America Going to Win Anyway? The Dream Team Myth is Over

In international basketball, the common saying that ‘Aumi (the U.S. will win anyway)’ is now a thing of the past.

 American basketball, which prided itself on being the best in the world, collapsed again. 

Germany defeated the United States and enjoyed the joy of reaching the finals of the Basketball World Cup for the first time in history, competing with Serbia for the championship.

In the semifinals of the 2023 FIBA ​​(International Basketball Federation) Basketball World Cup held in Manila, Philippines on the 8th, Germany defeated the United States 113-111. 

For Germany, Andreas Obst (24 points, 4 3-pointers, 6 assists), Franz Wagner (22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists), and Daniel Theis (21 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists) all scored over 20 points, and Dennis Schröder (17 points, 9 points) Assist) also contributed at every critical point and created an upset by defeating the United States, which was made up entirely of NBA (National Basketball Association) players.

The United States has always been a country that prides itself on being the best in the world when it comes to basketball. 

In the Olympics, the country has won gold medals 16 times 먹튀검증사이트

including the last 4 times in a row, and is also the country with the most wins in the Basketball World Cup, winning 5 times.

However, the dominance of American basketball is slowing down after winning the tournament in succession in 2010 and 2014. 

At the 2019 China Games, they finished in 7th place, breaking their worst performance ever, surpassing 6th place at the 2002 U.S.

Championships (formerly World Championships). 

They continued their unstable performance in this tournament, where they aimed to regain their honor, and suffered their first loss against Lithuania in the group stage of the round of 16, and were caught by Germany in the semifinals, ultimately failing to even advance to the finals for the second time in a row.

The first reason for American basketball’s slump is its failure to form the ‘best players’. 

This year’s national team includes Paolo Bankero (Orlando Magic), Michal Bridges (Brooklyn Nets), Jaylen Brunson, Josh Hart (New York Knicks), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), and Brandon Ingram (New Orleans).

Pelicans), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies), Cameron Johnson (Brooklyn Nets), Walker Kessler (Utah Jazz), Bobby Portis (Milwaukee Bucks), Austin Reeves (LA Lakers), and the Golden State Warriors. Coach Steve Kerr, the ‘championship contractor’ who led the team to four NBA championships, took the helm.

However, the United States was unable to join the best active players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler, and Jayson Tatum.

Although the careers of individual players included some All-Star members such as Halliburton, the lineup was focused on prospects who were still developing rather than superstars who are currently leading the NBA. 

In fact, it was even evaluated that the performance was worse than the 2019 competition, which recorded the worst performance. 

Even though the United States had a strong player base, it was not enough to aim for the championship with a roster that lacked superstars and was extremely lacking in international experience.

Since the 1990s, professional athletes have been able to participate in the Olympics, and the United States has dominated the world stage with its ‘Dream Team’ comprised of top NBA players.

 Dream teams of the past, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant, are considered to be on a completely different level, with fierce debates taking place between national teams rather than opposing teams over who is the best in each era.


However, even in its heyday, the United States paid relatively little attention to the Basketball World Cup compared to the Olympics. 

Even in the United States, most people do not include the Basketball World Cup in the dream team’s pedigree, regardless of whether it wins or not. 

As NBA superstars become increasingly reluctant to be called up to the national team held in the off-season, it has become more difficult to recruit the best players to the Basketball World Cup, which is considered less important than the Olympics. 

This is the reason why the United States had no choice but to choose a generational change, focusing on young prospects from voluntary or voluntary teams.

Another problem was the height disadvantage.

 Since the 2000s, the trend in the NBA and modern basketball has changed to small ball, and in an environment where the 3-second rule under the goal has been strengthened to encourage offensive basketball considering box office success

traditional tall centers have naturally gradually disappeared. 

As a result, the U.S. national team had difficulty forming a big man team in each international competition and became a short team, and the number of cases of struggling increased every time it faced a team with a strong big man team.

Looking at the current NBA, there are elite centers such as last season’s MVP Nikola Jokic (Denver), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Domantis Sabonis (Lithuania), Karl-Anthony Towns (Dominican), and Rudy Gobert (France).

Most of the players are foreign players. As a last resort, the United States had to use an irregular small lineup strategy in which versatile forwards such as Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant covered the bottom of the goal in international competitions.

In this tournament, there was only one player in the U.S. national team lineup who was over 7 feet tall and could be considered a legitimate big man: non-starting defensive center Walker Kessler.

Forwards such as Paolo Bankero, Bobby Portis, and Jaren Jackson Jr. could play center in an emergency, but there were no cards that could be expected to have stable control of the bottom of the goal.

On the other hand, the opposing teams had many competitive tall big men not only in the starting lineup but also on the bench.

If you look at the games in which the United States has struggled or lost in recent international competitions, one thing they all have in common is that they were behind in the rebound battle.

Lithuania completely dominated the United States, 43 to 27, including 18 offensive rebounds. 

Even though Lithuania’s ace Domantas Sabonis did not participate in this tournament, it was enough to dominate the United States’ goal with the only NBA leaguer, Jonas Valanciunas.

The German game had a similar pattern.

 American ESPN analyzed the game that day and said, “We failed to overcome the height difference. The United States was energetic and aggressive, but we were too short. We repeated the loss against Lithuania.” On this day, Germany had a height advantage at key moments, including a 12-7 lead in offensive rebounds.

On the other hand, it is also significant in confirming the diversification and upward standardization of world basketball. 

In this Basketball World Cup, which was unusually full of surprises, France and Spain, which had been treated as traditional powerhouses in international competitions along with the United States, both failed to advance to the quarterfinals and fell at the same time.

On the other hand, Germany, which was considered an underdog, built a solid power and pulled off an upset by defeating the United States and advancing to the finals.

Ace Dennis Schröder is a decent starting player in the NBA, but he performs at a superstar level when he comes to international competitions, and he is supported by solid but not flashy players such as Andreas Obst, Franz Wagner, and Daniel Theis. In addition

we live in an era where superstars who are considered the best in the NBA, such as Nikola Jokic’s Serbia and Luka Doncic’s Slovenia, can easily be found on opposing teams in the United States.

The United States maintained the gold medal at the last Tokyo Olympics

where it fielded its elite members, but struggled quite a bit in terms of content, including being caught short in the preliminaries.

There is an assessment that the United States cannot be guaranteed to win the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics even if it brings in superstars again and builds the best power. 

The US basketball team is no longer the ‘dream team’ that other teams looked up to like an insurmountable mountain.

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