Team USA should fight for bronze

Originally Published: August 24, 2004
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
The Team USA bandwagon, the one that was getting uncomfortably full over the last day and a half after the Americans beat up on the Spaniards, has come to a screeching halt.

With Argentina's 89-81 Olympic victory over the United States men's basketball team Friday, the gold medal dreams of Larry Brown & Co. have ended.

Over the next 24 hours, we'll hear it all ... again. The echo chamber is about to get deafening.

They needed Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant.
They needed better shooters to break down the zone.
They needed a real point guard to run the offense.
They needed more practice time.
They needed more international experience.
They were too young.
They were too small.
They didn't play LeBron enough.
They played [insert name here] too much.
The officiating weas terrible.

I agree with most of the arguments. There are fundamental flaws in how USA Basketball put this team together. (Next Monday, Insider will get more in-depth on how the powers-that-be at USA Basketball and the NBA can turn this thing around.)

But all the excuses hide the one truth that was exposed Friday -- Argentina was the better basketball team.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider