Monday, August 16, 2004


is rapdily turning into the nightmare team, losing to Puerto Rico 92-73. "Good riddance," I say. Jim Caple has more to say:
It was a little fun the first time in 1992, when we saw perhaps the greatest basketball team of all time play. But it started losing its appeal as soon as the players under the contract of one shoe company used the American flag to cover up the logo of another shoe company. It was a petty act, and it only got worse with each subsequent Olympics.

What is so aggravating is the way the basketball team sets itself apart from the rest of the world's Olympians -- both literally and figuratively. Following in the grand tradition of luxury accommodations, this year's team is staying on the Queen Mary II, anchored outside of town and protected by NATO.

Why shouldn't they? They're not Olympians -- that's beneath them. They're the Dream Team, and they can't be bothered hanging with mere world champions like Paul Hamm and Rulon Gardner. I still remember how the 1996 team marched into the stadium well behind the other U.S. athletes, as if they were their own country, which they probably thought they were. Given the way the U.S. Olympic committee caters to the basketball team's every whim, I was just surprised Li'l Penny wasn't the flagbearer that year.

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