Today I had a startling thought -- what if the Dream Team loses at the Beijing Olympics?
I try to stay positive about all of the U.S. teams, and there is no team I am more confident in than our 2008 U.S. Men's Basketball Team. As I wrote last October, I believe the 2008 Dream Team will bring home the gold. And, as Jason Kidd said, the the Olympic basketball team has learned from its failure in 2004.
But what if, for whatever reason, the Dream Team loses? Will that be the end of U.S. dominance in basketball?
I don't think so, for a few reasons:
1. To dominate a sport, you don't have to win every single tournament. This past year, the U.S. Men's Basketball Team won the FIBA Americas championship, and the team is likely to win most tournaments in the future, too.
2. Even though many NBA players are from outside of the United States, the NBA itself is still the preeminent basketball league in the world, and there is no sign that that will change any time soon (even if the 12 members of the Dream Team give a poor showing in this year's Olympics).
3. Basketball is, fundamentally, an American sport. It started in the U.S., and as popular as it is in certain European countries, no one likes basketball as much as the USA.
I think the Dream Team will win. But if the U.S. Men's Basketball Team of 2008 loses, it will not be the end of the world -- or even of American dominance in the sport of basketball.
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