While reading about the World Basketball Championships which are about to be underway, I cant help but wonder....why havent we won since 1994? Here in America, basketball is one of the biggest sports, certaintly watched more than any other place in the world. Players travel to Europe or Asia to play usually when things in the American draft don't go their way. If our players and system is so renouned, why aren't we winning? America just played a very decent game against number four ranked Lithuania, winning 111-88, with seven players scoring into double digits. If we can win in the exibition games, why don't we beat these teams when it counts? Is it really all about team chemistry? There have been all sorts of respect issues ranging from lack of enthusiasm to failure to show. It doesn't make sense that in a country with the most enthusiastic fans, and players, that coming up with a successfull basketball team proves so difficult. It should be an honor, not a burden to be asked to represent our country, and those who are asked should agree to play whole heartedly, or have a damn good reason why they don't want to.
While I can certaintly understand a lack of interest due to a number of reasons, what we also have to consider is...playing basketball is their job. They are payed millions of dollars every year, not only to represent their team but to represent their country. While I don't see myself tracking every game of this championship, I do wish to at least see team America play to their potential. If they aren't winning then that means they aren't the best, simple as that. Championships are designed to find the best players and the best team, and its been 12 years since America has won this title. If the European teams are the best, then why aren't more American basketball players looking to play there? It just goes to show that money and fame have become more important that playing the game for themselves, on teams which truly have the most talent. It makes sense that most players would want to enter the American draft, after all, who wouldn't want exorbetant amounts of money and a personal following, not to mention a competitive league. However, there seems to be a correlation between the rise of interest in personal gain and the inability to win championships.