Jingoism Is Okay for Team USA

“You tried your best and you failed miserably” is a quote I’ve attributed to how this United States FIBA team’s been received. Superstars shunning to pledge allegiance this time around has left the U.S a roster mostly made up millennials — Jayson Tatum is the lone “Zoomer.” While you do want players with a lot to prove, you certainly wish they didn’t make up the majority of your team.

Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and Kemba Walker are the most senior members of this incarnation of the U.S national squad. They are loaded on the perimeter. Jaylen Brown can’t even sniff the floor being blocked by his teammate Tatum, Middleton, and Barnes. It took Tatum rolling his ankle for Brown to play a substantial role in a meaningless game against Japan. Brown was stupendous, 20 points, 7 rebounds. Meanwhile, Lopez and Plumlee are too slow to stay on the court forcing the U.S to ride Myles Turner into the ground, unless Popovich turns to small-ball. Kemba Walker’s been electric for Team USA. However, he is the only scoring guard on the team. Donovan Mitchell was supposed to fill the void, but he’s been awful for the most part.

Poor Team USA. It’s likely they won’t escape this tourney with a gold medal. They were taken to the limit by 17th ranked Turkey. When they return to U.S soil they’ll face ridicule for underperforming. While those who didn’t want to step up face little pushback except from angry Boomers disgruntled solely because athletes aren’t doing their little dance for them.

How are we supposed to entice players to accept the honor of representing this lousy, cheap country if we won’t have their backs when things turn sour? This isn’t 2004. The NBA isn’t broken. The league hasn’t ever been healthier than it is today. Why not turn our attention to Popovich cutting Thaddeus Young, or pushing out Jonathan Isaac and Bam Adebayo for the slower Lopez and Plumlee? I said all of this before, but I cannot fathom those decisions. Every day I wonder why the Celtics face endless slander for playing above expectations for Team USA while shot chucker Donovan Mitchell escapes criticism for doing a Terry Rozier impression the entire tournament.

Instead of dunking on our own countrymen for grinding out a nail-bitter victory over Turkey we should be grateful we have players who’ll risk their well-being for us. “Tatum missed a free throw” he also drew the crucial foul at the end of the game to send it into overtime, grabbed a lengthy rebound pushed it into transition for the dish to Middleton for him to win it in overtime.

Fans suck. We suck. I suck. We can criticize. But let’s not throw them under the bus for arbitrary reasons.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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