Thursday , Aug , 30 , 2007 Oly Sandor

FIBA: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, & Team USA Best American Squad Since 1992 Dream Team?

Business as usual for Stars and Stripes, who, after last night’s easy win, improved to a perfect 7-0 at the FIBA Americas Tournament. Something has been lost in Team USA’s workmanlike approach: this is the best American squad to take the international floor since the 1992 Dream Team …

It was another day at the office for Team USA. Punch the time card. Drink some black coffee. Take to the old factory line and dominate Uruguay for an easy 118-79 victory.

Business as usual for Stars and Stripes, who, after last night’s win, improved to a perfect 7-0 at the FIBA Americas Tournament. Something has been lost in Team USA’s workmanlike approach: this is the best American squad to take the international floor since the 1992 Dream Team.

could be the most talented player to ever ‘rep’ the red, white, and blue. He’s easily the best player Team USA’s had since Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson took over the world at the 1992 Olympics.

But Bryant hasn’t even been Team ‘s USA’s best player. That honor goes to Carmelo Anthony and . Melo has been scoring in bunches, while King James has mostly facilitated for others until last night’s epic 11-for-11 first half against Uruguay.

Some American teams have treated their own end like an afterthought, something somebody else would handle. Those days are finished. Everybody plays individual and team defense on this American squad. No exceptions.

In the past, international squads would sag on Team USA, daring athletic slashers to pony-up from the outside. This worked against so-so shooters. But would you dare specialists like Michael Redd, Mike Miller or even ‘Amare Stoudemire’ to rain from the outside?

At the 2002 World Championships and the 2004 Olympics, players became frustrated with their roles. For example, Anthony understandably got upset when Larry Brown chained him to the bench without providing an explanation. In 2007, everybody knows and accepts their role. No miscommunications. And that’s why all the players, one through twelve, have looked so good.

So far, it’s been all good for Team USA. But their place in history will be determined by their finish at the 2008 Olympics.

Agree or disagree? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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