Friday, August 1, 2008

The Redeem Team talks Turkey - and WINS!!!

Granted, it was only an exhibition game against a team that didn't even qualify for the Olympics, but at least they won it convincingly - 114-82, at that! - and showed that they can play FIBA-rules basketball as opposed to the professional way they've been doing for years in the NBA.

Why do I say that? Because LeBron managed to pull down a rebound that, in the NBA, would've been a goaltending violation already. By unlearning what they've learned after all those years playing professional basketball, and by playing a more team-oriented game as opposed to their typical superstar-oriented one (okay, so LeBron went coast-to-coast and dropped in a jumper after that, so sue me), they're opening themselves up to a lot more positive opportunities, both offensively AND defensively.

But with their next exhibition match against Lithuania, a team they lost to in the 2004 Summer Olympics, Team USA Basketball can't think that every game will be like this one. After all, if Lithuania plays it smart, they won't show The Redeem Team all their cards in a game that has no bearing for them. And they just might walk away happy in a 30+ point loss to Team USA if they know that they (Team USA) will go to the Olympics with a bloated ego. After all, the saying, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall," in such a case would definitely hold true.

So The Redeem Team have got to get into their minds that they can't just hope their talent and athleticism alone won't give them basketball gold in the Olympics. They've got to dig in deep and play as a team, not as NBA superstars. After all, the game would've started as 0-2 for Team USA if LeBron played like the NBA superstar that he is. Instead, he made a FIBA kind of play to get The Redeem Team rolling on the right track. Now, if everyone else would play the entire Olympics like that, then maybe, just maybe, they can all go back to being The Dream Team they were all supposed to be.

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