop to hc and adding billups,and either davis or redd,and feature the young kids(bron,melo,wade)much more than they were
    You would have featured the teens more? I dont think they were ready for that kind of spotlight/pressure

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronz View Post
    You would have featured the teens more? I dont think they were ready for that kind of spotlight/pressure
    i dont see why not,we used kids before '92 as the entire team,and those guys werent as use to the spotlight as the the bron/melo/ect. generation were( melo carried a college team to a title,lebron was the most spotlighted amateur in history.they're use to the spotlight).i mean we were embarrassed by not playing them,so whats there to lose

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway:29029429
    Yo have to give context about the tournament you guys hosted 2 years before that. You lost to the Serbs("Yugoslavia" back then but it was really Serbia & Montenegro) and the Spaniards and finished 5th! You also lost to Argentina there. It was rather important too.

    And that 2002 was looking great on paper

    edit: Looking back, it seems that the ARgentina defeat int he 2nd group stage was the catalyst. You wouldn't have faced the Serbs in the quarters but the Brazilians and then face the Germans in the semis so it could have been a final game vs Serbia, just like this year. But Serbia was gonna win in 2002. Their squad is useless this year and it's a coaching miracle they're in the final
    Looking back, that 02 Serbian team was pretty damn stacked with talent. Very comparable to teams Spain, Argentina, and Brazil today


    Welcome to Good Boogie, home of the Good Boogie

    Boogie Cousins for MVP 2015

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsdelez24 View Post
    Looking back, that 02 Serbian team was pretty damn stacked with talent. Very comparable to teams Spain, Argentina, and Brazil today
    Today? Lol. It was miles ahead. Spain is on the decline. Its peak was in 2006-10.

    Dejan Bodiroga is one of the best players of all time and that tournament was during his prime and there were other very good players. Their coach in 2002, Pesic, is also a coaching mastermind.
    Milos Vujanic before the injuries was expected to become the best PG ever in European basketball.
    Dejan Tomasevic was one of the best centers of his generation (including NBA guys)
    Then you had NBAers in Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divac, Marko Jaric and a few others

    The early late90s-2000s Serbian teams, 2002-12 Spain, 2004-10 Greece, 2002-6 Argentina, 2000-2005 Lithuania and late 90s-early 2000s Italy are the best teams outside any coming from the USA in the last 20 years. Croatia, France and a couple of others also had strong teams but some these are 'best ever' type of teams in terms of European basketball.

  9. #9
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    The 2002 games were put on George Karl and the fact that none of the big names wanted to play because it wasn't the Olympics and Karl butted heads with the best player on the roster (Pierce) and wasn't playing him.

    The 2004, from what I remember reading, was all about the guys being too young and Larry Brown not knowing what to do about it. Melo, LBJ, Amare and Wade. And Brown loved AI, so... he got WAY more minutes than he should of.

    The thing I felt bad for was that it was Duncan's only Olympics, so he missed out on his gold.

    As to the 'scared' part, I think you could throw Wallace into that as well, but I'm not sure he would have been a good fit for international play.

    As for Pierce, I'm pretty sure he wasn't going to be playing after the 2002 debacle, so he is off the list.

    Your list looks pretty good. I'd make very small changes:

    Point Guards: Baron Davis, Sam Cassell
    Shooting Guards: Dwyane Wade, Bruce Bowen, Michael Redd
    Small Forwards: LeBron James, Tayshuan Prince
    Power Forwards Tim Duncan, Shuan Marion, PJ Brown
    Centers: Brad Miller, Al Jefferson

    Starting Five:
    Baron Davis
    Bruce Bowen
    LeBron James
    Tim Duncan
    Brad Miller

    Those are the guys I'd want. Obviously there are better SGs than Bowen, but he's great for spreading the floor and defending. Davis was shooting well behind the arc, so the permiters defenders have to stick out, and with Duncan, Miller and James inside and all of them great passers, the ball movement should be fluid.


    Cassell can spot Davis, and if there is any foul trouble Wade could move to point, which he was playing a lot fo back then.

    Only two SF, but Marion and Redd could bot slide over if need be.

    Only two C's, but Duncan can slide over.


    I like Chronz's pick of Brown. Likely better chemistry than Big Al, but Big Al was a beast in the paint on offense and I think would create problems for some Euro teams.

    Marion, Bowen and Prince are all great glue guys that play great defence, hit open shots, and won't complain if they don't get the ball.

    Cassell and Davis will both shoot well and share the ball ad wouldn't argue with Duncan getting touches. Miller is a great passer with a good jump shot, which will keep the paint clear for Duncan or Al.

    The best player on the team is Duncan, and given that he is so unselfish, I think it would set a great example for the other teammates.

    And LBJ is the guy people would want to watch play, and Duncan could make sure that he gets enough open looks and only single coverage to increase his confidence and make things easy.

    Redd and Wade are odd men out, but they are solid guys and would play well with just about anybody. Big Al can be brought in when the team's up or if an opposing team has strong perimeter D but nothing in the paint.


    Biggest and most important change is the coach though. You put Phil, Pop, Adleman in there, and that team will do well.

    I'm leaving AI, McGrady, Melo and Marbury off the list because they are guys who were always used to being first and never had great team success and I'm not sure they would have the humility to play with the other guys. If I was going to use one of those guys, though, it would be McGrady.

    I didn't include Pierce because I know Pierce was dead set against it at the time, or perhaps it was the committee that was opposed to Pierce because the 2002 debacle with Pierce and Karl.
    Last edited by JasonJohnHorn; 09-13-2014 at 03:56 PM.
    Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?
    Because he heard the refs were blowing fowls.

  10. #10
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    pg: Cassell, Billups, Davis
    sg: Pierce, Redd
    sf: Artest, Lebron
    pf: Duncan, Marion
    C: Brad Miller, Stoudemire

  11. #11
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    Replace Lebron on the squad with Tmac and they win.
    "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships."
    - Michael Jordan

    Thanks MJ-Bulls for the picture.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JordansBulls View Post
    Replace Lebron on the squad with Tmac and they win.
    This is so stupid.. LeBron rarely even played.



    And when he did play, he was insanely efficient. It's almost as if you guys really think it was his fault when he was 16/22 from the 2FG% when he had a chance to play. Of course without Bron and you put T-Mac, they would have a better chance. T-Mac was better than Bron at that point and he would have gotten big minutes; something James never got. You are just so bad at trolling..

    The reason USA lost was because of Allen Iverson. Overrated piece of junk shot 39% from the field in international competition. Also like how people forget Tim Duncan was on this team too..

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashBolt View Post
    This is so stupid.. LeBron rarely even played.



    And when he did play, he was insanely efficient. It's almost as if you guys really think it was his fault when he was 16/22 from the 2FG% when he had a chance to play. Of course without Bron and you put T-Mac, they would have a better chance. T-Mac was better than Bron at that point and he would have gotten big minutes; something James never got. You are just so bad at trolling..

    The reason USA lost was because of Allen Iverson. Overrated piece of junk shot 39% from the field in international competition. Also like how people forget Tim Duncan was on this team too..
    The problem with that team was Iverson and Brown. Brown had a clear bias in favour of Iverson, and Iverson was the least efficient scorer on that roster.
    Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?
    Because he heard the refs were blowing fowls.

  14. #14
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    since i cant say tmac il go with sheed, webber and pierce. take out marbury boozer and marion.. although i remember boozer playing well i think

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTar786:29040731
    since i cant say tmac il go with sheed, webber and pierce. take out marbury boozer and marion.. although i remember boozer playing well i think
    Webber was fresh off of micro fracture and became a shell pf himself


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