The U.S. team demonstrated throughout the Olympic tournament their great superiority over the other teams of the world. Anyone who saw the final game can really understand. Even though Spain had a shot, over time, no one was going to be the U.S. team.
The game did not reflect the difference in overall competitive levels. The Spaniards gave a great fight and played team ball, led by Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro. This was a very high quality game that included many NBA players on both sides. The gold medal game in Beijing in the 2008 Olympics was very similar, both games had the U.S. sweating in the medal clinching game.
I keep hearing comparisons between this Olympic team and the Dream Team of 1992. I want to say it's just not fair to make this comparison. It's a different day, and a different time.
On the other hand, basketball today has greatly improved. Players have become more athletic, have evolved and the level of play has risen significantly. The '92 team was lead by Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time. This was a historic team, the players were all of Hall of Fame level and it is just not logical to compare them. A team like that will never be comprised again...ever.
What's nice about this U.S. team is that it is difficult to point to one player who excelled above another. Any given day someone else stepped up and it was great to see. With each game you had no idea who will be the key player, who will rise above all and will lead them to victory. Carmelo Anthony was excellent throughout the tournament, he was the "X" Factor in many important games. Of course, Kevin Durant and LeBron James also had their effect in many important games.
It is difficult not to comment on the Israeli side of international play. David Blutenthal was simply amazing, there are no words for his excelled play. After Russia he had an amazing game against Spain and lost. Then they played another amazing game against Argentina, and this time they won. All my blessings go out to David, he took this squad to something wonderful. Every year he surprises with his play and he was amazing again and I have to tip my hat to him.
And after we talked a little about the rest of the world and touched on the corner of the Israeli Olympics, I want to finish with a word about the Israeli team. On Wednesday we get together and begin against Montenegro which will be a difficult and important stretch. Preparations are going well and I feel that everyone is in good shape, we're going to win and get better every game.
Now, the Olympics are over, all eyes are upon us and we hope to do our part and bring honor to Israeli basketball. This Summers play is very important to us and the other Israeli team players, as well as my self, feel a great amount of responsibility on our shoulders. One thing is certain, we will give all we have and more to win these games.
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