After watching the 2016 Olympic basketball for both the USA men’s and women’s teams the biggest thing that I took away from both teams was how much better the women’s team acted and presented themselves as great positive role models to the world of basketball both on/off the court compared to the men’s team.
They both won Gold. but the women had no close games in either pool or tournament play in their 8 wins. The men on the other hand in their 8 wins had 3 close games in pool play winning 98-88, 94-91, 97-94 and a winning 82-76 close game in the semi-finals of the tournament for Gold.
The women won their 49th straight win and their 6th consecutive Gold while the men have won 22 straight the last 3 Olympics. There is no question that the women have dominated the Olympics more then the men have as the men did not in win gold in 2004.
The women seemed to play much more WE basketball while the men had a tendency to go off at crucial times and seemed to play more ME basketball. The women used good teamwork, the men seemed to rely a lot on their athleticism, featuring a lot of isolation one on one with the four other players on the floor just standing around as spectators waiting for their one on one turn.
While the women seemed to play the game more from the shoulders up with high basketball IQ’s that led to good basketball decision making, while the men seemed to play more from the shoulders down, relied more on their athletic ability then their basketball skills, demonstrated lower basketball IQ’s then the women which resulted in more poor basketball decisions which lead to poor defense in the close games, crucial turnovers, forced shots, and poor shot selection, thus the close games.
The women seemed to be more coachable by wanting to please their coaches most of the time by trying to do what the coaching staff wanted them to do, while the men seemed to ignore the coaches at times by going off and doing their own things.
It was apparent that the women players and the coaching staff seemed to relate better to each other then the men’s players and coaching staff did.
Now that was on the basketball play side of the difference between the two teams.
There is no question in my mind that the NBA (could easily stand for Narcissistic Basketball Association) an organization which many of it’s players are not that great, in my basketball opinion, in being positive role models for the basketball youth of America, nor do many of them seem to want to be.
As one former NBA All-Star TV Commentator has been quoted as saying, “WE ARE NOT ROLE MODELS”.
I disagree, everyone is a role model regardless of their profession or popularity, whether they want to be or not want to be, that is just a fact of life. The more popular and bigger the star in the entertainment business (and the NBA and WNBA are entertainment businesses), the bigger the role model that they are whether positive or negative.
I would like to have seen all the men’s players been made to understand that part of the selection process was that they had to be proven good positive role models on and off the court, as they are not representing the NBA, they are representing the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO AMERICA AND THE WORLD.
The WNBA (which could easily stand for Wonderful Natural Basketball Association) which has a much shorter season seems to not have the on or off court problems or distractions during their season as the NBA does. They do not have many, if any, negative role models that were selected to the USA Women’s Olympic team, thus they had fewer if any role model problems.
To me it was too bad that the USA team’s selecters didn’t seem to mind selecting a NBA player who in the playoffs had a fetish for kicking opposing opponents in both above and below the waist. He did this in two different playoff and championship series.
The only discipline he faced was a one game suspension by the League in game 5 of the NBA championship series after several previous warnings which may have cost his team the NBA championship.
Then after the NBA season was completed, this same player was involved in an incident in Michigan and ended up having to pay a small $560 court fine.
Then after he was selected as one of the 12 players to represent the USA in the Olympics, there was the negative mistaken snap chat incident and a poor taste picture response to said snap chat photo by some of his teammates.
ONE GOOD THING DID HAPPEN AS THIS PLAYER DID NOT GET MUCH PLAYING TIME………..Maybe this was the discipline that was handed out and the public was not made aware of it.
Although another player who had no incidents that I know of in the NBA season or at the Olympics got less minutes then this player.
Then at the Olympics 3 other different players had a questionable incident that brought negative attention to the team.
Then there were a few technical fouls called on the USA men’s team for unsportsmanlike behavior on the court.
Some of the men could just not leave their NBA behavior back in the United States, as shown by the negative instances in the Olympics. Just to ingrained into their NBA way of playing and thinking to be able or to take the time or desire to act differently when representing the USA by being good role models.
The women did not have anything from their half regular season to leave behind as far as negative problems on or off the court before this year’s Olympics.
The women were a very classy act compared to most of the narcissistic men’s players, and just were excellent role models for the youth of America and the world both on and off the court.
Definitely the men’s off the court behavior certainly left a lot to be desired, but certainly made for a lot of negative media coverage that took away from their play or maybe covered it up when they were playing poorly.
Whats that old saying? “Bad (negative) publicity is better then no publicity at all”, seemed to follow the men’s team.
Hopefully, with the Coach of the San Antonio Spurs taking over for the 2020 Olympics he will have higher behavioral expectations for the players that are selected.
If he handles the 2020 Olympic USA team like he has handled the Spurs the past 20 seasons and the positive role model behavior expectations he has for the Spurs then this poor USA representation will be corrected
There is more to just winning, there is winning with class. The women knew that, most of the men’s players didn’t know or and it appeared that they did not care or nor did anybody else involved with the men’s USA Olympic program did either. It appeared that they wanted to win period and how they won wasn’t as important so long as they won, .
I don’t know about other fans, but as an old time coach, I certainly enjoyed watching the women play much more then I did watch the men, as it was nice to watch good basketball and good player role model behavior.
But, in typical NBA fashion it was more important for the men’s USA Program to win at all costs and not lose like they did in 2004, then that which was presented by them as poor role models and to heck with any good positive behavior.
I believe many basketball purist (old timers) like myself, think that the current women’s WNBA game at the Professional level is the way the game was meant and should be played and handle their on court behavior in such a way to be good role models for our youth..
As mentioned before the women’s game is based more on basic fundamental skills, high basketball IQ’s for making great basketball decision making decisions, relying on their basketball skills not relying more on their athletic skills like the most of the NBA players do, better team play based on ball movement and player movement, not one on one dribbling to get a shot, little dunking and hanging on the rim, and best of all no narcissistic all about me celebrations when a player thinks he has made a great play, so as to bring attention to their narcissistic self and the trash talking it brings to opponents.
That is why I root for the San Antonio Spurs as they seem to be the only team in the NBA that really tries to make a big effort to do things the right way, whether its the way they play the game or the way that they are the best positive role models in the NBA.
Just my opinions, observations and evaluations of the 2016 USA Olympic basketball men’s and women’ programs.
This is just my opinion, based on what I saw in the media relating to off the court negative behavior and their on the court actions and play on TV.
Am I right or am I wrong? What do you think?.