Coach K got Team USA to the Final Four....and then did the typical Coach K-led laydown once they got there. I will say that I am disappointed that K didn't call a timeout....let Kirk Hinrich come off the floor....and give him a tear filled hug near centercourt.
Oh, Greece beat Team USA 101-95 in the semifinals of the World Basketball Championships.
Many people could expect a loss from Spain or Argentina in the gold medal round....but Greece? Well, Greece has been one of the top European leagues for some time....and won the European championship in 2005. The difference there is that they don't give a crap about coming over here to play. There are ZERO current NBA players on the Greek roster.
And that is what should scare Americans the most. I keep hearing "the gap is closing" when talking about international basketball. The truth is: there is no gap. None. How can there be?? The last thing the Americans won was the 2002 Olympics in Sydney....and that was by just a smidge. In 2002, the Americans placed an embarrassing 6th place in the FIBA World Championships [held in Indianapolis]....and finished with the bronze in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
In the meantime, these other countries have gotten good. Really good. The knock on foreign teams in the past is that they were robotic, less physical and not good at defense. That has all changed. Now, they have lightning quick guards, bruising bodies who aren't scared to be physical, and play solid team defense.
The NBA has international players sprinkled all over the place. And they aren't even those other country's stars, either. Back in the day, if a guy had NBA experience, he was a legend. Now, he could ride the bench [Ronny Turiaf of the Lakers, for example, saw limited minutes for France].
So, it is back to the old USA for the hoops team [well, after they probably lose to an excellent Argentina team in the bronze medal game]. The guys will go back to their home teamsbefore having to go to Venezuela in 2008 to qualify for the Olympics. QUALIFY for the Olympics!!!