The United States Cements Dominance in Men’s Basketball with Gold Medal Win
Since the closing ceremonies for the XXXI Olympiad basketball insiders around the world are baffled by the dominance of the United States in men’s basketball. The U.S. men’s team won their third consecutive team gold medal in Rio, offing Serbia in a lopsided 96-66 victory. Without a starting lineup of All-Star stat sheet stuffers the U.S. remained unbeatable in Olympic play.
The three-peat in Rio marks the end of an era for men’s basketball, it was New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony’s last game in his illustrious Olympic career and the last gold medal game for coach Mike Krzyzewski. “I know this is the end, this is it for me,” Anthony said. “I committed to this in ’04. I’ve seen the worst and I’ve seen the best,” he told NBC’s Gold-Onwude after the gold medal game.
Coach K took over responsibilities for the U.S. men’s national team back in 2005, building a dynasty in international basketball; the Americans have only lost one game with the Duke prodigy at the helm. While they finessed a victory in close games in Rio, most notably their narrow win over Argentina, Coach K’s system has run on all cylinders, creating an offensive and defensive machine that play at a level higher than the majority of their international competition.
So what grade would I give the 2016 U.S. Men’s National team on their gold medal performance? An A-.
I know many basketball fanatics and professionals around the world might cringe at anything less than an A+ for the USA, especially after a third straight gold medal but hear me out. The U.S. hasn’t routed every team by insurmountable leads, they haven’t played perfect offensive and defensive basketball for four quarters but they have scratched, scrapped and fought through challenges on the court to find a way to win and for that I have to call them by far the most formidable basketball team in international play.